Cool for School

Thousands of teachers across New Zealand have Digital Circus, a Hawke’s Bay business to thank for their proficiency and understanding of digital technology. Now, that same business has branched out into providing easily searchable classroom resources teachers can access at the click of the mouse.

Nicola and Ian Kenny were flummoxed. The year was 2017 and the Ministry of Education had signalled that digital technology would become a key component of each school’s lesson planning by, at the latest, 2020.

This was more than just a recommendation that students BYOD (bring your own device). The curriculum changes meant schools and kura were required to develop programmes that would introduce children as young as five to a range of digital technologies, allowing students to hone their digital fluency during their years at school. It was hoped that the changes would prepare learners to use digital thinking in a range of roles across sectors as diverse as agriculture, healthcare, transport, construction, media, fashion and food production.

But that’s not why Nicola and Ian were perplexed.

“We were seeing a lot of schools go out and buy robots,” recalls Nicola. “Robots are expensive, and while learning to programme them is fun, it would probably only provide a fraction of the digital proficiency students would need under the updated curriculum.”

Nicola and Ian had just founded Digital Circus, balancing their jobs as digital technology teachers at Lindisfarne and Central Hawke’s Bay College respectively, with their fledgling business providing fellows and colleagues with exceptional professional learning and development (PLD) opportunities.


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First published by Bay Buzz. Click here to read the full article.