Tech sector supports NZ schools digital comp

A national technology competition for all school students has been launched today to support the introduction of the Digital Technologies andHangarau Matihikocurriculum over the next two years.

Tahi Rua Toru Tech Challenge is being led by IT Professionals NZ in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Royal Society Te Ap?rangi, Code Club Aotearoa, the Digital Technology Teachers Aotearoa and others.

Ministry of Education Deputy Secretary Student Achievement Ellen MacGregor-Reid says: “the emphasis of Tahi Rua Toru Tech is on creating solutions for real-world problems – it is not about learning how to use a device or an application.”

“Ensuring all New Zealand children and young people leave school with a basic understanding of digital technologies is essential in preparing them for the 21st century workforce. Tahi Rua Toru Tech sets out to provide a positive experience about this important subject before the 2020 milestone. Students do not need to have any prior digital technologies experience or knowledge to participate,” says MacGregor-Reid.

Easy as Tahi, Rua, Toru: Michelle Dickinson (aka Nanogirl) features alongside students (from left): Mitchell Cullen, Sophia Fale and Wilhelmina Heeringa in the video introducing the tech Challenge at

IT Professionals CEO Paul Matthews says the Challenge has been designed to support Year 0 to 13, with the focus being on students working in small teams to achieve results.

Intermediate and Secondary students (Year 7–13) will be required to “identify real-world problems then plan and solve them using digital technologies. For example, they could create an app or an animated video, or a digital infrastructure project or lots of other options,” he says.

“Primary school students will be given a set of digital technologies-related activities that will earn a CREST certificate from the Royal Society Te Ap?rangi. The best teams can choose to go onto one of 10 regional championships, with a national championship celebration in November. The competition will run in terms two and three.”

A contributing factor to the success of the Championship – and the adoption of the new digital technologies curriculum – will be participation from members of the tech sector willing to support both teachers and students who are new to the digital technology.

“From an industry perspective we havehundredsof mentors from great Kiwi tech companies such as Datacom, eStarand Xero who are keen to help outand partner with schools to help teams work through the Challenge,” says Matthews.

“ITP is the largest tech body in New Zealand with thousands of members, andwe’re also working with a range of partners such as CITRENZ and Code ClubAotearoato ensure we can get the industry mentorsneededto support teachers during the Challenge andhelp schoolswith the wider curriculum changes.”

Mr Matthews says funding for the championship – which will take place in 2018 and 2019 – is a 50/50 partnership between the Ministry of Education and the tech industry. It’s apart ofa broader $38 million package to support teachers and help integrate theDigital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko curriculum in schools.

Sarah Putt has worked with IT Professionals on the launch of 123Tech.

Copyright © 2018 IDG Communications, Inc.

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