Australian Curriculum: Technologies & Computational Thinking – Implications for NSW

ICT Educators NSW held their Term 4 meet on  Monday 26 October 2015 at TARA Anglican School for Girls. The focus for the evening was implications for NSW educators following the endorsement of the Foundation to Year 10 Australian Curriculum: Technologies by the Education Council in September.

BOSTES ( Inspector (Technology Education), Peter Thompson (@TechEdBOSTES), presented the first keynote. Peter has had a long association with ICT Educators NSW. As well as a source of information about teaching and learning in our area, he is an enthusiastic advocate for our organisation, and importantly, for the role for digital technologies in NSW education.

Peter spoke about the process in NSW that follows endorsement. It does not mean that NSW teachers begin teaching the Technologies curriculum next year. The Australian Curriculum: Technologies is not a syllabus and its implementation is different across jurisdictions in Australia. The 23 independent people who make up the NSW Board of Studies Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) members now begin the process that drives syllabus development and educators across the years are encouraged to join the conversation informing syllabus development through contributing through the consultation processes.

Syllabus development in NSW is not a quick process. However, Peter reminded us that outcomes relating to digital technologies are already an important part of the existing mandated curriculum implemented in NSW schools. Teachers don’t need to wait for the new syllabus to design authentic learning activities promoting the type of problem solving that is inherent in computational thinking processes.

One teacher who is already doing this is Abi Woldhuis (@abiwoldhuis), primary school teacher and Innovation Specialist at Roseville College.  Abi gave an overview that explained key concepts of computational thinking and presented many examples of how that can operationalised currently in NSW classrooms.  Computational Thinking, according to Abi, is a ‘problem solving process that includes a number of characteristics and dispositions’ – so it is a way of thinking about problems and using digital technologies to help solve them. The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and the (U.S. based Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) has put together a one-page flyer that helps to define the concept.

Abi went on to explain how she operationalises these Computational Thinking dispositions and attitudes in her teaching. She taps into excellent programs such as the Young ICT Explorers and a number of resources by organisations such as Made with Code. Abi has generously curated a range of resources for educators across the years to tap into.

Below are the keynotes and resources provided by our speakers on Monday night. ICT Educator’s NSW thanks Amanda Hogan (@hogesonline) and TARA Anglican School for Girls for providing our venue and catering for our meeting on Monday evening. A special thank you to our presenters, Peter Thompson and Abi Waldhius for their time in preparing the presentations, allowing us to record their presentations and for making their resources available to our members and associates.

Resources from Monday evening keynotes

Peter Thompson Technologies – Digital Technology; Design and Technology: Implications, Opportunities, Hypotheticals

Peter Thompson presentation pptx format – ThompsonICTENSW20151026
Peter Thompson Presentation in PDF format – ThompsonICTENSW20151026

Presentation – Vodcast (audio superimposed with slides)

Peter Thompson Presentation – Audio Only (mp3)

Peter spoke about the following resources during his presentation:

A unit of work integrated Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – the iSTEM course
Australian Curriculum: Technologies (ACARA)
CEDA – Committee for Economic Development of Australia – Australia’s Future Workforce. On 16 June 2015, CEDA released a major report focused on the future of Australia’s workforce. The report is available for download on CEDA’s website.
Office of the Chief Scientist – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in the National Interest: A Strategic Approach. The report can be downloaded from their website.
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics: Australia’s Future (September 2014):
Progressing STEM Skills in Australia (March 2015)
The Warren Centre’s 2015 Innovation Lecture with Salah Sukkariech Professor of Robotics and Intelligent Systems UoSyd; Nov 17.

At the end of Peter’s presentation, Leanne Cameron showed us a clip created by TASITE and ACCE  called Demystifying Digital Technologies:

Abi Woldhuis – What is Computational Thinking and how does it fit with Coding?

Abi Woldhuis presentation pdf format – AbiWoldhuis20151026

Presentation – Vodcast (audio superimposed with slides)

Abi Woldhuis presentation Audio only mp3

Abi spoke about the following in her presentation

Made with Code by Google –
Promotional Video clip showed by Abi –
Google’s Computational Thinking Guide  Computational Thinking for Educators, an online course where you will learn what CT is and how it can be integrated into a variety of subject areas

Promotional Video clip showed by Abi


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