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Digital Technologies Workshop. Curriculum Overview. Curriculum Overview. The Australian Curriculum v6.pdf Clear & strong emphasis on Computational Thinking Standard may be high; questionable value to some content eg Compression techniques in Year 7/8. Digital Technologies Workshop.

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curriculum overview
Curriculum Overview
  • The Australian Curriculum v6.pdf
  • Clear & strong emphasis on Computational Thinking
  • Standard may be high; questionable value to some content eg Compression techniques in Year 7/8
digital technologies workshop1

Digital Technologies Workshop


Issues, Challenges;

Possible Solutions

criticisms teacher groups
Criticisms: Teacher Groups
  • Teachers’ groups - Council for Computers in Education, ICT Educatorsof NSW, ICT Education Vic, the Education Computing Assn of WA:
  • “While supportive of the inclusion of Computational Thinking, we are concerned that all aspects of Digital Technologies are being framed by a single, specific model - Computational Thinking.
  • As this model was developed from Computer Science without consideration of other aspects of computing, i.e. software engineering, information systems development, computer systems analysis, digital/multimedia development, etc.
  • it has resulted in the Digital Technologies curriculum using a theoretical model advocating viewing the world from the theoretical perspective of a computer scientist (Wing, 2010) as a the comprehensive framework for the entire Digital Technologies curriculum."
criticisms industry
Criticisms: Industry
  • Google, & Information Technology Industry Innovation Council:
  • “despite the fact that the Digital Technologies F-10 curriculum is viewed by the Council as a significant improvement on current equivalent Australian curriculum offerings, it still falls significantly short of what the Council believes is the necessary level of focus required on computer science and the teaching of associated coding skills.”
  • US -based code.orgmovement:“Our vision is that every student in every school has the opportunity to learn how to code. We believe computer science and computer programming should be part of the core curriculum in education, alongside other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses, such as biology, physics, chemistry and algebra.”
criticisms industry1
Criticisms: Industry
  • The Council wants the following four outcomes in the final curriculum.
    • “We strongly support every Australian student being taught a general purpose programming language in Years 7-8 √
    • We strongly support every Australian student being taught a programming language in years 5-6 (including visual programming languages); √
    • We strongly support the teaching of algorithmic and computational thinking in early primary years; √
    • We strongly recommend removing project management from the syllabus completely, and instead including syllabus points on entrepreneurial thinking.” ?
      • see my ACEC 2012 Presentation
general issues identified
General Issues Identified:

47 submissions to ACARA:

  • Respondents are generally pleased with the draft and think it is a good step forward,
  • but worry it will be hard to implement in the classroom without more training for teachers, especially in Primary Schools,
  • and that links between this curriculum and tertiary study are poor.
most common comment in the submissions
Most common comment in the submissions:

Schools and teachers aren't ready to teach the draft curriculum, as teachers lack the training to do so and schools lack to the kit or the connectivity to teach digital technologies effectively.

Technology in Primary Schools (TiPS) (primary teachers supporting science and technology teaching in primary schools):

  • “There are too many implications in primary schools to deliver this curriculum as a result of resource requirements.
  • Teachers will need excessive amounts of professional development to adequately implement the Digital technologies content in addition to the acquisition and maintenance of hardware.
  • The Digital technologies area is too complex in content and language to be easily understood or implemented by non-specialist teachers.
  • The key concepts require specialist understanding of programming and development of digital products and are too highly-placed for student success.
  • Primary teachers will need to be substantially supported to deliver this content.”
acs view
ACS View:
  • “The ambitious nature of the curriculum ... is admirable and exciting but points to an obvious and compelling need to quickly provide:
    • distinctive professional standing and recognition of ICT educators,
    • development of formal 'teacher training' for ICT teachers, and
    • a framework for ongoing professional development for teachers, including the opportunity for industry experience.
  • ... it is unrealistic to expect that high school teachers will be able to deliver the curriculum.
  • It is possible that some will not take it seriously (judging it to be inappropriate, unachievable and hard to understand),
  • and that they will instead deliver the program inadequately causing students to be repelled: in effect making the current crisis Australia faces much worse.
acs view1
ACS View:
  • In this way, while applauding and welcoming the ambition of the current draft, the ACS would like to see the curriculum demonstrate integrity by acknowledging the significant support that teachers will require.”
  • “The ACS is very concerned that the curriculum does not appear to adequately anticipate tertiary education
    • something the ACS believes should be one of the key goals of the curriculum.
  • More could be done in the draft to better define F‐11/12 pathways.
  • Year 11 and 12 studies in computing need to be developed and built on this foundation, to enable students to explore in depth some of the more prominent ICT sub‐disciplines,
  • with an unashamed focus on preparation for tertiary study and a career in the ICT field
  • which is anecdotally the norm for students selecting elective subjects in most other disciplines.”
questions on level of difficulty age appropriateness
Questions on level of difficulty – age appropriateness:
  • Generally judged to be age-appropriate
  • A few submissions feel the year 7-8 course may be tricky.

Information Technology Educators (ACT):

  • “There are concerns that teachers may initially be overwhelmed by the expectations -­ it is quite a significant jump for many current students (cohort and disparity) at this age.
  • Implementation will need to be sensitive to this, and will be a significant challenge for high school.
  • Transition between primary and secondary schools will also be a concern for schools and teachers.”
  • Catholic Education Office (Sydney): “Significant parts of the content are considered as too demanding for a student at the Year 7 or 8 level.”
technologies need for separate stream
Technologies – need for separate stream:
  • Several submissions query whether the separation of subjects and subject matter.

Queensland University of Technology:

  • “We would however argue against the trend to compartmentalise components of ICT.
  • For example, multimedia can be used effectively in both Digital Technologies and Media Arts.
  • The former could focus on the more technical specifications of images and audio files while the latter may be more concerned with their aesthetic application.
  • Image management is also needed in Digital Technologies as part of broader attention to data management.
  • A fine example is this is the current Information Technology Systems (ITS) syllabus in Queensland Secondary Schools.”
common themes
Common Themes:
  • “Students should be taught how to create technology, rather than simply consume it.”
  • “Students should learn to use and develop technology to solve real-world problems.”
  • “Students should be encouraged to think entrepreneurially and strive to lead Australia into international esteem.”
    • thanks to The Register (UK)

- See submissions here

student perceptions
Student Perceptions:
  • The Digital Technology and Australian Teenagers: Consumption, Study and Careers survey, commissioned by the ACS, found about half of the high school students believe working in ICT would mean sitting at a computer all day:
  • “Considering students’ general goals for a career,

the disjunction needs to be highlighted between what students stated that they want in a career

    • interesting work, good money, creative, to help people;
  • their statements about working in ICT (would allow creative thinking; studying IT would be interesting);

and their views on IT in general,”

    • Dr Karen Macpherson, professional associate at the University of Canberra
student perceptions1
Student Perceptions:
  • “Only 31 per cent of students had considered IT as a career.
  • It is possible that a number of students are not aware that careers in IT are able to meet their generalised career needs for interesting work, good pay and creativity.”- Dr Karen Macpherson
student perceptions2
Student Perceptions:
  • “The thirst for technology consumption does not translate into an interest in pursuing technology as a career,”
  • “Sustaining and increasing productivity in modern economies largely depends on the application of new technology, and current and projected labour force figures suggest we do not have sufficient graduates entering ICT jobs.”

- Dr Karen Macpherson ‘Digital Technology and Australian Teenagers: Consumption, Study and Careers’

programming a way of thinking
Programming -a way of thinking
  • Programming is a way of thinking, not a rote skill:
    • Learning about "for" loops is not learning to program, any more than learning about pencils is learning to draw.
  • People understand what they can see- If a programmer cannot see what a program isdoing, she can't understand it.

Thus, the goals of a programming system should be:

  • to support and encourage powerful ways of thinking
  • to enable programmers to see and understand the execution of their programs
forum questions
Forum Questions:
  • Is there an over emphasis or under emphasis on Computational Thinking – if so, what would replace it?
  • What is Entrepreneurial Thinking - why & how can we teach it?
  • There is clearly a need for considerable teacher training; resources; connectivity
    • how can this be achieved?
  • Yr 11 & 12 disconnect
    • what should be done?
forum questions1
Forum Questions:
  • Age appropriateness issues
    • just Year 7/8; where else; how could this be improved?
  • Do we really need a separate stream
    • how does Media Arts, and other Technology and Design subjects fit with Digital Technologies?
  • What about student (and parent) perceptions?
    • How can these be addressed & altered?
  • Other Issues?
  • In groups of 4-5 for 15-20 mins please. Spokesperson to give short review of group thought.
suggested implementation strategies
Suggested Implementation Strategies
  • Teach content via Coding projects
  • Involve real clients as much as possible
  • For networks, give some limited access to school sub-networks; run LAN Games; ‘Genesis Desk’
  • Create apps for school classes/teachers/events
    • eg. Swimming carnival app; Maths, spelling, language games
      • Industry visitsNext (after lunch):Practical Session #2 – General Purpose Programming Languages & text-based coding & scripting languages