IT'S ALL ABOUT CONTEXT
"In authentic contexts and taking into account end-users"
The new Digital Technologies Curriculum is not about specific things to memorise, the key concept throughout is the idea that there is a context and that the end-user must be accounted for.
The new content covers two key areas, computational thinking and designing and developing digital outcomes. It has been designed to be flexible, so it can respond to new developments and technologies as they emerge.
In fact, when Hon Nikki Kaye announced the curriculum in June 2017, she said:
“Computational thinking is about understanding the computer science principles that underlie all digital technologies, and learning how to develop instructions, such as programming, to control these technologies.
Designing and developing digital outcomes is about understanding that digital systems and applications are created for humans by humans, and developing knowledge and skills in using different digital technologies to create digital content across a range of digital media. This part of the curriculum also includes learning about the electronic components and techniques used to design digital devices."
BUT WHAT *IS* DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES?
INQUIRY includes data modelling, spreadsheets, access to online databases, searching, access to virtual labs, online observatories, virtual field trips
COMMUNICATION includes word processing, e-mail, virtual conferences, graphics software, blogging, vlogging, presentations, websites and tutorials
CONSTRUCTION includes robotics, computer-aided design, control systems, programming, electronics, digital manufacturing, game design and sensors.
EXPRESSION includes interactive video, animation software, 3D design, music composition, digital art, digital story telling
The key here is that Digital Technologies encompasses all of the above, but digital fluency stops on the left. An analogy to help you understand could be that the boxes on the left is understanding how to use an Instagram filter, and the boxes on the right is understanding how to make an Instagram filter.
We have made a handy-dandy one-pager to help you out (well one-page if you print it double sided!)
So, even after going through it slowly, and looking at each bit... it's still a bit overwhelming huh? Sometimes what you need is a bit of a cheat sheet. We believe that the digital technologies curriculum is not so complicated, but some of the words certainly are. So we put together a glossary to help you out.
PS: We'd love your feedback on this. If you find a word missing, or one of our definitions is not helpful, please let us know.
THE FULL CURRICULUM DOC
For those that like to read and pore over all the details, we've copied and pasted the relevant sections from TKI below, of course you can always check it out here.
As you can seen, the technology learning area has three strands: Technological Practice, Technological Knowledge, and Nature of Technology. These three strands are embedded within each of five technological areas:
computational thinking for digital technologies
designing and developing digital outcomes
designing and developing materials outcomes
designing and developing processed outcomes
design and visual communication.
As the diagram shows, the three strands provide the organising structure for achievement objectives used in three of the technological areas (Designing and developing materials outcomes, Designing and developing processed outcomes, Design and visual communication), and they underpin progress outcomes for the other two areas (Computational thinking for digital technologies, Designing and developing digital outcomes).
The two areas on the right (computational thinking for digital technologies and designing and developing digital outcomes) focus on developing students’ capability to create digital technologies for specific purposes.
In years 1–8, these two areas are usually implemented within other curriculum learning areas, integrating technology outcomes with the learning area outcomes. These two areas also significantly contribute to students developing the knowledge and skills they need as digital citizens and as users of digital technologies across the curriculum. They also provide opportunities to further develop their key competencies.
By the end of year 10, students’ digital technological knowledge and skills enable them to follow a predetermined process to design, develop, store, test and evaluate digital content to address a given issue. Throughout this process, students take into account immediate social and end-user considerations. They can independently decompose a computational problem into an algorithm that they use to create a program incorporating inputs, outputs, sequence, selection and iteration. They understand the role of systems in managing digital devices, security and application software, and they are able to apply file management conventions using a range of storage devices.
By the end of year 13, students who have specialised in digital technologies will design and develop fit-for-purpose digital outcomes, drawing on their knowledge of a range of digital applications and systems and taking into account a synthesis of social, ethical and end-user considerations. They understand how areas of computer science such as network communication protocols and artificial intelligence are underpinned by algorithms, data representation and programming, and they analyse how these are synthesised in real world applications. They use accepted software engineering methodologies to design, develop, document and test complex computer programs.
Computational thinking enables students to express problems and formulate solutions in ways that means a computer (an information processing agent) can be used to solve them.
In this area, students develop algorithmic thinking skills and an understanding of the computer science principles that underpin all digital technologies. They become aware of what is and isn’t possible with computing, allowing them to make judgments and informed decisions as citizens of the digital world.
Students learn core programming concepts and how to take advantage of the capabilities of computers, so that they can become creators of digital technologies, not just users. They develop an understanding of how computer data is stored, how all the information within a computer system is presented using digits, and the impact that different data representations have on the nature and use of this information.
Progress outcome 1
In authentic contexts and taking account of end-users, students use their decomposition skills to break down simple non-computerised tasks into precise, unambiguous, step-by-step instructions (algorithmic thinking). They give these instructions, identify any errors in them as they are followed, and correct them (simple debugging).
Progress outcome 2
In authentic contexts and taking account of end-users, students give, follow and debug simple algorithms in computerised and non-computerised contexts. They use these algorithms to create simple programs involving outputs and sequencing (putting instructions one after the other) in age-appropriate programming environments.
Progress outcome 3
In authentic contexts and taking account of end-users, students decompose problems into step-by-step instructions to create algorithms for computer programs. They use logical thinking to predict the behaviour of the programs, and they understand that there can be more than one algorithm for the same problem. They develop and debug simple programs that use inputs, outputs, sequence and iteration (repeating part of the algorithm with a loop). They understand that digital devices store data using just two states represented by binary digits (bits).
