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Specialist strands

AOs/LOs by level

Technological practice (TP)

6-1 | 6-2 | 6-3

7-1 | 7-2 | 7-3

8-1 | 8-2 | 8-3

Technological knowledge (TK)

6-1 | 6-2 | 6-3

7-1 | 7-2 | 7-3

8-1 | 8-2 | 8-3

Nature of technology (NT)

6-1 | 6-2

7-1 | 7-2

8-1 | 8-2

Design in technology (DET)

6-1 | 6-2

7-1 | 7-2


Manufacturing (MFG)

6-1 | 6-2

7-1 | 7-2


Technical areas (TCA)


Construction and mechanical technologies (CMT)

6-1 | 6-2 | 6-3 | 6-4

6-5 | 6-6 | 6-7

7-1 |  7-2 |  7-3 |  7-4

7-5 |  7-6 |  7-7

8-1 | 8-2 | 8-3 | 8-4

8-5 | 8-6 | 8-7

Design and visual communication (DVC)

6-1 | 6-2 | 6-3

7-1 | 7-2 | 7-3

8-1 | 8-2 | 8-3

Digital technologies (DTG)

6-1 | 6-2 | 6-3 | 6-4

6-5 | 6-6 | 6-7 | 6-8

6-9 | 6-10 | 6-11 | 6-12

7-1 |  7-2 |  7-3 |  7-4

7-5 |  7-6 |  7-7 |  7-8

7-9 |  7-10 |  7-11 |  7-12

8-1 | 8-2 | 8-3 | 8-4

8-5 |  8-6/7 | 8-8 | 8-9

8-10 |  8-11 | 8-12

Processing technologies (PRT)

6-1 | 6-2 | 6-3

7-1 | 7-2 | 7-3

8-1/2 | 8-3

Knowledge of digital media DTG 6-3

Achievement Standard 1.42, AS91072

Knowledge of digital media focuses on understanding of concepts of digital media that need to be considered when developing digital media outcomes.

Learning Objective: DTG 6-3

Students will:

  • Demonstrate understanding of basic concepts in digital media


Students can:

  • identify the digital media types in a digital media outcome
  • describe the software resources used to create a digital media outcome
  • describe basic techniques used to create a digital media outcome
  • describe design elements in a digital media outcome
  • describe the communication purpose of a digital media outcome, and discuss why distinguishing characteristics of a digital media outcome support its communication purpose
  • explain how software resources and techniques used affected the technical quality of a digital media outcome
  • explain why ethical considerations were important in the creation of a digital media outcome
  • discuss why software resources and techniques were used to create a digital media outcome and how they affected its technical quality. 


As part of a junior technology programme students should learn some fundamental concepts about digital media such as:

  • how most digital media outcomes use a combination of digital media types and provide examples to illustrate how various media types have been combined.
  • the importance of ethical considerations when using digital media, such as not copying and pasting images from copyrighted sources or using copyrighted music in movies or presentations, or misrepresenting others through manipulation of media (such as alter digital photographs).
  • identifying and describing the key tools and techniques they used to create digital media outcomes, so that they have a foundation for identifying those in others’ outcomes.
  • describing and applying basic design principles in their own work (such as contrast, repetition, alignment and proximity). 

At level 6 students learn about basic concepts of digital media. These basic concepts include such things as media types, software resources, techniques used to create digital media outcomes, the influence of design elements, communication purpose, and how ethics are considered when developing digital media outcomes.

The Teacher Guidance section provides information that supports teachers scaffolding of learning from levels 1-8 of the curriculum. This allows for differentiation of a programme of learning.

The deliberate use of provide, guide, and support in this section signals that as students' capacity for self-management increases, teachers progressively reduce the level of scaffolding provided.

  • Provide – the teacher should take full responsibility for introducing and explicitly teaching new knowledge, skills or practices.
  • Guide – the students have a level of understanding and competency on which they can draw but the teacher remains primarily responsible for continuing to develop these.
  • Support – the students take primary responsibility for their own learning, drawing on all their previous experiences to consolidate and extend their understanding. The teacher is supportive rather than directive.
  • The Teacher Guidance also uses the term ensure to indicate when the teacher plays a monitoring role to check that conditions critical for learning are present.

