Every member of your school community influences learning. While you will need to ensure that teachers are designing learning that demonstrates integration and progression through the Digital Technologies curriculum, many other people in your school community can be seen as designers of learning.
At St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School in Queensland, teacher librarians Jackie Child and Megan Daley are bringing the Digital Technologies curriculum to life in the library makerspace. Jackie and Megan design learning that, while sitting outside the traditional curriculum, deeply engages the girls in applying their learning in a constructionist manner to their projects.
Finding people outside your traditional teaching staff who can support the integration of the Digital Technologies curriculum can have real advantages. At Bertram Primary School, Geoff Hood employed a specialist technician to be on hand to support the technology infrastructure and build confidence in teachers, as well as working closely with parents, to involve the whole school community. The John Monash Science School has built strong partnerships with the science, engineering and computer science faculties at Monash University, who support with learning design in the science and technology curriculums, and provide access to cutting-edge uses of technology. At St Aidan’s, Jackie and Megan have brought the whole community into the makerspace, including grandparents. This holistic approach to learning digital technologies has really inspired learners in all of these contexts and promoted inquiry, discovery, curiosity and joy in learning.
There is genuine joy, determination and persistence in the makerspace. If a child has to solve a problem using maths to make a machine turn at right angles, they will [take risks, and] they will persist to achieve their goal. As Mitch Resnick says, kids don’t ask to learn about variables in coding, but if they build a game where they need to keep score, they learn about variables.
– Jackie Child
Use the Effective learning section of the Digital Technologies Hub and the case studies as a starting point with teachers, to really question their pedagogical practices when implementing the Digital Technologies curriculum. Start by trialling one of the exemplar lesson plans. Remember that the purpose of the pedagogical approaches section and exemplar lesson plans is to support and act as a provocation; they are one way of helping your school community to get to grips with the Digital Technologies curriculum, not the only way.
Find more examples of what primary schools are doing to implement Digital Technologies here.
Find more examples of what secondary schools are doing to implement Digital Technologies here.
Get expert support. The Scientists and Mathematicians in Schools program has been expanded to include ICT specialists willing to volunteer time in schools. This is an opportunity to have someone on tap to provide your staff with great just-in-time expertise.