Glossary S





Related terms

SAMR (Substitution





A model used to see how well digital technology is being used to improve learning. The least impact is when devices are used just as a substitute for exercise books. The most impact is when the devices are used to redefine or transform learning.

Device, Digital technology


The support given during the learning process. It is tailored to the needs of the student to help them achieve their learning goals. It is done by building, step by step, on previous learning.


School network

A group of two or more computer systems linked together within a school. A school network is usually protected with a firewall and needs a password to get onto it.

Network, Firewall

Search engine

A software system that searches for information on the World Wide Web.

World wide web, www, Software

Self efficacy

The extent or strength of belief in one's own ability to complete tasks and reach goals.



A student who can manage themselves, make choices that are appropriate about their learning and behaviour.


Sense making

Working to dig deeply into the story behind data, to find out why things are as they are.



A computer program that provides services such as sharing data or software resources to other computer programs. These programs can be in the same computer or in other computers in a network. Files are often stored on the server of a network.


Service learning

A method of teaching that combines classroom instruction with meaningful community service. It emphasises critical thinking and personal reflection while encouraging a heightened sense of community, civic engagement, and personal responsibility.



When complex things have been made simple.



A free service which allows people to communicate via messaging, voice or video calls. A free application that needs to be downloaded.

Application, Download

SMS (Short message Service)

A message such as a text message sent over the internet.

See also student management system.

Student management system

SMS (Student management system)

See student management system.

Student management system

SNUP (School Network Upgrade Project)

Subsidises and manages ICT network upgrades to the gates of state and state-integrated schools in New Zealand. This upgrade enables use of the Government's ultra-fast broadband (UFB) initiative when it becomes available. Schools connect to the network via fibre.


Social capital

Shared values and understandings in society that enable individuals and groups to trust each other and so work together.


Social networking

Using software to build online communities of people who share interests and activities or who are interested in exploring the interests and activities of others. This can be done through chat, messaging, email, video, file sharing, blogging, and discussion groups.

Blogging, File sharing, Software

Socially- constructed learning

Learning that has been constructed as a result of sharing with other people.


Social constructivism

A process for building learning through interactions. It is structured and mediated by the teacher to ensure that the process achieves planned learning outcomes.


Social intelligence

Ability to recognise and respond appropriately to social cues.


Socially-located learning

Learning that is related to the local, social environment.


Socially- responsible learning

Learning that takes into account ethical thinking.


Soft structures

The guidance given to students to transition between spaces and tasks appropriately. E.g. The arrangement for students to move from one classroom to another.



The detailed coding that instructs programmes or systems to perform specific functions. Systems software includes the operating system and all the utilities that enable the computer to work. Applications software includes programs that do real work for users E.g. Word, Excel.

Operating system, Applications


Unwanted electronic messages.



A design technique for showing the proposed sequence of visual and audio production as individual scenes. The sequence of elements which may look like a little like a cartoon strip.


Strengths-based teaching

Teaching that builds on the strengths of students, that can help to develop proficiency/skills in other areas. New learning that builds on past success.


Student agency

The knowledge and capacity:

-to act and make a difference

-to have choices and the ability to act on those choices

-to direct learning and take responsibility for themselves

-to empower self learning and peer learning -to contribute to the learning community -to grasp the processes of how to learn and how to unlearn


Student-initiated learning

Students come up with what learning they will do. This is then negotiated with the teacher to determine its appropriateness in developing the student's capacity as a learner. Students have access to any information possible, so there is no need to 'spoon-feed' them knowledge or teach 'one-size fits all' content.


Student voice

Is premised on the following convictions:

- young people have unique perspectives on learning, teaching, and schooling

- their insights warrant not only the attention but also the responses of adults

- they should be afforded opportunities to actively shape their education.

This is much more than just surveying students.


Student-centred learning

Learning focused on the student as an individual learner with their own particular strengths, interests and needs. The curriculum is tailored to meet these.


Student management system (SMS)

Software schools use to record information about the school and students. Its uses include registration, enrolment, ministry returns, attendance tracking, health and pastoral, incidents and events, calendar, extra-curricular, awards and achievements, recording marks, management and parent reporting, parent portal, staff details, and NCEA entries and returns. Data can be sorted to identify achievement and engagement trends and patterns, and to evaluate effectiveness of programmes.

Software, Parent portal

Student Learning Maps project

The project ran from February-June 2015. This was a project run jointly by the University of Auckland and the Ministry. The intent was to help students to take control of their learning.


Summative assessment

Summative assessment measures educational outcomes at the end of an activity or course. Summative assessment is often used as part of external accountability and contributes to the data used by teachers, school leaders and boards of trustees to determine the effectiveness of programmes of learning. It is contrasted to formative assessment which is ongoing and used to tailor the curriculum as students are learning.

Formative assessment


Refers to keeping our systems and processes, at all levels, going and productive. An important aspect of 21st century learning, defined in the New Zealand Curriculum, is encouraging students to consider significant future-focused issues such as sustainability. The future-focus theme of sustainability is evident throughout The New Zealand Curriculum. It is integral to the vision, principles, values, and key competencies, and provides relevant and authentic contexts across the eight learning areas.

Authentic contexts, Future focused, Key competencies

Sustainability in educational learning

Sustainability in educational change consists of five key and interrelated characteristics: Improvement that:

1. fosters learning

2. endures over time

3. can be supported by available or obtainable resources

4. does not affect negatively the surrounding environment of other schools and systems; and

5. promotes ecological diversity and capacity throughout the educational and community environment.


Synchronous learning

A student-centred approach for online classes where everyone is together, maybe online, at the same time, participating in discussions and other class activities.



Within the local school context, 'systemness' means each teacher isn't just responsible for the learning of their own students, but for each and every student in their syndicate / department / school. At the system level, 'systemness' means all schools work to improve the learning of each and every student across the system and so on.