Progress outcome 4
In authentic contexts and taking account of end-users, students decompose problems to create simple algorithms using the three building blocks of programing: sequence, selection, and iteration. They implement these algorithms by creating programs that use inputs, outputs, sequence, basic selection using comparative operators, and iteration. They debug simple algorithms and programs by identifying when things go wrong with their instructions and correcting them, and they are able to explain why things went wrong and how they fixed them.
Students understand that digital devices represent data with binary digits and have ways of detecting errors in data storage and transmission. They evaluate the efficiency of algorithms, recognising that computers need to search and sort large amounts of data. They also evaluate user interfaces in relation to their efficiency and usability.
Progress outcome 5
In authentic contexts and taking account of end-users, students independently decompose problems into algorithms. They use these algorithms to create programs with inputs, outputs, sequence, selection using comparative and logical operators and variables of different data types, and iteration. They determine when to use different types of control structures.
Students document their programs, using an organised approach for testing and debugging. They understand how computers store more complex types of data using binary digits, and they develop programs considering human-computer interaction (HCI) heuristics.
Progress outcome 6
In authentic contexts and taking account of end-users, students determine and compare the “cost” (computational complexity) of two iterative algorithms for the same problem size. They understand the concept of compression coding for different media types, its typical uses, and how it enables widely used technologies to function.
Students use an iterative process to design, develop, document and test basic computer programs. They apply design principles and usability heuristics to their own designs and evaluate user interfaces in terms of them.
Progress outcome 7
In authentic contexts and taking account of end-users, students analyse concepts in digital technologies (for example, information systems, encryption, error control, complexity and tractability, autonomous control) by explaining the relevant mechanisms that underpin them, how they are used in real world applications, and the key problems or issues related to them.
Students discuss the purpose of a selection of data structures and evaluate their use in terms of trade-offs between performance and storage requirements and their suitability for different algorithms. They use an iterative process to design, develop, document and test advanced computer programs.
Progress outcome 8
In authentic contexts and taking account of end-users, students evaluate concepts in digital technologies (for example, formal languages, network communication protocols, artificial intelligence, graphics and visual computing, big data, social algorithms) in relation to how key mechanisms underpin them and how they are applied in different scenarios when developing real world applications.
Students understand accepted software engineering methodologies and user experience design processes and apply their key concepts to design, develop, document and test complex computer programs.
In this area, students understand that digital applications and systems are created for humans by humans. They develop increasingly sophisticated understandings and skills for designing and producing quality, fit-for-purpose, digital outcomes. They develop their understanding of the technologies people need in order to locate, analyse, evaluate and present digital information efficiently, effectively and ethically.
Students become more expert in manipulating and combining data, using information management tools to create an outcome. They become aware of the unique intellectual property issues that arise in digital systems, particularly with approaches to copyright and patents. They also develop understandings of how to build, install, and maintain computers, networks and systems so that they are secure and efficient.
Students develop knowledge and skills in using different technologies to create digital content for the web, interactive digital platforms and print. They construct digital media outcomes that integrate media types and incorporate original content. They also learn how electronic components and techniques are used to design digital devices and integrated to assemble and test an electronic environment.
Progress outcome 1
In authentic contexts and taking account of end-users, students participate in teacher-led activities to develop, manipulate, store, retrieve and share digital content in order to meet technological challenges. In doing so, they identify digital devices and their purposes and understand that humans make them. They know how to use some applications, they can identify the inputs and outputs of a system, and they understand that digital devices store content, which can be retrieved later.
Progress outcome 2
In authentic contexts and taking account of end-users, students make decisions about creating, manipulating, storing, retrieving, sharing and testing digital content for a specific purpose, given particular parameters, tools, and techniques. They understand that digital devices impact on humans and society and that both the devices and their impact change over time.
Students identify the specific role of components in a simple input-process-output system and how they work together, and they recognise the "control role” that humans have in the system. They can select from an increasing range of applications and file types to develop outcomes for particular purposes.
Progress outcome 3
In authentic contexts, students follow a defined process to design, develop, store, test and evaluate digital content to address given contexts or issues, taking into account immediate social, ethical and end-user considerations. They identify the key features of selected software and choose the most appropriate software and file types to develop and combine digital content.
Students understand the role of operating systems in managing digital devices, security, and application software and are able to apply file management conventions using a range of storage devices. They understand that with storing data comes responsibility for ensuring security and privacy.
Progress outcome 4
In authentic contexts, students investigate and consider possible solutions for a given context or issue. With support, they use an iterative process to design, develop, store and test digital outcomes, identifying and evaluating relevant social, ethical and end-user considerations. They use information from testing and apply appropriate tools, techniques, procedures and protocols to improve the quality of the outcomes and to ensure they are fit-for-purpose and meet end-user requirements.
Progress outcome 5
In authentic contexts and with support, students investigate a specialised digital technologies area (for example, digital media, digital information, electronic environments, user experience design, digital systems) and propose possible solutions to issues they identify. They independently apply an iterative process to design, develop, store and test digital outcomes that enable their solutions, identifying, evaluating, prioritising and responding to relevant social, ethical and end-user considerations. They use information from testing and, with increasing confidence, optimise tools, techniques, procedures and protocols to improve the quality of the outcomes. They apply evaluative processes to ensure the outcomes are fit-for-purpose and meet end-user requirements.
Progress outcome 6
In authentic contexts, students independently investigate a specialised digital technologies area and propose possible solutions to issues they identify. They work independently or within collaborative, cross-functional teams to apply an iterative development process to plan, design, develop, test and create quality, fit-for-purpose digital outcomes that enable their solutions, synthesising relevant social, ethical and end-user considerations as they develop digital content.
Students integrate in the outcomes they develop specialised knowledge of digital applications and systems from a range of areas, including: network architecture; complex electronics environments and embedded systems; interrelated computing devices, hardware and applications; digital information systems; user experience design; complex management of digital information; and creative digital media.