Digital content available to New Zealand Schools

There is an increasing amount of digital content available online and it can be challenging and time consuming sifting through what is available. You may already have favourites however I have highlighted a few here that will be a useful start. When you are planning with your teaching teams it may be useful to identify one person to invest some time into selecting key sites or online resources and adding these to your intranet or LMS. As a team it will be important to select resources that are supported by relevant learning experiences and that students are familiar with the resource in order to maximise potential and add value to their learning.

Using and modeling online resources through the data projector or IWB is an effective way to both add value to the planned learning experience and familiarise students for use independently. I would recommend the "quality not quantity" approach to identifying online resources, especially if you are building your own confidence using new resources.
In other words select a few quality resources that are used effectively to support the learning purpose.

If you need any support identifying and integrating any online resources please email me.

Also see Quality Teaching Using Digital Resources that provides an understanding of how digital resources can support what learners need to do in order to develop and extend their literacy learning.

When is digital content most effective?

Explore links between effective pedagogy and the selection and integration of digital content



Digistore is a gateway to over 2000 Learning Objects and Digital Resources available to NZ schools. Your school will need to register (see links below) for a user name and password. Learning objects are particularly useful when a concept is hard to represent, difficult or dangerous to replicate, or when repetition is required. Learning objects are most effective when incorporated into an existing programme of learning and are supported by relevant offline experiences (before and after use).

Access to Digistore is password protected.
Schools register here for Digistore

Useful Tips

Embed a Learning Object in a wiki page

Each Learning Object has an individual URL or address online. Once you have identified the LO, copy the URL and save to your school intranet, web favourites or bookmarks or paste into your planning. This enables easy access for both yourself and students. Use the Password Manager on your computer to remember the digiSTORE password if possible to allow easy access by students from your classroom computers.
The Learning Federation catalogues
Descriptions of all learning objects released to date are available in these catalogues. Some catalogues also list samples from the digital resources and collections ranges.

Access to the maths LOs is available through TKI and NZMaths. I recommend you use the NZMaths access, especially as you familiarise yourself with what is available, as the matrix and the Curriculum Units provide direct links to recommended LOs for each Strand and Level.

NZMaths Units of Work
Links to Learning Objects and Exemplars recommended for each level and aligned with Units of Work can be accessed here on NZMaths

More Maths Digital Resources here.

Google Searches
The online newsletters provide regular updates on the Digistore initiative. Many of the newsletters include useful articles and stories describing how teachers have integrated Learning Objects. A quick tip for searching the newsletters is to use the advanced search in Google. ( Thanks to Elm Park Cluster for the inspiration

Use Google's advanced search to search Digistore
You will need to be selective about your key words to target the search.

My Digistore links on Delicious

Further Digital Collections


A range of databases available to NZ schools. This link will take you through to the databases listed by subject with a description of the resources available. You will need to register or use the same login as you have for the Learning Objects on Digistore.

For Example:
Search the online version of Encyclopedia Britannica - including Britannica Student and Junior Encyclopedia for younger students. Britannica Online combines accurate information with easy searching and exceptional depth of coverage. Includes current events, pictures and links to relevant Internet resources. Download this pdf ( only 4 pages) to see an overview with images of some of the key features.

Junior Encyclopedia overview here

National Library of New Zealand

The National Library of New Zealand has links to many high quality historical resources including multimedia and reference material suitable for both teacher and student use. Select from a variety of books, prints, cartoons, ephemera, magazines, manuscripts, maps, newspapers, oral histories, photographs, and talking books.
In the Digital Collections you have access to a variety of online collections. For example:


  • Over 2,500 multimedia items available online, access to Discover is free.
  • Currently Discover supports the Visual Arts and Music disciplines of the Arts/Ngā Toi curriculum
  • Many of the items in Discover reflect New Zealand’s Māori and Pākehā heritage.
  • Includes contemporary and historical photographs, paintings, posters, video and music clips, as well as essays and bibliographies.
  • Highly relevant for other learning areas including science, social studies, technology (design), English (visual language strand), mathematics and history.

Te Ara Encyclopaedia of NZ

  • Includes multimedia and text resources to support studies and history of New Zealand
  • An online copy of the 1966 Encyclopaedia of NZ providing an excellent reference of NZ at this time.
  • Feature stories and news