Paul Herring MACS (Snr) CP St Peters Lutheran College ACEC 2012 COMPUTATIONAL THINKING IN DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES My original presentation on Prezi http://prezi.com/-aeozt3u8w6k/acec2012-computational-thinking/ Keynote: Computational Thinking - What is it and Why Should We Care Chris Stephenson Executive Director Computer Science Teachers Association Draft Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Technologies “In Australia, ICT skills shortages continued to grow by up to 14,000 extra ICT jobs in 2012 and 35,000 by 2014. At the same time, curriculum initiatives in ICT at the secondary level have not gone far enough to encourage high-achieving students in Years 11 and 12 to study tertiary ICT courses or promote the discipline as a rewarding and vibrant career. “Over the past decade, universities have not been successful attracting bright school leavers to consider ICT as a study area, compared to other professions such as (law and medicine). As a consequence, many students with an undergraduate degree have not been able to secure professional ICT employment,” – Alan Paterson CEO • ICT university enrolments have dropped by 50 per cent in the last decade and by 40 per cent in the vocational sector. • ICT as a general discipline is less likely to attract high-achieving school leavers into tertiary study. • In Australia, less than 50 per cent of ICT professionals typically possess a degree level qualification in ICT, despite the availability of many potential employees. • Skills shortages in ICT continue to grow despite demand forecasts of 21,000 jobs in 2013. “The ACS believes that excellence in ICT can only be achieved through a national educational framework that meets and exceeds world best standards. • “More research needs to be done to understand why, despite the ever more compelling opportunities of ICT, not enough students are choosing ICT as a career. Without skilled ICT workers, Australia’s ICT development and capability will erode, further limiting the opportunities for our youth to participate in the most vibrant sector of our economy,” The Mac Bike & the Mic Bike The ‘perfect Educational System’: Some of the factors: Highest priority Holistic Driven from the home Community involved Life-long A different mindset – dialectic process –challenging ideas Confidence to question; to accept multiple answers Moral, spiritual, and character education Social Justice Embracing and overcoming adversity Facing difference Necessity breeding invention and innovation Antecedent of innovation Today's literacy essential: Why all students should be encouraged to study Digital Technologies in the Senior Years of Secondary School The core of which is Computational Thinking “Life logging, personal genomics, location tracking, biometrics -These new tools were being developed for many different reasons, but all of them had something in common: They added a computational dimension to ordinary existence.” Gary Wolf, quantifiedself.com The Elements of Computational Thinking: algorithms cryptography machine intelligence computational biology search recursion heuristics Critical Thinking skills Entrepreneurial enabling (innovation) Algorithms - Steganography http://internet-map.net/ The Hidden Group: Conclusion: Placing the Elements of Computational Thinking into the school curriculum – into Digital Technologies? algorithms cryptography machine intelligence computational biology search recursion heuristics Critical Thinking skills Entrepreneurial enabling (innovation) ACS recommendations to assist in achieving a steady production of skilled and qualified entrants into the profession: • In order to convey the in-dispensible role of ICT in our daily lives, the ACS recommends that ICT be recognized as subject in its own right (from Kindergarten through to Year 12) • ICT should be a mandatory subject up to Year 10. Currently, students are only required to study Digital Technology to Year 8, diminishing the significance of ICT in the curriculum. • Stronger guidelines to assist teachers in making decisions on ICT curriculum delivery, in line with national ICT professional standards, which recognise changes in ICT skills over time. • Improved coordination between business, government to foster the development of ICT at the secondary and tertiary levels to encourage the growth of more qualified ICT professional to support Australia’s digital economy. Some final thoughts: The framing documents for the new National Curriculum for example clearly articulated the need for ‘deep knowledge’, that is, the need to teach subject specific content and to teach it in depth. These documents also acknowledged that little skill transfer occurs across domains of knowledge. Thus skills in critical thinking need to be developed and fostered in all areas of the curriculum. Sadly though we are already seeing political and ideological viewpoints being forcibly imposed upon the new curricula and thus reducing the potential development of critical thinking skills in our students. Along with this there appears little acknowledgement nationally of the need to teach skills in critical thinking and to establish environments which foster and encourage such critical thinking, and which specifically address this issue in the context of ICT.