We know New Zealand is a digital nation. Digital technologies are transforming how we live; shaping our homes and our workplaces, changing the way that we interact with each other and live our everyday lives. The Ministry of Education has identified that our education system needs to change how we prepare our children and young people to participate, create and thrive in this fast-moving digital world. Incorporating digital technologies will support young people to develop the confidence and skill not only to use digital technologies but to design and build digital systems.
SIGNAL's Educate programme consists of two postgraduate courses, Curriculum Implementation in Computer Science and Teaching Computer Programming, to ensure direct linkage to the Digital Technologies curriculum and NCEA achievement standards. Now that digital fluency will be integrated into all levels of the New Zealand Curriculum, teachers and schools have a ready-made opportunity to enhance their skills with the Educate programme. The two courses are taught by University of Canterbury award-winning educators who are very familiar with the needs of schools and Digital Technology teachers. Professor Tim Bell is an international expert on CS education and Niki Davis, Distinguished Professor of e-Learning, will build on teachers' existing experience and much of the work is applied in a teacher's own practice to benefit the teacher, learners and school. Each course is spread across a year so that teachers can manage their workloads by working around peak times in the teaching year. The two courses are sufficient to complete a Postgraduate Certificate in Education.
The new content in schools covers two key areas, ‘computational thinking’ and ‘designing and developing digital outcomes’, and are designed to be flexible and to respond to new developments and technologies as they emerge. Teachers in the Educate programme will be well positioned as they embark on digital learning journeys with their students.