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Digital Technologies in the Australian Curriculum March 2015

Summary

The Australian Council for Computers in Education (ACCE) has made clear through a number of forums, and in a variety of media that it welcomes and fully supports the inclusion of the Technologies Learning Area and ICT as a General Capability in the Australian Curriculum for all students from Foundation to Year 10 (F-10).

The ACCE is particularly supportive of the introduction of Digital Technologies as a compulsory subject for all students (F-8). Individuals affiliated with the ACCE and its member state and territory associations have taken active leadership roles in all stages of this subject’s development and review.

A thoughtful, well-taught, and well-resourced Digital Technologies subject together with the interdisciplinary role of ICT in all learning areas will deliver a world class curriculum, where students have the opportunity to engage, in meaningful ways, with developing digital solutions to improve their lives, solve problems that increase in complexity over time, and have a clear pathway for ICT capability development from F-12.

Developing the capacity of students to generate digital solutions, not only enables them to make considered study and career choices that involve the many facets of digital technologies, be they in information technology, science, the media, service, construction, medicine, arts, entertainment, law, teaching, politics, or other careers, but also builds the capacity of Australia to thrive in an increasingly complex world where the mastery and harness of digital technologies is vital (ACCE, 2011).

ACCE recognises that this is a complex arrangement that presents systems, schools and individual teachers with challenges - some of which relate to the introduction of the Australian Curriculum and the Technologies Learning Area in general, and others that are specific to ICT as a capability and Digital Technologies as a subject, that need to be considered.

Many of these matters have been identified by the current Review of the Australian Curriculum and in the published responses to the Review by the ACCE[1] and many of its state/territory members including Digital Learning, Teaching Victoria (DLTV)[2],, and EdTechSA[3].

They include, but are not limited to:

  • A need for greater clarity between ICT as a Capability, and Digital Technologies as a separate subject within the Technologies Learning Area;
  • A perception that there is a lack of consensus regarding the scope, sequence and content of the current Design and Technologies/Digital Technologies subjects;
  • The lack of endorsement by federal, state, and territory ministers of the Technologies curriculum;
  • Concerns about overcrowding of the curriculum, especially at the Primary level, and about the capacity of the Australian teacher workforce to teach Digital Technologies well; and,
  • Teaching resources to support the Digital Technologies subject;

Each of these issues is discussed in greater detail in the ACCE Digital Technologies in the Australian Curriculum position paper, with a consideration as to how a structured and coordinated approach to teacher professional learning may ameliorate the identified issue.

There is concern, however, that the successful introduction of Digital Technologies, in particular, will be compromised unless the identified major issues are carefully, and urgently, considered.

The ACCE recognises that these are intricate tasks that must be undertaken in a complex educational landscape that comprises state/territory authorities, and, independent and catholic schools systems. However, they are pressing and require urgent resolution and strong leadership. ACCE is in a strong position to provide that leadership and urges government/s, their agencies, and Higher Education Providers to come together with the ACCE, its associate members and other stakeholders to ensure that the introduction of Digital Technologies across the nation is successful. Our future as a nation depends on it.

References

ACCE (Australian Council for Computers in Education). (2014). ACCE Reply to Review of the Australian Curriculum (Press Release): Peak education body concerned with Curriculum Review. Retrieved from http://acce.edu.au/acce-reply-review-australian-curriculum-press-release

 

[1] See http://acce.edu.au/acce-reply-review-australian-curriculum-press-release

[2] See http://www.dltv.vic.edu.au/response-curriculum-review

[3] See http://edtechsa.sa.edu.au/2014/10/review-of-australian-curriculum-edtechsa-acce

 

 

 

 

 

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