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Why study technology?

Develop creative solutions for practical problems

'Globalisation and technological change are the two key features that are changing and shaping our lives. The technology curriculum has now developed to a level that I strongly recommend it as a subject, both to students who have an interest in making a career in engineering, technology or science, and generally as a means of better understanding the modern world.'

Professor Bob Hodgson, Former Director, School of Engineering, Massey University

Students in technology apply practical skills and discipline knowledge in an activity-based, project-driven environment in which they solve problems and create innovative solutions for real needs.

'Technology encouraged me to self-evaluate, respond constructively to input from others, problem-solve and think laterally. These skills are all highly transferable.'

Alice Irving, Rhodes Scholar (Havelock North High School, year 13)

Be informed

In technology, students learn to make informed choices about the use of technology, and to consider the impact of technological change on our world. They come to understand how technological decision making is influenced by cultural, ethical, environmental, political, and economic factors.

In technology, students learn skills that can be used to bring about change in their own lives and community – maybe even at the national or international level. Students develop the critical skills with which to assess the implications and ethics of new technologies, and they explore such issues as:

  • dwindling resources of fossil fuels (especially oil), development of alternative fuels, and the impacts of both on the environment
  • the health impacts of our increasing production and consumption of processed foods
  • the impact of trends in the use of digital media on human privacy and interactions.

Develop the vision and values of The New Zealand curriculum in technology

'… the traits that all young people need to flourish, at this point in our cultural history, are the qualities of the powerful learner; the Explorer, the Investigator, the Sceptic, the Finder-Outer.'

Guy Claxton, University of Bristol, Graduate School of Education Keynote address British Educational Research Association Annual Conference Warwick, September 2006

New Zealand needs students who are lifelong learners, confident and creative, connected and actively involved. To be successful citizens they need interactive experiences in keeping with the technological communities of practice which are currently informing and developing our future.

As young New Zealanders, they also need to know about their technological past and that of other societies and cultures. This allows them to develop an awareness of the impacts and influences of technological developments on environments and societies, and vice versa.

New Zealand's future relies on encouraging young New Zealanders to pursue careers with a technological focus. Technology education not only gives all students a fundamental level of technological literacy, but also provides senior secondary students with an educational foundation for technology related careers.

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Develop the key competencies in technology

Learning experiences in technology develop the curriculum key competencies when students have the opportunity to engage in the following types of activities.

Thinking technologically

Students think technologically by:

  • using critical, analytical, reflective and creative thinking when undertaking technological practice – for instance, which modelling tool to use when making decisions while developing an outcome
  • undertaking innovation and entrepreneurial activity
  • pursuing knowledge and information – intellectual curiosity and investigation
  • making the appropriate choice of equipment, materials and processing techniques, and using strategies and tools, and understanding and applying the 'how and why' of a tool and its purpose
  • demonstrating a willingness to use a range of different thinking strategies when faced with decision making
  • asking pertinent questions, and challenging assumptions – infer and draw deductions and conclusions, predict outcomes and test design ideas.

Relating to others in a technology context

Students relate to others in a technology context by:

  • interacting with a range of diverse people, client and stakeholders in a range of contexts
  • developing empathy and awareness of others, and their personal and cultural perspectives
  • behaving ethically and morally when creating technological outcomes
  • observation and emulation of practicing technologists
  • learning about themselves and others through listening, clarifying, compare and share both thinking and activity, working collaboratively to solve the issue
  • being open to new ideas and learning, different approaches to technological practice
  • critiquing and evaluating different approaches to technological practice
  • competing and cooperating in a technological environment
  • working together to create new ideas and approaches individually, interactively and collectively, create new products systems and technological knowledge.

Managing self in the context of technology

Students manage themselves in the context of technology through:

  • self-motivation – goal setting, planning and managing resources
  • resilience and perseverance – when at first you don’t succeed…
  • reliability – able to meet deadlines and produce results
  • resourcefulness – managing resources and drawing on knowledge and experiences when faced with problems, creating new ways of working
  • knowing when to follow, when to lead and when to act independently – knowledge of self and the appropriateness of actions in context, for example, working with clients and stakeholders.

Using language, symbols and text in a technological context

Students use language, symbols and text in a technological context by:

  • using technological language; written, aural, oral, visual, informative and imaginative, informal and formal – technological language, symbols, graphical tools, modelling using variety of materials and medium such as 2D/3D drawing, computer simulations and graphic representations
  • understanding how and when to use the vast range of communications tools and strategies, and the conventions of our diverse culture to communicate and provide information technological modelling
  • interpreting the world around us in order to make decisions about actions when solving technological issues
  • sourcing, accessing, decodifying, recodifying and synthesising technological knowledge and information.

Participating and contributing within technological society

Students participate and contribute within technological society by:

  • being part of and contributing to a range of communities – local, regional, national, global
  • balancing rights, roles, responsibilities of both stakeholders and technologists when creating solutions in context
  • actively participating in the shaping of a technological society in Aotearoa New Zealand through critique of technological development
  • contributing to the social, cultural, political, physical and economic environments both locally and globally
  • engaging with authentic contexts in which to develop their technological practice (technological behaviour and endeavour)
  • seeking opportunities to practice and take risks with guidance and support, trial and error and using functional modelling to minimise risk (testing).

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Develop vital knowledge and skills

Technological knowledge and skills are vital for the future well-being of New Zealand. We need a wide range of technology professionals in many different fields in order to be competitive, sustain economic development, and make a contribution internationally.

Last updated May 31, 2017