In our rapidly changing technological environment, education is vital to Australia’s digital future.
The digital economy demands that we nurture innovative approaches to problem solving in our education system. If Australia is going to take an active role on the world digital technology stage, then digital literacy needs to be an essential part of the school curriculum.
The Australian Government has made a $12 million commitment to increase student uptake of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects in primary and secondary schools across the country. An important part of this commitment is the focus on digital literacy and coding across the curriculum.
In the report Coding Across the Curriculum digital literacy and computational thinking are introduced at the start of the education journey. The level of understanding is increased throughout the educational process. Children will learn about real and virtual worlds and communication technologies from their first years in school. More developed understanding is introduced from year 3 and programming languages are introduced from Year 7.
The primary goal of the report was the review and mapping of resources to identify gaps within the available support for teachers who are delivering the Australian technology curriculum. While many resources designed to support Computer Science development were found to be available, the report also identified gaps in support and opportunities for development of new resources. It also found that while there was a strong focus on programming skills and knowledge, there were still areas of the curriculum that were not adequately addressed.
The Australian Government is working with states and territories to develop resources for teachers that will assist implementation the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies. One of the outcomes of this, which aims to improve access to resource materials, has been the creation of the the Digital Technology Hub web portal. The site includes activities, curriculum guides, advice and resources for teachers, students and families.
Find out more about the Australian Government’s projects to focus on STEM education in the article Restoring the focus on STEM in schools on the Department of Education and Training website.