Digital Technologies Jumpstarter Workshops (Coming in Term 3 and 4)
The primary focus of the Digital Technologies workshops is to help primary school in-service and pre-service teachers to address digital technologies outcomes in the classroom by offering stage-based jumpstarter workshops in their schools. The 2-hour workshops will be carefully designed to provide teachers with the core knowledge, capabilities and confidence to teach with digital technologies, including tactile devices, through face-to-face hands-on activities. Teachers will be exposed to a range of technologies, and be guided through tasks and teaching strategies that support students to achieve the targeted learning outcomes. The workshops will be tailored to the specific stage levels of the teachers, to promote relevance and applicability, with different technologies being used at each level, for instance (examples only):
- Stage 1 – BlueBots, Scratch Junior, Lego WeDo2
- Stage 2 – Scratch, Lego Mindstorms, Makey Makey
- Stage 3 – Scratch, Microbits, Lego Mindstorms
Teachers will learn about different sorts of technologies and activities that can be used to develop the computational thinking capabilities of their students. They will learn the disciplinary terminology for the components (e.g. “controller”) of digital systems and how to explain their functionality. They will develop skills in how to use digital systems to solve problems using algorithms, and how to teach their students to do the same. This involves being able to deconstruct the problem, recognise patterns, specify algorithms, and test solutions. Comparing problems and solutions across technologies will help teachers to abstract their understanding of computational thinking problem solving. Threshold concepts for students (e.g. control flow for conditional statements) will be discussed, as well as evidence-based pedagogical strategies that teachers can apply. A community-oriented design-based approach will be adopted, so that teachers feel supported to trial their digital technology lessons (building their confidence).
The idea of the initiative is that after the workshops teachers will plan, implement and collaboratively reflect upon a digital technologies lesson. The team is currently working on the NESA accreditation for all teachers, who have completed all workshop components.