Friday, May 2, 2014

Implementing the National Technologies Curriculum in Australian Schools

Greetings from the University of Canberra, where I am taking part in a two day workshop to help implement the new "Australian Curriculum: Technologies" in Canberra's schools. This event, "Byte Sized Digital Technologies", is run by Information Technology Educators ACT (InTEACT). It is
sponsored by Google and appropriately enough, the agenda is on Google Docs.The consultation on the curriculum was run by  "Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority" (ACRA).

The Technologies Australian Curriculum covers both Design and Technologies (using the technology) and Digital Technologies (creating the technology, including computer programming). Interesting the student are educated in a number of areas which up to know have only been covered in advanced university courses: Project Management, Design thinking, Computational Thinking and Systems Thinking.

Implementing this curriculum is an extremely challenging task. Before teachers can teach the material, they need to learn it themselves. One approach I suggest would be useful would be to provide online learning, for the teachers and the students. It makes little sense to me to teach digital technology using analogue teaching techniques. At the same time the teachers can be connected together online to support each other and they can teach the students how to also support each other online. The University of Adelaide are running a free online course "Digital Technologies: Implementing the Australian Curriculum Learning Area". 

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