Tahi Rua Toru Tech - live in action
Tahi Rua Toru Tech, the national digital championship designed to inspire and excite students from year 0-13 about the new Digital Technologies/Hungarau Matahiko curriculum, is reaching the end of its first term.
To celebrate, we held the 'official' launch with Michelle Dickinson (aka Nanogirl) who is the challenge champion. She began the day talking about Tahi Rua Toru tech on the TVNZ Breakfast programme, before heading along to the NZ Education Technology Summit in Auckland. Along with eight students she demonstrated an activity from CS Unplugged which illustrates compression and the transfer of data.
The activity was designed to show that you don't need a computer to teach computational thinking. But as it took the students some time to "transmit" the information, everyone decided at the end of the exercise that a computer was probably a very good thing to have on hand.
123Tech is about getting students to create solutions for real-world problems with digital technology and helping to ensure that all New Zealand children are equipped with an understanding of how digital technologies work, how computers "think" and how digital technologies are designed. This is essential in preparing them for the workforce in the 21st century.
It is also designed to attract students who don't typically enter technology careers, and so is especially effective for students who have no programming or digital development skills.
123Tech already has hundreds of schools participating around the country and the students are coming up with some awesome solutions for problems they have identified, which include:
- Websites designed to help kids identify and deal with mental health issues,
- An app being developed by primary-school students to help new entrants learn about school before they arrive,
- A website that shows you where to go for environmentally friendly products,
- Phone card service designed for homeless people to enable them to make local calls from prepaid cell phones to essential services such as the Ministry of Housing, Ministry of Social Development, and Work and income.
It's important to note that while undertaking the challenge, students are learning about and strengthening their skills in the areas of research, teamwork, written communication, design and development.
Diversity is an important aspect of the 123Tech - whether it is skillset, gender, ethnicity, or geographical region. Strong engagement with Māori learners is a key metric for success, and to meet this requirement, Tahi Rua Toru Tech is available to all Kura with resources available in Te Reo. The challenge aims to be true to the principles of Kaupapa Māori.
123Tech is run with the IT industry through IT Professionals NZ and the Royal Society Te Aparangi. Educators who encourage and facilitate students entering the competition gain access to a range of material and a network of educators and tech mentors familiar with Digital Technologies/Hangarau Matihiko who can provide guidance and support.
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