The revised Digital Technologies curriculum content Computational Thinking and Designing and Developing Digital Outcomes is expressed in progress outcomes. In this resource, Karl and Joanne will show you how they build from each other and how the two components fit together.

What are progress outcomes?

Sound of a crackling fire

Text on screen: Introduction to Digital Technologies: What are progress outcomes?

Slides on screen with Joanne Roberts, facilitator, voice-over.

Joanne Roberts: Kia ora koutou. Welcome to this presentation about what are progress outcomes? I’m Joanne Roberts.

Karl Summerfield: Kia ora, I’m Karl Summerfield. This presentation will give you an overview of what the progress outcomes are and how they all fit together. We are going to cover how the progress outcomes progress from one to another. We are also going to delve into how Computational Thinking differs from Designing and Developing Digital Outcomes.

Here’s a diagram of the Technology learning area. The new digital technology content are the two technological areas off to the right: Computational Thinking for digital technologies and Designing and Developing Digital Outcomes. You’ll notice that the three earlier technological areas are assessed using the achievement objectives from the strands. Progress outcomes are new to the digital technology, technological areas.

Joanne: These two diagrams show how the progress outcomes fit in with the New Zealand Curriculum levels. As you can see they are not evenly spaced. This acknowledges that there is more learning for our younger students to do before they can start flying through them. These have been tentatively placed. These progress outcomes could move levels as teachers are teaching them more methodically and our students are learning at an even pace. They have been set at a tentative level.

Karl: Progress outcomes are signposts, or guides, or GPS coordinates. They show you the sorts of things that you can expect to see when students are working at that progress level. One of the things they are not is a list of prescribed things to teach. As Jo mentioned, they are not closely tied to the curriculum levels or year levels. You know that they are going to be learned at a different pace for different students. They are not independent of the technology strands. The strands still underpin the progress outcomes. It is still important to learn in the strands even while you are also learning and using the progress outcomes for digital technologies.

Joanne: Here we have the Computational Thinking progress outcomes. These are the progress outcomes one to five, which is all the pre-NCEA level ones. You can see we have colour coordinated them. We’ve got the green which every progress outcome has, the “authentic contexts and taking account of end-users”. We’ve then got the red section where it talks about students using “decomposition skills to break down simple non-computerised tasks into precise, unambiguous, step-by-step instructions,” which is algorithmic thinking. That knowledge grows up into the next progress outcome, where we’ve also got it highlighted in the red, “They use these algorithms to create simple programs involving outputs and sequencing (putting instructions one after the other) in age-appropriate programming environments.” All of the progress outcomes have these steps that build off one another. They don’t bring in anything new in randomly, they all sequentially build off each other in a lovely teaching way.

These are the Designing and Developing Digital Outcomes progress outcomes, just one to three that are prior to NCEA. They also build the same way. You can see you’ve got progress outcome one, which is for our youngest students, the “students participate in teacher-led activities” and “They know how to use some applications.” You step it up to progress outcome two, and the students are making decisions themselves, and they know a wider range of applications that they can use and choose from. You can see that there is also Designing and Developing Digital Outcomes progress outcomes also build off each other as the students become more independent, and more knowledgeable in these subject areas.

Karl: Another way of looking at it is fishing out some aspects. This is information from the designing and developing digital outcomes progress outcomes. We are looking at how independence builds over time. We start with the younger kids where basically it is a teacher-led activity. The teacher is guiding and coming up with the ideas. By the time you get to around your Years 5-7 students will be starting to make more of their own decisions. They are actually deciding what apps they want to use and things like that. By the time you get up somewhere between Year 8 and Year 10 hopefully your students are able to actually follow a process. You provide the design process for them and they are able to follow that along themselves.

Another example is this idea of knowledge building over time. For the Year 0-5 students all the Computational Thinking and learning is done in non-computerised environments. It’s all ‘unplugged’ activities. By the time you are getting up to Years 5 and 6, you are doing some non-computerised things but you are starting to introduce some age appropriate computerised parts. By the time you are getting up into late primary and early secondary, students are actually creating their own computer programs.

Again, if we stay looking at Computational Thinking, we are looking at the idea of programming skills building over time. For progress outcome one it starts with understanding about sequences of instructions. By the time you are getting up to progress outcome two, your sequences and instructions are generating an output and you are starting to put that into a computer. By the time you are getting up to progress outcome three, your sequence of instructions take inputs, they use loops to loop over the program doing the same instructions and that is generating an output.

One of the other things that is interesting to point out is that Computational Thinking and Designing and Developing Digital Outcomes are not independent of each other. There are many different possible digital outcomes. We’ve got things like audio, images, documents, web pages, those sorts of things. But there are some areas where you will end up with a digital outcome but it is also a computational thinking outcome. Some examples of that would be things like if you are designing a game, if you are writing a program which is being stored and used on a Micro:bit, or if you are developing an application that does something intelligent and people put information into a form and your webpage responds. Those are all examples of digital outcomes that also include Computational Thinking outcomes. The two of them aren’t necessarily separate from each other.

We hope that you’ve got a better understanding of how the progress outcomes work. We can encourage you to go to the Kia Takatū ā-Matihiko website where you can explore the Toolkits or Pīkau which will hopefully unpack these further than we have been able to in this short webinar. Good luck.

Joanne: Ka kite.

Sound of a crackling fire.

Text on screen: Kia Takatū a-Matihiko

How to use this resource

Watch the video then use the slide deck as a reference resource.

Ngā Kiriahi

Join the Ngā Kiriahi discussion group for a place to ask any questions you have about what progress outcomes are.