The rise of digital technology

Reflecting on Education Review's biggest topics from the past 20 years


Facebook       Tweet

When Education Review began in 1996, technology was beginning to emerge as an important topic for schools, although it didn’t occupy the publication’s pages nearly as much as it does today.

In 1997 Education Review asked members of the Information Technology Advisory Group a series of questions: What is the key IT in education issue facing New Zealand? If the government decided to spend more money on IT in education, what aspect of IT in education should it be spent on first? Does New Zealand require more government action in developing the use of IT in education and, if so, what action?

Digi techThe answers showed an awareness that children will work in “knowledge industries using IT tools” and a plea for more investment in IT infrastructure in schools (including internet access in classrooms and staffrooms), curriculum development and teacher professional development.

A survey carried out in 1997 found that only half of intermediate principals felt their schools were prepared to implement the technology curriculum, which incorporated information technology into schools’ technology programmes. Many grappled with how to integrate their existing technicraft teachers and facilities to make way for the requirements of the new curriculum. Twenty years later we are now looking at incorporating digital technology into The New Zealand Curriculum.

By 1998 Netday – an American scheme that aimed to install computer networks in as many schools as possible – was making traction in New Zealand, with the majority of schools signing up for its services.

Apple featured in EducationReview’s pages back then, but it was discussions around the company’s Mac-based eMate portable computer, rather than iPads.

Articles discussing eLearning, BYOD (bring your own device) and device-to-student ratios gradually began to appear after 2000. Articles around ultra-fast broadband, managed networks (N4L), cloud-based learning systems and coding began cropping up after 2010.

More coverage in Education Review:


ICT in schools:

Cloud-based learning:


Digital technology:

Post your comment


No one has commented on this page yet.

RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments