I had the pleasure of spending the day working with Nick Jackson, Rob love, Nathan Cini and Brent Blothwich brainstorming and working on creating an exemplar unit and resources for the SACE Digital Technologies curriculum. This is a new course that will be replacing the Stage 1 Information Technology and Stage 2 Information Technology course that currently runs.
This course is exciting! It focuses on the processes involved in creating a solution to a problem. You’re NOT assessed on the end product itself – in fact you don’t even have to have a completed product – it can be a wire frame (as long as theirs an element of something digital in there).
It was great to work with these dedicated, passionate and knowledgeable teachers and to excercise my planning muscles as we constructed, week by week, lesson by lesson, a great outline for an innovative project that could accommodate any number of problems looking for a solution! In doing so, we obviously connected with the assessment scope and requirements as we explored the key elaborations inside the curriculum document. It was really interesting how, as we did so, we challenged each others thinking constantly. Together we ensured that the task was genuine and steeped in a real world context. That it was flexible in it’s approach but had a plethora of resources and concepts that could be tapped into. Most importantly, it was great to have the opportunity to exercise the learning I have experience through creating and managing Edufolios as I guided in the aspects of design thinking, prototyping and evaluating in the new program. I was able to make connections to what I had learnt in accelerators and workshop on business and apply them, in some part to this context. Of course, my knowledge and understanding of the digital technologies curriculum area and expertise in ICT integration was also fairly handy when considering the Digital aspect of the course.
We used our collective knowledge and understanding of the students who would be accessing this material to ensure that it met the modes that would help them to connect with the content in the most efficient way possible. We also added resources in which could be accessed at different levels of attainment – ensuring that there was a good amount of opportunity for stretch and growth in the upper end of the marking criteria. The resources we have collated, give opportunities for a range of teaching strategies to be applied and allows for the different teaching styles that may be evident in the cohort teaching with these materials. It was agreed that there is a significant shift in this new curriculum. A shift away from mere code and a more conscious focus on the thinking, analysis and design skills evident in the curriculum at lower levels.
In gathering the resources we were conscious to make sure that intellectual property of resources was carefully maintained and accredited where necessary. This may also lead to further exploration by teachers into the authors of these works – extending their own repertoire. Some of these resources contain classroom activities as defined by companies such as No Tosh, power point presentations by UX (user experience) design consultants and video content from university business schools.
Working with Nick, Rob, Nathan and Brent was a great opportunity to hear stories of their current practice; to learn from each other through our storytelling and resource sharing. I learnt a little more about the administrative requirements around stage 1 and 2 and also around expectations of students and how that varies to my experiences with students in the UK.
The unit we created and the resources that it is made up of will be available on the SACE website very soon. I believe that Nick and Rob will also be running workshops in which they will go through these resources and ensure that they are fully accessible to all teachers who wish to engage with them 🙂