The value of a school based digital learning framework : does it offer the support and guidance needed for teachers of varying digital capabilities?

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Ngatoro, Monique
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Master of Applied Practice
Unitec Institute of Technology
Mane, Jo
Reinders, Hayo
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
New Zealand
Digital Learning Framework for Schools (N.Z.)
DLF (Digital Learning Framework )
teacher development
professional learning and development (PLD)
digital curriculum
online learning
Māori students
intermediate students
kaupapa Māori research
Ngatoro, M. (2018). The value of a school based digital learning framework: Does it offer the support and guidance needed for teachers of varying digital capabilities? (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Applied Practice). Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved from
RESEARCH QUESTIONS: 1. Can a Digital Learning Framework assist teachers with diverse digital capabilities to transform digital learning experiences? 2. What evidence will there be that the DLF can make a positive difference to teacher’s digital practice? 3. How will the DLF progress professional dialogue and guide decisions for teacher’s digital development? ABSTRACT: Digital technology use is widely debated in teaching and learning, particularly in deciding how students learning experiences are being transformed and how teachers pedagogical knowledge informs best practice in terms of 21st-century skills. This project explores the use of digital devices in one school and how learning experiences are planned to accommodate digital technology. This study tells the story of teachers' different understandings of digital learning experiences based on their capabilities. The participants' stories also highlight the challenges of digital technology use, from their perspective. The study also explores a resource developed from international educational frameworks and whether it supports the pedagogy required to implement a digital practice. The study draws on the tradition of practitioner research. The data gathering methods used to collect qualitative data were semi-structured focus group discussions and a semi-structured interview with each participant. The focus group discussions were relevant to how a Digital Learning Framework (DLF) could help or hinder teachers developing the implementation of digital technologies, and invited their views on what could be done to further support teacher digital practice at this school. A semi-structured interview was conducted with teachers who participated in the study, to inform what understandings and pedagogical approaches were being used by participants to integrate digital technologies into teaching practices. The key findings of the study highlighted the benefits and challenges of developing digital pedagogies and further to this the support required to improve the use of digital technologies within teaching and learning in this school. The findings were correlated from the views and opinions of the teacher participants on: a) The value of a school-based Digital Learning Framework as a resource for planning. b) Participants experiences implementing digital technology into their practice with minimal guidance and support. The recommendations of the study are that the challenges teachers face when implementing digital technology could be alleviated through: Professional development with teacher colleagues who have the expertise and are given extra release to research, identify appropriate PLD specific to digital pedagogy and practice in order that they maintain manageable workloads. Teacher feedback can be sought and utilised to ensure professional development is meeting the needs of its participants. Time to apply new learning to practice (Timperley et al, 2007)is important to adopting a focus on pedagogy that includes digital approaches identified in the DLF and research. Alongside this, it is suggested that internal expertise is developed further in order to build capacity across the school in digital pedagogy and practice. A collaborative approach between senior and middle leaders alongside teachers when developing and delivering digital learning experiences may help towards a more open and supportive environment for teachers to share their views and opinions. It would also assist with leaders seeing the challenges firsthand, enabling them to put in place support and focused solutions. The study school is a mainstream intermediate (years 7 and 8) situated in the outer limits of a provincial city in Aotearoa New Zealand. [38% of the staff are Māori and 71% of the students are Māori].
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