Thursday, 22 October 2015

Realising the potential

How do we deal with students that join our class in year 13 - this was on a post-it note from the workshop in the holidays

I have been thinking about this for the last couple of weeks and I have been having a number of conversations with people around it.

The issue is the prior knowledge that is required.

Now, think openly about this,

Focus on a single strand of digital technologies, I am going with the programming and computer science strand. This is based on credits and resources.

Having a students turn up in year 13 having possibly done only a little bit of digi tech in year 9 is a challenge. Normally this student is thrown a course in complex techniques and struggles. 

Term One - Level one programming and computer science, have them work through the level one papers and assessment. Many students will probably turn there nose up at this, however, point out that this is the basic knowledge and this will help develop skills and understanding for the rest of the year. Also offer the knowledge computer science external, as something else to work on.

Term Two - Level two, advanced programming and computer science. Developing a better understanding of the requirements for level 3. Demonstrating knowledge of computer science for externals.

Term 3 - Programming and computer science. Doing the level 3 requirements and computer science paper.

Yes this is a large amount of work, but the resources are out there. And being year 13 students they should have the numeracy and literacy skills to be able to do these.

This develops a pathway for these students that they may not have had before.

While it is a single strand, students would get out of it, 10 credits at level one, we don't have to assess the level one credits though 10 credits at level 2, and 10 credits at level 3. But why stop there, allow them to work for endorsement. Use a technology standard as a research task AS91619, Going through the clarifications document, The expected level of understanding of how the technical area has underpinned developments increases across eras. That is, students will explain the technical ideas and developments that created the technical area (for Achievement); explain current limitations and opportunities and possible future developments (for Merit); discuss potential developments in technical areas and debate how these could be applied in fields in the future (for Excellence). 

It is a common occurrence that has been talked about at CS4HS conference as well as through my own experience. 

When students get to year 13 they find that they do not want to continue with a subject due to the amount of external's that have been pushed into the subject at the higher levels, no longer wanting to do the subject because of the amount of theory where the previous year it was practical. Wanting to experience something different because they are being told that they should take this subject because of a skills shortage.

Students change their mind, influenced by different ideas, friends, peer groups, teachers, media.

Why do we stop students from engaging with learning, I realise a lot people will talk about students that may not be self directed. But when I think of this, when has a student been allowed to be self directed? They may have been in courses that are all teacher directed, developed and content as well as assessment contexts have been given and the student has had no say. 

How can we develop students to have these skills earlier on in their learning and not leave it until their 13th year of schools to find out how to become self directed.

Need to include some information here on Managing Self, Key Competency.