Saturday, May 3, 2014

Aligning the new Australian School Technologies Curriculum with Higher Education

At the "Byte Sized Digital Technologies", work-shop I am discussing aspects of the "Australian Curriculum: Technologies" with primary teachers from the public and private school sectors. We are looking at project based activities which could be used in schools for teaching the new curriculum. It occurred to me that it would be useful to align the school curriculum with the teaching of technology in higher education. At present universities are looking to develop new educational materials to deliver in new ways, not only online but using techniques such as project based work. It may be possible to provide versions of the university materials for schools to use. Universities are likely to see providing materials to schools as a useful activity for encouraging enrolments at their institution. Universities would normally concentrate on upper secondary school (Year 11 & 12), being just before university. However, research by Macpherson (2013) indicates that student's interest in IT declines after the age of 12-13 years, so it might be better to start with Year 7.

Curriculum Documents

In addition to these there is the US "CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards" from the ACM. CSTA have also released mappings of the Computer science curriculum to US school education standards, but I could not find a mapping to the university curriculum.

The Australian School Technologies Curriculum Year 7 and 8 Content Descriptions are:

Digital Technologies knowledge and understanding
Investigate how data are transmitted and secured in wired, wireless and mobile networks, and how the specifications of hardware components impact on network activities (ACTDIK023)

Investigate how digital systems represent text, image and audio data in binary (ACTDIK024)
Digital Technologies processes and production skills
Acquire data from a range of sources and evaluate authenticity, accuracy and timeliness (ACTDIP025)

Analyse and visualise data using a range of software to create information, and use structured data to model objects or events (ACTDIP026)
Define and decompose real-world problems taking into account functional requirements and economic, environmental, social, technical and usability constraints (ACTDIP027)

Design the user experience of a digital system, generating, evaluating and communicating alternative designs (ACTDIP028)

Design algorithms represented diagrammatically and in English, and trace algorithms to predict output for a given input and to identify errors (ACTDIP029)

Implement and modify programs with user interfaces involving branching, iteration and functions in a general-purpose programming language (ACTDIP030)

Evaluate how well developed solutions and existing information systems meet needs, are innovative and take account of future risks and sustainability (ACTDIP031)

Create and communicate interactive ideas and information collaboratively online, taking into account social contexts (ACTDIP032)
Plan and manage projects, including tasks, time and other resources required, considering safety and sustainability (ACTDIP033)


Macpherson, K. (2013). Digital technology and Australian teenagers: consumption, study and careers. The Education Institute. Retrieved, 19. From

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