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Ministry of Education.
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Technological systems

The purpose of the Technological systems component is to support students to develop logical capabilities, by understanding why and how systems work the way they do, then to apply this knowledge when they design and develop their own systems. 

A technological system is a set of interconnected components that has been designed to fulfil a particular function without further human design input.

Technological systems transform, store, transport, or control materials, energy, and/or information for a particular purpose. 

A door mechanism is an example of a system made of material parts that are controlled to allow a door to open and close. Computer code is an example of an information system where the lines of code direct the computer to carry out instructions. Generating power using hydro-electricity is an example of a system that controls and transforms the energy of moving water into electricity. 

In any system, how the parts work together is as important as their individual characteristics.

In order for students to design their own systems, it is important they understand systems concepts:

  • input, output, transformation, and control
  • "black box”
  • redundancy and reliability
  • operational parameters.

Related resources

Indicators of progression

Indicators of progression

The indicators of progression describe the knowledge, skills, and understandings that students should be demonstrating in the Technological systems component of the Technology learning area.

Indicators are provided for each level of the curriculum and are accompanied by guidance for teachers.


Learning with the internet of things in years 5–6

In this video students describe the technological systems they created and the components of those systems.

Teaching snapshots

Exploring technological systems and computational thinking using household appliances

Years 1–3 students learnt about technological systems by exploring familiar household appliances and used this new knowledge to learn about computational thinking for digital technologies.

Astronomy and e-textiles

Year 9 students created cross stitch star constellation panels with LED lights included. Through the project the students learnt about technological systems and their components.

Student showcase

Top scholar 2016: A monitoring system for the Orokonui Ecosanctuary

This scholarship project involved understanding operational parameters and their role in design, development, and maintenance of a technological system.

Technology in the School Journal and Connected

“Square Eyes”, Connected, level 3, November 2018

This story is about a new augmented reality device. Use the story to discuss designing and developing digital outcomes, the control role of humans in a technological system, and to identify the role of components in a technological system.

Technological systems: Key ideas (Word 2007, 31 KB)

Acknowledgment: This paper is derived from an earlier version by Dr Vicki Compton and Cliff Harwood.

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