What is technology about?

Kaua e rangiruatia te hāpai o te hoe;
e kore tō tātou waka e ū ki uta.

Technology is intervention by design. It uses intellectual and practical resources to create technological outcomes, which expand human possibilities by addressing needs and realising opportunities.

Design is characterised by innovation and adaptation and is at the heart of technological practice. It is informed by critical and creative thinking and specific design processes. Effective and ethical design respects the unique relationship that New Zealanders have with their physical environment and embraces the significance of Māori culture and world views in its practice and innovation.

Technology makes enterprising use of knowledge, skills and practices for exploration and communication, some specific to areas within technology and some from other disciplines. These include digitally-aided design, programming, software development, various forms of technological modelling, and visual literacy – the ability to make sense of images and the ability to make images that make sense.


Why study technology?

With its focus on design thinking, technology education supports students to be innovative, reflective and critical in designing new models, products, software, systems and tools to benefit people while taking account of their impact on cultural, ethical, environmental and economic conditions.

The aim is for students to develop broad technological knowledge, practices and dispositions that will equip them to participate in society as informed citizens and provide a platform for technology-related careers. Students learn that technology is the result of human activity by exploring stories and experiences from their heritage, from Aotearoa New Zealand’s rich cultural environment, and from contemporary examples of technology. As they learn in technology, students draw on and further develop the key competencies.


Revised technology learning area structure

The following diagram unpacks the components of the technology learning area in relation to the NZC.



Three strands provide the organising structure:


Technology is intervention by design. To intervene by design, students have to experience learning across all three strands so that they become designers of successful, fit for purpose outcomes.

The strands are the starting point for all teaching and learning in technology. None of the strands are optional, but sometimes particular strands may be emphasised at different times or in different years.


Five technological areas provide contexts for learning:

  • Designing and developing materials outcomes
  • Designing and developing processed outcomes
  • Design and visual communication
  • Computational thinking for digital technologies
  • Designing and developing digital outcomes

In years 1–10, all students must be given learning opportunities in all five areas.


The progress outcomes

Learning in the two digital technological areas (Computational thinking and Designing and developing digital outcomes) is described by progress outcomes. Like the achievement objectives, the progress outcomes are underpinned by the technology strands. They signpost the significant learning steps that students take as they develop their expertise in each of the digital technological areas.