Inspiring and developing our technologists of tomorrow
The saying goes that we are teaching children for a future that does not yet exist, and for jobs that are yet to be created. What a thought! But imagine this, a mere ten years ago jobs such as ‘Social Media Manager’ and ‘Mobile App Developer’ simply did not exist, and it is clear that this trend of emerging jobs is showing no signs of changing any time soon.
The challenge for schools is apparent. We need to prepare our young people for a world that we can only imagine, and for jobs that may seem fantastical at this stage. At Clayfield College, our vision of how to teach our young people is clear; we need to deliver a comprehensive, and confident curriculum that inspires our students to think creatively and innovatively.
'We need to prepare our young people for a world that we can only imagine, and for jobs that may seem fantastical at this stage'.
In Australia, the Digital Technologies’ curriculum has undergone a dramatic amount of change over the past few years. ‘Coding’ and ‘programming’ are now considered important skills alongside reading and writing, and more and more people are starting to recognise that we face a huge skills shortage in the future without empowering our young people in this area. Certainly, the general consensus now is that the young people of today need to learn how to be creators of technology, rather than just consumers.
At Clayfield College, we believe in more than just teaching students how to code or program, and our curriculum across the College in technology reflects this. Our focus instead is on teaching our young people the importance of how to think computationally and logically. This means being able to decompose a problem, and then put together a set of steps to solve that problem, with confidence, creativity and technical literacy. These are the real skills we want to focus on promoting with our students. These are the skills that traverse all subjects, and are highly sought after by businesses in the working world. Young people who can do this surely hold the key to power in the future, as they are the entrepreneurs and risk takers of tomorrow.
'Our focus is on teaching our young people the importance of how to think computationally and logically'.
The Technology Department will introduce new and exciting opportunities for students to improve their creative and technical literacy throughout the second half of 2018, through extra-curricular activities, as well as within the curriculum. Firstly, students will be offered the opportunity to build and fly their own drone within the extra-curricular program ‘Build to Fly,’ run in partnership with JAR Aerospace. The JAR Education Drone Integration program will focus on giving students a modern avenue to engage with STEM and equip them with all the content, resources and drone componentry needed to build, code and fly their own drone.
Secondly, students will experience exciting changes within the classroom as a result of advancements to the units of work in Digital Technologies across Years 8 to 11. Through these advancements, students will have the opportunity to learn several different programming languages, engage more deeply with the curriculum, and showcase their understanding of historically theory-driven topics in more creative and innovative ways. Such ways will include the completion of Augmented Reality Projects, Mixed Reality Projects and Virtual Reality Projects. All these changes are in line with the move toward teaching students how to create content and software, rather than merely using it.
A robust and challenging curriculum continues to be offered to students within Robotics in Years 7 and 8. Students are introduced to working with NXT hardware and writing code using Robot-C, a general purpose text language, to build and program their robots to complete a variety of tasks. Along the way, students learn about data transmission, sensor components and developing testing logs. By Year 8, students begin to navigate the more advanced EV3 robots to choreograph a dance routine, based on the University of Queensland’s RoboCup Competition, an annual event in which the College has celebrated many successes.
The Technology Department at Clayfield College is committed to continually pursuing cutting edge and engaging opportunities to help develop and inspire our technologists of tomorrow, and looks forward to implementing some exciting new initiatives throughout the remainder of 2018.
Head of Technology and E-Learning