Friday, 30 June 2017

Challenge - Digital Technologies Curriculum

Since the announcement, I have been thinking about some of the ideas that have come out from it and these are some of the ideas around some questions that we could be asking ourselves.

What would some responses look like for some of these questions?

What does digital technologies currently look like in your school for years 9-10 students?

I have written a number of posts in relation to this over the 3 years I have been at HPSS now.
For me, it hasn't been about the "toys", it has been about developing the concepts of computational thinking, as well as design and developing digital outcomes.

This is from a blog post that talks about where is the fun stuff?
my fun stuff has been brief development where students developed a brief for new training equipment to develop a skillset in PE. (no specific requirement on any tech area)
my fun stuff has been technological modelling where students have been developing ideas around an app for developing skills with the primary school students years 4-6
my fun stuff has been technological outcomes were students made a stop motion video around relationships for visual text through an english context.
my fun stuff has been elements of design creating graphic novels through an english context.
my fun stuff has been digital information using documents and sheets
my fun stuff has been digital media photoshop looking at students photo editing skills, collage development and incorporating mixed media to support the ideas required for level one.
my fun stuff has been SketchUp recreating building around the hobsonville point for historical purposes.
my fun stuff has been developing personal vinyl stickers to identify BYOD devices and who they belong to.
my fun stuff has been developing a technological outcome for 5 years through scratch
my fun stuff has been programming through ardunio using the mindkits brainboard develop prototypes
my fun stuff has been programming through python to develop games through technological systems
my fun stuff has been digital information, creating guess who through mysql console for technological modelling.
my fun stuff has been digital media through developing simple websites using notepad++ through outcome development.
my fun stuff has been teaching students about algorithms, human computer interfaces, data representation which has covered a lot of technological systems.
my fun stuff has been integrating aspects of drama into getting students to understand computer science concepts.
my fun stuff has been integrating aspects of drama into getting students to develop digital citizenship related videos.
my fun stuff has been getting students to develop landmarks/building/new recycling bin ideas through 3d printing.
my fun stuff has been students using the local area and finding out more about it to update websites, apps and develop information signage to go around our community.
my fun stuff has been getting students understanding about self driving cars through the LEGO ev-3 Mindstorms systems and learning about testing.
my fun stuff has been getting students working with digital media-video to create social action ad's that can go on the visual signage around the school.
A lot of this has taken place from the student voice we get from the students, as well as conversations that I have with students in the modules. What is it that they want to get out of school, from the area. Where will this take them. I look forward to what the students will be doing in the next couple of years with the knowledge and skills that they have obtained through technology and digital technologies.

What are some of the barriers that are currently in the way of working towards the new digital technologies curriculum?

For me, it is the difficulty of what digital technologies is to people, the community, and other teachers. This is one of the most difficult parts at present. The name itself. ind you, technology, computer science, and ICT all have baggage with them as well. The ideas that we are trying to get through to the students who at present who have high anxiety over their English and Maths results from every time they are tested or reported on.  The baggage of the technology curriculum. While strands and achievement objectives have been important, these are not evident in the new digital technologies curriculum. The move to progress outcomes will cause considerable issues within schools as they are not curriculum level. How does one show a Basic, Proficient and Advanced mastery of this? Getting schools to rethink reports for a particular learning area is going to be a challenge. I am lucky in the way that our school functions around our Learning Design Model in the way that we report. I guess it is around the conversations that we have. I need to be better at the Open Learning Conversations and sit down and talk with our principal about some of the barriers that he sees as a school.
Being the only teacher? This one is still a hard one to delve into, I was challenged in my thinking around this yesterday, However, looking at it from a different lens, I am not the only teacher in the school. There are others who have an interest, who are innovating in their practice in the school. I need to be talking with them more, developing that thinking and ideas.

How does the current timetable in your school support the ideas of the new digital technologies curriculum?
Has our timetable stopped changing? No. We are in our fourth year of operating as a school. The changing nature of our school in adding a new year level each year providing challenges and opportunities. Modules provide opportunities to work together with another learning area and provide an integrated curriculum.
Technology - Digital Technologies and English
Technology - Digital Technologies and PE
Technology - Digital Technologies and PE
Technology - Digital Technologies and The Arts - Drama
Technology - Digital Technologies and Social Sciences
Technology - Digital Technologies and Mathematics 
These are the areas that I have been working with over my time here. Through our integrated learning approach, such wonderful rich connections

It is not only just being taught through one area.
SYMTEXT uses Edison robots to get students to develop algorithms to think about how they can be successful through providing step by step instructions.
Mytimes provided opportunities for students to develop pixel art as well as developing paper based electronics.
Projects has allowed students to develop electronics, access virtual reality, robotics.

A lot of that different "stuff" has also been around what students come and ask for, be it recording, using maky maky's for HCI experiments, go pro's that allow students to record their learning. Also access to arduino's for students to develop some electronics sensor recording. Having high quality camera for students to be creative. It is having these on hand for students to develop their understanding that is outside the classroom.

Also had opportunities to work with the primary students in them developing their coding, as well as digital media.

