Presently in the UK they believe that instead of educating children about the most revolutionary technology of their young lifetimes, they have focused on training them to use obsolescent software products. They state that they have made the mistake of thinking that learning about computing is like learning to drive a car, and since a knowledge of internal combustion technology is not essential for becoming a proficient driver, it followed that an understanding of how computers work was not important for our children. Would that be the same here in Australia?
The new Digital Technologies curriculum recognises that in a world that is increasingly digitised and automated, it is critical to the wellbeing and sustainability of society, the economy and environments that the benefits of information systems are exploited ethically. Therefore the need for knowledge and understanding of digital systems. Ubiquitous digital systems are transforming recreational activities, home life and work- have we made the connection yet in schools?
The Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies empowers students to influence skilfully and confidently how contemporary and emerging information systems and practices are applied to meet current and future needs. It empowers students to shape change. The Australian Curriculum: Technologies aims to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills to ensure that, individually and collaboratively, students:
- are creative, innovative and enterprising when using traditional, contemporary and emerging technologies, and understand how technologies have developed over time;
- effectively and responsibly select and manipulate appropriate technologies, resources, materials, data, systems, tools and equipment when designing and creating products, services, environments and digital solutions;
- critique and evaluate technologies processes to identify and create solutions to a range of problems or opportunities;
- investigate, design, plan, manage, create, produce and evaluate technologies solutions; and
- engage confidently with technologies and make informed, ethical and sustainable decisions about technologies for preferred futures including personal health and wellbeing, recreation, everyday life, the world of work and enterprise, and the environment.
Let hope that this will provide creative real world experiences for our students to be digitally literate and innovative. As MIT Media Labs’ Mitch Resnick stated
“Young people today have lots of experience…interacting with new technologies, but a lot less so of creating [or] expressing themselves with new technologies. It’s almost as if they can read but not write.”