PLD to Integrate Computational Thinking into the Year 1-10 curriculum

Teaching Guide

Computational Thinking

Changes to the New Zealand Technology Curriculum require all Year 1-10 teachers to integrate Computational Thinking into their teaching across the curriculum from 2020 onward.

It is envisioned that Computational Thinking Progress Outcomes (PO's) will be implemented across the curriculum until the end of Year 10. However, in Year 9 and 10 (PO5), it is likely that responsibility for delivering Digital Technology outcomes will be led by specialist teachers, with a professional background in Computer Studies and ICT, within subject specific technology teaching.

While taking account of increasing involvement from specialists, the aim of this course is to provide non-specialists an overview for all levels of the "Entitlement Curriculum" (Parsons, Thomas, Lynch and McCallum, 2018). This will facilitate cross-curricular implementation of Computational Thinking. This resource offers access to learning and teaching resources, including PO5, with curated resources to start or extend your learning in Computational Thinking, as appropriate to your context and interests. It aims to equip you with the knowledge, practical skills and tools to start; and share your continuing learning journey in Computational Thinking. It also offers a range of extension opportunities for diverse learners, while acknowledging substantial variance in prior knowledge and teaching context.

Rationale for the use of these Professional Learning and Development (PLD) resources

The resources in this course are intended to be used both in professional learning groups and communities of inquiry and individually with the option of sharing resources on the Google+ community, integrated into the course.

By completing each learning task, you will achieve the familiarity necessary to teach all skills that form part of PO's 1-5 and if you are new to computational thinking, this may be the best course of action to take. However, if you are already familiar with everything itemised in the Learning Outcomes at the beginning of each module, you may want use the tasks as a starting point for developing learning resources; and to proceed to the self-assessment task at the end of the unit.

The time-allocation for each task is just an indication. If you are familiar with Scratch, Adobe Spark and Trinket, the task should take you about as long as indicated. If you are still learning how to use the tools, it may take longer.

This resource has been created using a constructivist approach with authentic, meaningful contexts and active, rather than passive, tasks. The structure, with its learning objectives, progressively more complex activities and assessment follows cognitive-behaviorist rationale. Being part of a community of learners is constructivist, but creating and evaluating artefacts is connectivist. Formative self-assessment tasks have been designed to inform the learner of their progress, but can also to be transferred to classroom use.


Parsons, D., Thomas, H., Lynch, J, & MacCallum, K. (2018). Digital Fluency and the Entitlement Curriculum: Who are the computational thinkers? In Proceedings FLANZ 2018 Conference, Palmerston North, New Zealand. Retrieved from: