The Digital Technologies curriculum is part of the new Victorian Curriculum. The Foundation to Level 10 curriculum provides a single, coherent and comprehensive set of prescribed content and achievement standards. All government and Catholic schools are required to implement the Digital Technologies curriculum by the beginning of 2017. If schools are ready, they can start teaching the curriculum in 2016.
The Victorian Curriculum website includes an introduction, band descriptions, content descriptions, achievement standards, elaborations and glossary for Digital Technologies.
The first step is to explore the new Digital Technologies curriculum on the Victorian Curriculum website, see: Victorian Curriculum. It is important for teachers and principals to understand the content of the curriculum. Start with the achievement standards and explore the learning students need to demonstrate to show competency at each level. Read the content descriptions and elaborations that underpin the achievement standards. For more information, see: Digital Technologies Curriculum.
Introduction to Digital Technologies
Watch this short video where Paula Christophersen (VCAA) and Penny Rowe (DET) explain the new Digital Technologies in the Victorian Curriculum.
There are many connections in the Digital Technologies curriculum with other curriculum areas in the Victorian Curriculum, including maths, teaching data collection and representation, for more information see: VCAA: Learning in Digital Technologies. Teachers may be covering some of the content but haven't yet made the connections with students.
Professional learning support to get started
Professional learning is a great first step for teachers to learn about the new curriculum area. Below are professional learning providers who offer specific courses both online and face to face about the curriculum.
Department of Education and Training: Digital Technologies information webinars presented by the Department in partnership with Digital Learning and Teaching Victoria are available to view and are packaged with resources.
Computer Science Education Research Group (CSER): This group located at the University of Adelaide has developed online courses to assist teachers in addressing the new Digital Technologies curriculum. The courses introduce the key concepts that underpin the Digital Technologies curriculum. They start from a beginner level, and provide example classroom activities that help teach principles of computational thinking. There are courses aimed at both primary and secondary levels and are both free and open to anyone who wishes to participate. Teachers will need to set up a Gmail account to login and register.
Digital Learning and Teaching Victoria (DLTV): This subject association provides professional learning opportunities for teachers focusing on the areas of teaching and learning with digital technologies and on the curricula in this field, including the Victorian Curriculum: Digital Technologies. The association has a full calendar of events including those directed solely on the new Digital Technologies curriculum.
Computational Thinking Course for Educators: Google has developed a free online course aimed at secondary teachers, however it can be completed by any interested educator, teaching the core principles of computational thinking and how they can be integrated into a variety of subject areas. It includes topics such as exploring and developing algorithms, finding patterns and applying computational thinking to real-world problems.
Students can experience and develop similar skills in your classroom, building on their computational, design and systems thinking to solve local and relevant problems by creating their own digital solutions to them.
There are many online resources to support teachers and students with Digital Technologies, potentially overwhelming for teachers. There is a wealth of information on the web including many resources; it is advised to start small and start with gaining an understanding of the curriculum and the terminology first. Use the VCAA glossary to start building an understanding of terms. Then start with the following resources to implement the curriculum in small steps, remembering that 50 percent of the content can be taught without a computer or device - this is referred to as 'unplugged'. Once comfortable with the principles of computational thinking, look more closely at the Teaching and Learning Resources section of this DigiPub for a more comprehensive list of resources, lesson ideas and unit plans.
Level Foundation - Level 6
Brings together a host of free teaching and learning materials to support learning about computer science. All learning activities can be taught without the use of computer and no Digital Technologies expertise is needed to facilitate them.
- To access the complete series of activities, see: CS Unplugged - The Book
- To view the You Tube channel and a bank of helpful videos, see: CS Unplugged - You Tube
Level 7 - Level 10
CS Field Guide
Brings a student and teacher version of an online text book, supporting students learning around the key concepts covered in the curriculum.
- To access the student version, see: Computer Science Field Guide - Student
- To access the teacher version sign up to the Google Group to ensure that you receive information about any updates: Computer Science Field Guide - Teacher
Terminology in the curriculum is essential language for teachers and students to learn and use. Similar to the technical language in other curriculum area, including Mathematics and Science, it provides students with the vocabulary to describe their learning and explain digital systems. For more information, see: VCAA, Victorian Curriculum Glossary for Digital Technologies
VCAA, Victorian Curriculum Glossary for Digital Technologies: download the Victorian Curriculum glossary, which details essential words for teachers to know and understand. Use as a support document when planning and teaching Digital Technologies.
Computing in the national curriculum: A guide for primary teachers: created in the United Kingdom by Computing at School, an organisation supporting schools with their new Computing Curriculum. The UK curriculum has many similarities to the Victorian Curriculum and gives education explanations for frequently used words. Use this document in primary settings.
Computing in the national curriculum: a guide for secondary teachers: created in the United Kingdom by Computing at School, an organisation supporting schools with their new Computing Curriculum. The UK curriculum has many similarities to the Victorian Curriculum and gives education explanations for frequently used words. Use this document in secondary settings.
Australian Curriculum Digital Technologies glossary : this online glossary can be used by teachers or students to understand some of the complex terminology used in the curriculum.
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