Teacher Guidance

To support students to develop understandings about basic concepts in digital media at level 6, teachers could:

  • Provide students with the opportunity to explore a range of digital media outcomes.
  • Ensure the digital media outcomes students investigate demonstrate an integration of media types and are of sufficient rigour for this level (see indicators above).
  • Provide opportunity for students to explain how basic tools and techniques have been used to create digital media outcomes.
  • Guide students to consider why ethical considerations are important when developing digital media outcomes
  • Guide students on how to prepare reports including ways to structure a report.
  • Support students to develop literacy strategies that assist them to write reports in a way that will allow them to identify, describe, explain, and discuss.

Contexts for teaching and learning

This learning objective is about analysing digital media outcomes and is not about creating a digital media outcome. However within a programme of work it is possible to link this knowledge (about basic concepts of digital media) with the skills needed to create a digital media outcome (refer to DTG6-4 "Implement basic procedures to create a digital media outcome").

Teachers should think carefully about where this learning should come within an overall programme of learning. Is it best for students to explore digital media outcomes made by others before they start making their own digital media outcome, rather than using their own outcome to provide evidence of their knowledge of digital media?

A digital media outcome may include but is not limited to: static images, websites, print design, motion graphics, 3D modelling, and video and audio productions. If students are researching print media it should be multipage.

Teachers need to provide opportunities for students to explore a range of digital media outcomes. This might be by making case studies available, by inviting guest speakers to present a digital media outcome, or by class discussions analysing digital media outcomes. These learning experiences will underpin the students understanding of digital media types, software and techniques used, the attributes of good design and the legal, ethical and moral considerations in relation to digital media outcomes.

Teachers need to ensure that the digital media outcomes investigated are suitable for students working at curriculum level 6. At level 6 the term used is "basic concepts" compared to "advanced advanced" at level 7 and "complex concepts" at level 8. One aspect that determines the digital media outcome as suitable for use at this level is that it has been developed using basic tools and techniques. The standards at NCEA level 2 (and 3) contain examples of what "advanced" and "complex" tools and techniques are. There is no equivalent list for the standard at this level but teachers can look at the list in the level 2 standard and backwards map to what might be appropriate at curriculum level 6. However the standards at NCEA level 2 and 3 do not contain exhaustive list of tools and techniques so teachers need to use their own professional judgement. In particular if students are investigating a different type of digital media outcome to what is listed in the examples such as digital audio or 3D modelling the teacher will need to determine the range of suitable techniques.

Using real life case studies and speakers within the classroom are an effective teaching tool for this topic.  Not only do the professionals have the background to explain the reasons for their processes and application of tools and techniques, but they also can expose the students to a further insight into career pathways within the digital media area. Futureintech speakers are a good resource as well as local web designers, print designers, animators, etc.  Teachers in the Visual Arts department within a school may be a very good resource for presenting tools and techniques to produce outcomes if industry guest speakers are not available. 

Another idea is to have a student who has completed the Level 1 or 2 Digital Technologies class (a student who is currently in Level 2 or Level 3), explain the tools and techniques they utilised to produce a digital media outcome.  The teacher would have to ensure that the quality and standard of the student’s outcome was sufficient to meet the standard criteria.  However, using former students as case study speakers can be very valuable as they have insight into the curriculum and are easily accessible for the teacher.

An excellent classroom resource is available via the Ministry of Education’s " Down the of the Back Chair" website.  There are graphic novels available for “The Matawehi Fabels” and the accompanying teacher’s guide for “Araohanui, Revenge of the Fey”, has a an entire section written by the illustrator in which he explains the tools and techniques he used to produce the outcome.  This could be used in any digital media context, but is particularly relevant for those classes that involve digital image manipulation, illustration or desktop publishing.  There are also suggested activities at the end of the teacher’s guide that could serve as relevant contexts for the digital media skills standard, AS 91073. 

