Archive for the ‘ Resources for Students ’ Category

New Links Category

Digital Technologies & STEM

A strong foundation in Digital Technologies skills and knowledge can support student achievement across all subjects.

Digital Technologies & STEM presents links to free resources that demonstrate how to apply videogame design and programming skills across the core curricular subjects of Maths, Science and English.

Well worth sharing with colleagues.

New Site Updates

The following areas of the Teacher’s Lounge have been updated:

  • Teacher Resources – Subject
  • Teacher Resources –  Assessment and Best Practice Materials

The updated Resources area offers a comprehensive range of links to materials that should help you with your course planning for the new year.  Useful goodies include a library of tools and links for learning most major programming languages (Windows 8 materials coming soon) on the new site for DT students –

Who we are

Want to know more about what we do?  Check out the newly updated about us page.


We’re also pleased to announce newly updated video demos to support the use of our unique device PConMe©.  The device can be downloaded free or you can purchase an 8GB stick with the device pre-installed for just $20. Check it out at

New Downloadable Resources

And finally, you may have noticed the new Teachers Pay Teachers widget in the sidebar? These new resources include quick how-to guides that can be used by students as well as teachers.

Learn how to create consistent website buttons, or run a maze game project using Scratch.  There’s also a toolkit for creating clipart using vector tools in Word!

Check out the Wikispaces project – it’s free to download. The paid-for resources are great value and are available to download from the TpT website.  Please note the currency is USD.

It goes without saying that one of the fundamental aspects of delivering a high quality Digital Technologies course is to have access to high quality resources.  As our students move further down the pathway towards Level 3 and UE it is important our students are exposed to industry standard software, but licensing often comes with a hefty price tag.

Perhaps unknown to most, is Microsoft’s generous academic licensing programme Dreamspark.  This scheme is available to all students – they just have to register for the service at and the registration will allow them to download essential  Microsoft Software for free.  Go here for the full catalogue.

Dreamspark also offers academic institutions free software.  Schools with a Campus 3 Microsoft License may find the following software particularly useful:

  • Visual Studio 2012 (comes with an add on for PowerPoint, turning PowerPoint into a wireframing tool – more
  • Expression Studio Ultimate includes
    • Sketchflow wireframing tool
    • Expression Blend
    • Expression Design
    • Expression Encoder Pro

    With this software suite students can create websites, design and animate, as well as produce concept designs and live screen grabs.  A must-have for Digital Media.  There’s a great community portal, including tutorials and a full 90 hour curriculum designed especially for High School.
    Find out more


  • Visual C++
  • Visual C#
  • Robotics Developer Studio
  • SQL Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2012
  • AutoCollage – great for moodboards
  • Songsmith – for generating original music
  • and there’s even Microsoft Mathematics to keep other departments happy!

In total there are 37 Microsoft products including Operating Systems, Developer Tools and Applications that you can make use of to teach Digital Media, Infrastructure and Programming.

Most NZ Universities subscribe to the scheme, and it’s fantastic that High Schools can too.

To claim a year’s free subscription service you need the Dreamspark Promo code that should be on your school’s license renewal welcome letter.  If you can’t find a promo code on the welcome letter you will need to ask for one to be reissued to your school.  The good folks at Academic Licensing can make the request to Microsoft on your school’s behalf.

If your school doesn’t fit the free licensing criteria, the option to pay a low cost annual subscription is available.  To find out more, go to

Have a great Christmas break!

Introducing PC on ME©

DFRAG have released a cool virtual machine hack – creating a virtual computer on a stick!

PConME© is designed to be a computing sandbox so young people can deepen their understanding of how a computer works without the risk of damaging valuable hardware and system installs.

This technology is ideal for education because it provides a computing sandbox for very little cost – a space to explore, discover and experiment; with a virtual computer there are no expensive repairs – simply reinstall a new image and go again. Awesome.

An exciting aspect of the hack is that, unlike other ‘live installs’ it can be run directly from a 4GB+ datastick without the need to reboot – just plug and play.  Great for encouraging home enthusiasts – take the device anywhere and use it on any computer running Windows XP or 7.

PC on Me© is available to download free from Sourceforge, CNET, Schoolforge and Softpedia.

You can also register your interest for a preinstalled datastick, which will be available soon.

There is a discussion forum on the download page at Sourceforge, and users are encouraged to feed back, especially if they identify bugs, or come up with new exciting features of their own. 

To find out more, including printscreens and specs check out the PC on Me© website.