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Manage and monitor learning

Teachers progress student learning by providing a range of appropriately targeted and structured learning experiences that help students to become more critical, creative, and independent in their thinking and actions.To ensure effective learning experiences, teachers should be conversant with contemporary pedagogical approaches that best support the nature of the intended learning outcome(s) and reflect student diversity, including:

  • students’ identity, languages, and cultures
  • their physical, emotional, and cognitive capabilities
  • their background experiences.

Teachers need to monitor student learning and engagement through formative teacher–student interactions in order to tailor new learning experiences.Such monitoring allows teachers to identify student interest, understandings, and abilities; adjust for barriers to progress; and ascertain achievement to date (both planned and unplanned). This information allows teachers to prioritise the students’ next learning steps and modify learning experiences as required.

Assessment for learning

Monitoring student progress could include:

  • undertaking initial diagnostic assessment and/or analysing student achievement to identify next steps for learning
  • undertaking ongoing formative assessment to monitor each student’s learning and modifying learning experiences appropriately
  • providing opportunities for summative assessment (evidence for judgments against course learning outcomes and standards)
  • reporting student achievement to multiple audiences, including students, caregivers, the next teacher/school.

Resources to support formative assessment in technology can be found at:

Learn more:

  Manage resources

Students need access to a wide range of resources selected to support the learning focus if they are to participate effectively in technology learning experiences.Resources in technology should be physically, socially, and culturally appropriate and related to or supported by such things as:

  • specialist equipment
  • safe and accessible environment(s)
  • materials that allow for authentic practice and quality outcomes
  • immediate and wider community stakeholders, technologists, and other relevant experts
  • existing technologies and case studies of others’ technological practice for analysis and critique
  • enough time to achieve intended learning outcomes.

As students progress, they should be supported to identify and source the the resource(s) they require for themselves.Learn more:

Develop curriculum understanding

Teachers need to plan technology courses, including targeted learning experiences, that align the technology achievement and learning objectives with the students’ own physical, social, and cultural worlds.Alignment of their learning in technology with their everyday reality will support students in developing their own technology understandings and competencies.

Knowledge of the curriculum and specialist strands

Students need to know about both the curriculum and the specialist components.Select the links below to read the relevant sections of this guide:

Knowing how to teach the components

For students to develop understandings, skills, and/or practices aligned to the technology components, teachers need to plan and deliver focused teaching and learning activities.For examples of how to plan teaching and learning for the components, refer to the following sources:

Recognising barriers to understanding

Teachers need to be aware of barriers that hinder student understandings in order to address these.Learn more:

A positive attitude toward technology

Students will take cues from you in the way they talk about technology and technology education. 

Maintain currency in the knowledge and skills of specialist technology area(s)

To ensure students are presented with contemporary understandings “in” and “about” technology, teachers should keep up to date with such things as: current issues, new developments, and potential and probable future directions.Teachers also need to be aware of changes in specific knowledge and skills, which may require shifts in pedagogical approaches.For examples of how teachers have adapted their pedagogical approaches to accommodate changes to knowledge and skills, view:

Engage technologists’ input into learning

Supporting students to interact with practicing technologists enables them to explore and critically evaluate what technologists do and how and why they do it. This allows students to develop their understanding about the nature of technology and of technology as a discipline.Engaging with practicing technologists can also help them to identify opportunities for their own technological practice.When students work alongside technologists, it provides further opportunity for them to enhance their knowledge and skills in one or more specialist areas of technology, and deepen their viewpoints on the nature of technological endeavour.Connecting students with technologists can result in motivating experiences and positive attitudes for students and teachers. It often provides opportunities to develop awareness of contemporary technology careers.To learn more about how technologists can engage in and support student learning, visit:

Using technologists from your local area, and sharing experiences from a range of young technologists, with diverse cultural and educational backgrounds, offers the opportunity for students to see themselves in similar roles in the future. For information on technologists careers, visit:

Value and engage with individual student’s identity, language, and culture

Technology offers rich contexts to engage students in authentic learning that encourages and supports them to explore and express their identity, language, and culture and understand other cultures and identities.For example, developing and understanding technological outcomes that are fit for purpose relies on understanding diverse perspectives; mediating contesting priorities; and making informed decisions, which take into account such things as cultural values, ethics, sustainable resources, as well as technical feasibility.In technology, there is a very strong emphasis on connecting with local communities to address authentic community issues, pick up on opportunities to make a positive difference, and access expertise that resides within student whānau, iwi, and the wider community.The handook Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners (Ministry of Education, 2011) offers guidance and support in personalising learning for and with Māori learners and ensuring they enjoy educational success as Māori.Learn more:

For examples of how student learning in technology has been enhanced through students exploring diversity, connecting with their own identity, and working with local communities visit the following case study examples:

Support and manage risk taking

Teachers need to manage risk taking when challenging existing ideas and student capabilities.Teachers who encourage and support students to take calculated risks in their technological practice support them to evolve ideas into previously unconsidered or innovative outcomes that are technically feasible and socially acceptable.It can be particularly empowering for students who have impaired dexterity and/or physical disabilities to be supported and challenged to overcome these barriers and achieve.Fairhaven School’s Pathway Project is an example of supporting learning for students with impaired dexterity and/or physical disabilities.Learn more:

Teachers should provide students with opportunities to understand risk in its widest sense. This allows students to understand the complexities of ascertaining and mitigating risk in terms of what should and could happen as a result of technological intervention. For examples of how teachers have supported students to understand risk in its widest sense, visit:

Plan for and undertake safe work practices

Planning for and undertaking safe work practice should be part of regular classroom routines.The Ministry of Education guide Safety and Technology Education: A Guidance Manual for New Zealand Schools has been designed to help classroom teachers take an active role in planning for the safety of their students and themselves when involved in technology education activities.The first two sections of this manual, "Planning for safety in technology education" and "Legal requirements and responsibilities", set a framework for aspects that teachers need to consider when planning for safety in classroom practice.Learn more:

  Promote creativity

Joyce Wycoff (1991) defined creativity as the act of “seeing things that everyone around us sees while making connections that no one else has made” (Mindmapping: Your Personal Guide to Exploring Creativity and Problem-Solving, p. 12).To enable students to be creative thinkers and develop creative outcomes in technology teachers need to establish a learning environment where students are confident in: taking risks, drawing from personal experience and intuition, expressing their thoughts and feelings openly, and testing their thinking and design ideas and where they are prepared for and responsive to potential failure.For examples of learning experiences in which students have been encouraged to be creative, visit:

Promote enterprising attributes

Innovative and successful technologies are often underpinned by enterprising attributes. These attributes, as described in the Education for Enterprise section of the NZC website encompass:

  • generating, identifying, and assessing opportunities
  • identifying, assessing, and managing risks
  • collecting, organising, and analysing information
  • generating and using creative ideas and processes
  • identifying solving and preventing problems
  • identifying, recruiting, and managing resources
  • matching personal goals and capabilities to an undertaking
  • working with others and in teams
  • being flexible and dealing with change
  • negotiating and influencing
  • using initiative and drive
  • monitoring and evaluating
  • communicating and receiving ideas and information
  • planning and organising
  • being fair and responsible.

Teachers should provide opportunity for students to analyse past and contemporary developments to identify the role enterprising attributes have played in developing technical feasible and socially acceptable technologies.Encouraging students to be enterprising in their own practice often results in increased motivation, higher quality outcomes, and a greater commitment community responsibility.For examples of where enterprise has been used to support student learning see:

Promote literacy in technology

Language is fundamental to thinking and learning. Technology uses a range of specialist language to represent and communicate ideas and outcomes. Promoting the use the language of technology and encouraging students to use it increases their general competency and confidence in oral, written, and visual literacy activities.Technology frequently provides students with opportunities to select their own context, which motivates them to develop the sophisticated literacy skills they need to generate and discuss ideas and access a range of information to inform decision making.Learn more:

Students in technology need specific help from teachers as they learn:

  • the specialist vocabulary associated with technology
  • how to read and understand technological terms and texts
  • how to communicate knowledge and ideas using the language of technology
  • how to listen and read critically and to assess the value of what they hear and read.

For technology teachers to support student learning, they need to:

  • know their students and their language learning needs
  • identify the language demands of the curriculum
  • make the outcomes the same for all
  • support students to make abstract concepts concrete
  • recycle language/terminology so that it becomes an integral part of students’ vocabulary
  • encourage students to self-evaluate and strive for improvement.

For definitions and examples of where specialist vocabulary associated with technology has been used in context visit the Techlink glossary.Learn more:

Promote numeracy in technology

Numeracy is the ability to understand numbers and calculations. For students to be considered numerate, they need to combine mathematical, contextual, and strategic know-how.In technology, numeracy plays a vital role when students undertake technological practice to develop and communicate design ideas and realise outcomes.All teachers have a role to play in helping to develop students’ numeracy skills. It is, therefore, important that technology teachers identify ways to support students to develop numeracy skills in a way that fits with the technology curriculum.

Allow for variation in outcome and practice

Technology encourages students to develop innovative and creative outcomes that address authentic identified needs and/or opportunities.Teachers should be flexible in supporting students as they undertake both individual and group projects. Encourage and celebrate differences in student and group technological practice and in the outcomes of these projects.For examples of where teachers have supported students to undertake individual and group projects and encouraged and celebrated differences in student outcomes, visit:

Last updated September 28, 2018