Literacy considerations

Teachers need to ensure students understand the specialist language related to digital media such as "design elements" or "communication purpose". Students must understand the specialist language associated with the digital media context such as file extensions and file types used within that context.  In addition students must understand the language necessary to be able to demonstrate their understanding; i.e. describe, explain, and discuss. Teachers need to ensure students know how to present their evidence in a suitable manner that demonstrates their understanding. This evidence will be presented in a form negotiated with the teacher, produced in any media that clearly communicates the student's understanding of basic concepts of digital media.

Students should be given some strategies or frameworks for evaluative analysis of digital media outcomes such as:

  • PMI Charts (Plus-Minus-Interesting/Implications), PNQ Charts (Positive – Negative- Questions), Venn Diagrams - see  Global Education

Generic understanding of the academic terms

  • To describe is a statement that gives details about the outcome or idea.
  • To explain is to describe in detail with reasons – often including the how and why.
  • To discuss requires an explanation that is comprehensive, detailed, broad and show evidence of some complexity in thinking. It may be a reasoned argument presenting a particular point of view, or a comparison and contrast between two ideas or concepts; or it may be a detailed reasoning and relationship between several complex ideas.

Resources to support teaching and learning

Assessment for qualifications

The following achievement standard(s) could assess learning outcomes from this learning objective:

  • AS91072 Digital Technologies 1.42:Demonstrate understanding of basic concepts of digital media

Key messages from the standard

Students only need to analyse one digital media outcome to achieve this standard. However, during the teaching and learning program, it is beneficial to discuss several examples in order to give the student a range of ideas for their own analysis. At an achieved level students could analyse their own outcome but as was discussed in the above section a decision needs to be made whether it is more beneficial to analyse an outcome produced by someone else prior to creating their own outcome. At excellence level students should look at more than their own practice so either the digital media outcome should not be their own, or if their own outcome is used another outcome should be analysed as well.

Students should be guided toward selecting suitable digital media outcomes to use. For some examples it will be difficult for students to find all the required information, whilst for other digital media outcomes all the required information may be easily obtained.

Teachers need to ensure that the digital media outcome investigated is suitably "basic" in nature. One aspect that determines the digital media outcome is suitable for use at this level is that it has been developed using basic tools and techniques. Guidance on what constitutes basic tools and techniques is not provided in the explanatory notes for this standard. However some guidance can be found by looking at the advanced tools and techniques which are specified in the level 2 standard, and backwards mapping from that to what seems sensible at this level. This is not an exhaustive list of advanced tools and techniques so assessors need to use their own professional judgement.

Students should ensure they clearly identify the digital media outcome that they are analysing and state the communication purpose of that outcome. The communication purpose may include such things as advertising, education, entertainment, warning, or instruction.

The outcome must represent an integration of digital media types that are produced in different applications. Refer to explanatory note 3.

The student needs to demonstrate understanding of design elements in the digital media outcome. Explanatory note 5 gives examples of design elements. The moderators clarification states more than one design element is expected. Teachers are referred to the learning objective DET 6-1 "Knowledge of design" and the associated externally assessed standard on design AS91053 "Demonstrate understanding of design elements".

The student needs to demonstrate understanding of the relevant ethical considerations. Different types of digital media outcomes with different communication purposes will involve different ethical considerations. Examples of ethical considerations are given in Explanatory Note 7. The moderators clarification states more than one ethical consideration is expected.

The student needs to demonstrate their understanding in a report produced in any media. Screen shots or scans of the original media with the student making clear reference back to the media being researched is a useful way to demonstrate understanding.

Teachers can assist students to ensure they have covered everything required in the standard by providing checklists or headings for a report (without making it overly templated). Students need to cover all of the following to reach an achieved level:

  • Clearly stating the digital media outcome they are analysing
  • Identifying the digital media types in the outcome
  • Describing the software resources (plural) used to create the outcome
  • Describing the techniques (plural) used to create the outcome
  • Describing the design elements (plural) in the outcome
  • Describing the communication purpose of the outcome
  • Describing the ethical considerations (plural) related to the outcome

For the most up to date information, teachers should be referring to the latest version of the standards, conditions of assessment and assessment resources on TKI and the moderators reports, clarifications documents and student exemplars on the NZQA website. See links below.

Resources to support student achievement

Last updated May 30, 2018