Research Contract: Building Digital Technologies Capacity

CSER are continuing their collaborative relationship with Google Australia and New Zealand in a research contract to develop further MOOC support for Australian primary school teachers for Foundation-6.

Research Contract: Building Digital Technologies Capacity. K. Falkner and R. Vivian, Google Research Contract ($48,312) (2014-2015)

In our previous collaboration, we developed the CSER MOOC Foundation-6, which provided a broad introduction to the forthcoming Digital Technologies Curriculum. The next offering of this MOOC will start in December, 2014! We are also moving on to develop a further MOOC to support teachers of Foundation-6 gain more expertise and confidence in algorithm development and visual programming.

This project will assist teachers in primary and secondary schools to meet the challenges introduced by the new Australian National Curriculum Digital Technologies curriculum. The new Digital Technologies curriculum for years Foundation to 10 covers many computer science concepts and skills, designed to prepare our students for jobs of the 21st century. However, developing lessons that meet the digital technologies learning objectives, such as teaching algorithms or the representation of data, presents many challenges for our teachers, specifically if the technological resources are not available and teachers are not confident in the concepts or teaching of computer science. Furthermore, our own understanding as a discipline of the pedagogy for teaching computational thinking and computer science at the primary and secondary school levels is underdeveloped and requires significant research.

This new MOOC will extend our work in identifying pedagogy for teaching and learning of computational thinking concepts within early teaching, as an extension course designed to extend teachers who have mastered fundamental skill, and are now looking to lead the implementation of digital technologies curriculum. This course will focus on the development of visual programming and computational thinking skills, through building solutions to problems that can be integrated with other learning areas. Such a course will help teachers become capable as digital producers themselves, while develop their knowledge and strengthen cross­curricular connections. The MOOC will explore appropriate pedagogy, both in terms of how do we teach teachers, and appropriate pedagogy for teachers to learn the skills for designing learning activities and content to address the specific learning objectives at that respective grade levels for the digital technologies curriculum.

Tagged in CSER, research, computer and mathematical sciences