With the increasing need to build computing and technical knowledge in our students the Intel Education team jumped at the opportunity to be part of a recent professional learning day centred on implementing the Information Processes and Technology (IPT) HSC course in NSW. The event organized by the amazing Dr. Megan Vazey from the Association of Independent Schools, brought together educators from across the state for learning, sharing and inspiration.
All about processes and solutions
Not having had a great deal to do with this subject I was inspired to hear the two grassroots teacher presenters Tim Clark and David Kowalski talk passionately about a focus on skill acquisition and preparedness for the future. Like the majority of HSC subjects whilst having a focus on content there is a core skillset at the base that will drive future generations with a focus on projects, management, strategy, research, thinking and solutions. From my observations the new Digital Technologies Curriculum and IPT have a lot in common with a focus on processes and solutions.
Young ICT Explorers “infra-red letter detector”
Having just come back from the recent Young ICT Explorers competition in Canberra, I could see clear links between both IPT and Digital Technologies course components and this Real World, solution driven competition. The pictures above and below highlights two solutions or systems that would fit perfectly in to the course. Driven by student interest, the “RFID roll marker” and “infra-red letter detector” provide a digital solution, networked system and database of activity that would tick many outcomes of both IPT and Digital Technologies in an integrated way. To find out more about this competition visit the website linked at the conclusion of the article.
Young ICT Explorers “RFID roll marker”
Junior Design and Technology and soon Digital Technologies is where the foundation begins
As with many STEM subjects in the final years of formal education, enrollments are dwindling yet at the same time demand for graduates with these digital skills is increasing as is evidenced by the graph below from the Australian Computer Society.
ACS Statistical Compendium 2012, DIISRTE Higher Education reports
This topic was the source of much discussion during the day, with a need to demonstrate the real world application and relevance of the skills of IPT as well as making the study of computer science a little more funky and appealing.
With the recent endorsement and forthcoming adoption of the Digital Technologies curriculum, many more opportunities to engage and excite students in their decision making years (years 7-10) is coming, especially when combined with the existing Design and Technology curriculum. E-textiles, Techno pimped wood and metal projects, I could go on and on. For more ideas and inspiration visit the Innovation Toolbox (Link below) and take a look at the ‘Community Projects’ section.
What are some of the tools that could assist the shift?
Maker and creation tools such as the Makey-Makey, Arduino micro-controllers and other technology based tools that provide the potential for students to solve real world problems are a perfect way to unleash the possibilities of digital technologies. The Intel Education Team demonstrated how the Intel Galileo and other Arduino style physical computing boards can add some spice and flair to the IPT and forthcoming Digital Technologies curriculum, driving patronage, engagement and outcomes.
Teachers learnt how to program in Arduino as well as how to connect a simple circuit opening opportunities to their students pursuing digital solutions. Teachers embraced problem solving, learnt and were not afraid of making mistakes and had lights flashing on their projects and in their minds, that is the power of digital and maker technologies. For more Arduino resources as well as a list of how and why to implement other innovative technologies, take a look at Gary Stager’s guide to Making and Innovating in the Classroom available for free download on our website.
I can’t wait to see some of the projects that come out of next years IPT courses and will hope to place all the details on our hub of information, inspiration and technology the Innovation Toolbox.
The Intel Education Team would like to especially thank Dr. Megan Vazey and the AIS for the invitation to connect with this event. We had a great time and encourage all those who could not attend to take a look at the links below to take the virtual excursion option.
AIS STEM Resource Site: An awesome collection of resources, courses and links to assist teachers https://www.aisnsw.edu.au/Services/Partnerships_in_Education/STEM/Pages/default.aspx
Young ICT Explorers Competition: A great way to inspire and engage students in technology driven projects and solutions http://www.youngictexplorers.net.au/
Intel Innovation Toolbox: A hub of resources, ideas and inspiration to incorporate innovative technologies in the classroom http://innovationtoolbox.intel.com.au/
Makerspace Guide: A complete setup and justification guide to setting up a maker and innovation space in your school or classroom http://innovationtoolbox.intel.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/18009_IntelEdu_Guide2Making_FA_LR_singles.pdf
Educators Guide to the Intel Galileo: A curriculum linked guide to incorporating the STEM in a box Intel Galileo in to your curriculum http://innovationtoolbox.intel.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/A-Teachers-Guide-to-the-Intel-Galileo-Final.pdf