The good news first: there's light at the end of the tunnel for Australia's "we can never find the skilled staff we need" technology sector. And now for the bad news: the end of the tunnel is the year 2030. Vulture South offers that date as we continue to explore the new Digital Technologies curriculum being developed by the …
Teach how to learn
Technology will continue to change, and at an ever increasing rate. What is popular now will soon be forgotten. One thing we can rely on, though, is the need for IT professionals to continually update their skills over the course of their careers. In most cases, this will have to be an unfunded initiative based on individual interests and career aspirations.
Consequently, it is probably best to concentrate on preparing students for a career where they will be required to teach themselves new things, organise their time/prioritise their activities effectively and communicate/interact well with others. In order to be able to teach themselves they should learn enough basic information to be able to recognise and understand commonly used terms. While it is important to become familiar with operating systems/languages/etc., the choice of such is probably of secondary importance.
Re: Teach how to learn
Exactly right. Specific skills are obsolete by the time the text books and curriculum are written. Any school/university system that pumps out graduates with specific skills is pointless in a tech world.
My punch-cards + COBOL + Fortran stuff I learned at uni are pretty useless now. The stuff I have taught myself (C, kernel programming, electronic design...) are useful, so long as I spend at least 20 hours a month keeping up to date.
Yer right !
In NSW the process is a little more complicated, ACARA may throw the syllabus over the wall "real soon now", but we will continue teaching the old stuff. When, and only when , the NSW Board of Studies incorporates the Nat Curriculum into new NSW syllabuses (result of NSW Education Act 1908) will we teach the new
Allow a year for the BOS to get ITS stuff together and go through its processes and rewrite the Tech Mandatory, IST, and IT Multimedia syllabuses(+ the other HomeEc + Ind Tech subjects + D&T) .
If history is a guide, schools will be given an opportunity to trial them for a year before compulsory rollout. We are expecting trial start 2015 - compulsory - 2016. Complicating this is the BOS has said the new National Curricula will be incorporated as part of its NORMAL syllabus review cycle - then again as part of the Gonski stuff NSW has agreed to implement National Curriculum by 2015 (and there are heaps of curricula not even started yet!) so who knows - if somebody puts a piece of paper under Picollis nose and he signs it - its on
In High School, theoretically spreadsheet skills are taught in maths, word in english & some simple database stuff in HSIE - at our place in reality hahahahahahahahahah. I am teaching year 11 students how to add footers and spil chuck. In the TAS KLA roughly 20% of tech mandatory (yrs 7&8) is supposed to be done on computers. At our place, due to lack of computers that is aspirational and some kids will go through years 7 & 8 and never touch a computer other than to play games in the library at lunchtime. Just yesterday I had to reset a password for a year 9 student who had been at the school since the beginning of year 7, and she had never ever logged on. AND we very nearly lost a lab of 25 machines as we are bursting at the seams and need another "general" classroom.
That 4% you quote is subject to change - it is indicative and the NSW BOS reserves the right to change these as it sees fit, and even retain Multimedia in Ind Tech - as has been flagged on some forums
Re: Yer right !
Sorry bad form to comment on own comments - supplemental as I was rushing to get to work when I posted the original .
Wow a whole 30K from ACCE !
I am using a fully developed program to teach year 8 ICT using Scratch developed by the Irish lero - which is in turn based on a New Zealand uni program (CS Unplugged), I can't do much more as I have them 3 periods a week for 1 term (9-11 weeks) . The Irish employed 2 teachers full time for 6 months to develop that program. I am using CS unplugged for one of my Special Ed classes - if I were a primary teacher I would base my course on that . Given the 30k covers k-10 thats about 3k per year level at current casual rates that would employ a teacher for 9 whole days per year level to develop resources.
My classes laugh at the Cybersmart programs, they are so cheesy, obviously not developed by teachers (and even a Primary class I taught whilst on prac thought they were cheesy) - I use recent articles from ElReg to cover those bits of the IST & Multimedia syllabus where appropriate (sometimes comments are removed :-), other times left in as there is useful discussion ) to show real world(TM) relevance. Also the lovely articles on the history of computing.
As for other great resources - Adobe, MS and Apple have "educator" programs. There is no shortage of resources if one is prepared to look. The problem is developing what you have found into a coherent, sensible whole - and that takes time !
"will bear fruit in 2023!"
2033 surely? When dissing the education system it's usually best to get basic math right, unless you're trying to imply your own education is a good example of how flawed the system is in which case well played El Reg, well played!
Probably need to add another 3 years to that estimate.
While most high-school teachers get a 1 year Dip-Ed to go and teach in their area of degree specialisation, In most (all?) states these days, you need a 4-year B.Ed(primary) to start teaching K-6 where the starting line is.
What the article of course meant to say is that by 2030 a whole new generation will find that the supposed skill shortage is simply a rort to let companies bring in yet more 457s from some-country-that-by-then-is-even-cheaper-than-India-is-now, or outsource the jobs there in the first place.
sync or swim
For the small amount of time allocated they are expecting to teach some pretty advanced stuff to our young kids.
I've seen a recent draft and I'm sure many year 8's wouldn't keep up, let alone care.
Years 9 and up are elective but below that all kids will get quite an advanced course whether they like it or not.
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