back to article Industry doubts schools’ ability to teach Digital Tech curriculum

Feedback from industry groups and educators on the latest draft curriculum for teaching computing in Australia doubts whether the nation's schools, and teachers, are ready to teach a proposed new Digital Technologies curriculum that teachers’ organisations have criticized as too focused on computational thinking. Australia's …

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Silver badge

I remember now .....

Some NAND gates, a 5V power supply, some switches, some LEDS, .... There's nothing difficult or expensive or 'hard to understand' about it.

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Silver badge

Re: I remember now .....

Exactly, frank ly.

I learned computer logic with relays & wire-wrap.

Fondling iFads & FanDroids & CrackBerries doth not computer experts make ...

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Bronze badge

Re: I remember now .....

Nucleus, Axon, Myelin sheath...There's nothing that difficult to understand how the brain works

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Anonymous Coward

Summary

Teachers want more training (probably justified).

Google wants more coders.

National Instruments wants to sell copies of LabVIEW.

The ACS wants to increase its membership base.

Australian Information Industry Association wants to direct career propaganda to parents.

Someone, somewhere is struggling to do the right thing for our kids, but not many are listening.

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Anonymous Coward

Not odd once you have the context

"We found that odd, because Australia's IT industry has for years bemoaned the quality and quantity of emerging IT workers ..."

It's not really odd at all. Moaning about the quality and quantity of workers in any industry is a necessary precursor if you want to import cheap foreign labor. It allows business to wring their hands and pretend that the outsourcing is a reluctant step they are forced to take due to the <pick one>laziness/incompetence/shortage</pick one> of locals.

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Anonymous Coward

Why Bother?

Why bother going for a job in IT? Companies are bemoaning the lack of cheap local labour as opposed to cheap overseas labour. When my company (large multinational) asked for volunteers to talk at schools to encourage school kids to take up an IT career they were met with no takers. Given the rate at which programming, SA&D, project management, sysadmin jobs etc are being offshored there won't be an IT industry to speak of in Australia.

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Bronze badge

This will be fun for the 1st 8 years

As the syllabus will be implemented as a "big bang" for all years on the one day - when I get my first crop doing the new Digital Technology elective in year 9 it will be assumed they have done f-8 and have all that knowledge. Thus so until the 8th year of the new syllabus I will need to back teach stuff they really don't know in order to teach what the syllabus says. Also, as it is only F-10 there will need to be huge rewrite of the IPT & SDD ( NSW HSC) syllabus as their content look positively antediluvian compared with the new f-10 - hardly surprising as the "guts" of these were written in 2001 & 1999 respectively (!)

Facilities will be fun, my school has been ripping out computer labs because of the, as of this year, defunct, laptops for learning (lfl) program and we currently only have one capable of handling 30 students , we have few smaller faculty labs in CAPA & Industrial Tech (16 machines each) as well as a smaller lab with 21 computers. - ATM our enrollments are such that we do not have a large room that we can "take out" and fit with computers. The look on the DP's face when I told her that there is coming within the next 3 years a compulsory IT subject for 7&8 was priceless. Currently we get 30 desktop machines a year as part of TfL (Technology for learning) and my lab was upgraded in the last round - minus 6 machines that went to the front office.There is no word yet if TfL will continue under Local Schools Local Decisions maybe Simon can get some sense out of the NSW DEC on this - we can't.

As I am the only qualified IT (all flavours) teacher in the school that will make timetabling very interesting especially as from next year 3/4 of my load will be year 11 & 12 doing SDD & the Cert 3, and the rest , minus 2 periods, doing a 100 hour IST based app development course for years 9/10 - would I trust any of home eccys or Ind Techies to teach this stuff or the primary teachers we currently employ as year 7 core teachers - nnnnoooooo way. If either group have to, then muggins here will have to write the program for them & prepare lesson plans etc as they have no knowledge or interest in computing (I currently share a year 8 Tech Mand class with a wood butcher, and even though I have even provided him with a script for each lesson he needs to present he still struggles).

I am also struggling to see how to create an interesting teaching program around the dot points as they stand - there are going to be some interesting/lively ICTE NSW meetings next year as we get to grips with the final syllabus.

Finally the new hours for this in years 7 & 8 are taken out of the "normal" D&T (Tech Mandatory) - the Home Eccys and Ind Techies are screaming blue murder as that restricts the projects can they undertake & makes it harder to sell their subjects as electives for years 9-10 & 11-12.

Interesting times :-(

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