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Digital technologies and online learning in primary education (New Zealand)

Two key sources of research on digital technologies and online learning come in the form of largescale surveys of schools. First, Research New Zealand’s survey (Johnson, Maguire, and Wood 2017) of more than 300 primary schools reports that schools use a mix of desktop devices, laptops, Chromebooks, and tablets. Findings indicate that most New Zealand schools have a strategic plan for the use of digital technologies in learning, incorporating consideration of safety, teacher professional development, and infrastructure. Increasingly, schools seek input from students on the use of digital technologies for learning. Most schools make use of Cloud platform resources for teaching and learning, with Google Classroom being the most popular. A majority of students access online learning resources, including online educational games. Parallel to the work of Research New Zealand, Bolstad (2017), working for the New Zealand Council of Educational Research, surveyed parents and school leaders nationally, about the role and impact of digital technologies for learning. Teachers report that the use of digital technologies is often limited to practising skills, searching, and presenting documents and slideshows. Parents indicated that they valued opportunities for learning through digital technologies at school, alongside a balance of other learning activities and opportunities. While the large surveys paint a broad picture of the use of digital technologies in New Zealand primary schools, there is a proliferation of small-scale research studies. A popular focus for these in recent years is mobile learning, particularly the use of iPads in primary school classrooms, learning with apps and mixed realities (virtual/augmented reality) (e.g., Calder and Murphy 2017; Cowie and Williams 2013).
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Forbes, D. L. (2019). Digital technologies and online learning in primary education (New Zealand). Bloomsbury Education and Childhood Studies, 1–5. https://doi.org/10.5040/9781350995932.0027
Bloomsbury Publishing
This is an author’s accepted version of an article published in the journal: Bloomsbury Education and Childhood Studies. Used with permission.