I suppose the thinking around this, is that students learn through a more integrated curriculum, the learning of Digital Technologies is happening in other places, it is not limited to. Students Explore, Make Sense, Focus Generate, Test, Refine, and Evaluate through the Design Thinking Process whenever they are developing a Digital Outcome. How do we provide the tools and thinking to support other teachers through this.

What do the progress outcomes mean for reporting digital technologies within your school and to your parents?
We are sitting rather well around this, as we don't report achievement objectives, instead;
"Progress is reported against curriculum levels that align with Learning Area (subject) learning objectives. Students are measured against the New Zealand Curriculum, utilising curriculum and sub levels to signal the depth of thinking and understanding. This is one of the ways that we share achievement and progress with parents and whanau." - HPSS Summative Progress Report

How might you as a leader of digital technologies help promote the ideas of the new curriculum to senior management?
Have already started the conversation, I haven't gone in with the attitude of things must change, it is about listening to them and providing them the understanding. Yesterday I sat down with our principal and had a discussion with him about what he saw and heard at the cross sector forum.
------------some notes from that meeting----------

Changing feast - always changing.

Starters in conversation, how do I change the open to learning conversation.
Active listening.

Change reporting in school to match the digital technologies outcome statements.

Message from robotics, not using digital, but being digital. 
Looking at a way to capture the resources, getting our students digitally fluent, achieving these progress outcomes.

That our school be seen as a beacon of quality digital citizenship and digital ethics

Developing computational thinking

Provide connections between learning areas. 

Access through our facilities management building management system, data from energy, water use, waste. Through our community.
Need to get access to this.

How do we take the technology curriculum to all students and teachers.
The process of learning/ design thinking/ process that should drive learning for all learning areas.

Achievement Objectives vs progress outcomes.

What is the process of learning, learning design model, learning is a process. In other school learning is the delivery of stuff. Teacher and student may not understand what the process is. How do we show depth of thinking?
Some of these may be answered within just a couple of words, but as we go through the consultation period,

I for one would like to see some discussion on the questions that are in the consultation document. Especially around,

What does this mean for Technology in schools? This is one that I am trying to come to grasp with at the moment, what does this look like for me as Learning Design Leader - technology. Does the specific skills in Technology (Food, DVC, Materials) need to change? Considering the ideas of Designing and Developing Digital Outcomes, aspects of the work in these areas are now more digital based, textiles have access to laser cutter, embroadory machines, and e-textiles. DVC has access to rhino and other 3D creation packages where students are developing their drawings into imagined worlds. Materials have the laser cutter where exact measurements are being cut and accurate use of materials. The area of Technology is becoming more digitised.

For us, I believe that we are well placed for the changes.

How useful is the consultation material in considering how to integrate and adapt the proposed DT|HM content to design local curriculum for your students?
I have been thinking about what local curriculum is, one of the ideas is to use what we started off with in our school. That was about Our Community, being able to think about us as a school, our community, our region and New Zealand.
As a school we generate a huge amount of data through our Building Management System, what is it that we can gather and use through the sensors that we have already, start some interesting conversations around.
The community, while it has been talked about for a while now, getting students starting to develop their own businesses in the use of digital technologies. How do this look like in practice?
I use the community to enable students to go out and get their original content, it has been rather great to be in a space that is always changing, has public art, pretty cool historic buildings, and has some great parks. These provide opportunities for students to be creative as well as opportunities for the community to see learning outside the school.
I guess in someways it has been something we have already considered within our school. Innovate. Engage. Inspire. It will be how do we show this in a more visible way.

How might we reflect digital technologies learning in the name of the Technology Learning Area?
Technology has so many issues with names, when you say Technology outside of the education system, people already assume the use of devices and associated peripherals.
I would like to propose, Design and Digital Technologies.


Maurie Abraham said...

Great reflections

RuthE said...

Well said Gerard. A wonderful reflection on the things you are already doing and a positive look to the future. Remember the committees we sat on trying to get traction for the recognition for Digital Technologies and finally it is here. Although like you, many of us have created our own paths to achieve what we have believed is the right way, it is so great to have this curriculum sitting in my hands! I am at the end of my teaching career and after 20 years of fighting for this didn't believe it would happen. For you and others, it gives license to keep doing those fantastic things you are already doing to empower learners in Digital Technologies.

oneteachersview said...

As I have worked through this and reminded by a colleague, what we are doing through our modules that include digital technologies at school is CS+X. I need to be thinking about what this may look like. I think one of the areas that I need to consider is the link in with science next year. We have bene talking at length in the LDL meetings about whether there are better partnerships that go together. Maybe the concepts within the CS+X might provide an opportunity to really set the integration of learning areas.

Tony Cairns said...

AWESOME - I love the way you think, challenge and question - it is a joy an art and a science - thank you

Tony Cairns said...

This is AWESOME - thanks for all the hard thinking, great ideas and challenging words - you are an inspiration and a joy to us out here in teh digital wilderness - thank you and all the hard working bright eyed joyful teachers at HPSS - beacon in the night sky