In 2016, ACARA rolled out the Digital Technologies strand of the Australian Curriculum. This strand incorporates Design and Digital Technologies, both of which incorporate aspects of coding throughout a child’s schooling.
The Government’s goal is ‘creating preferred futures’ and this is outworked in the curriculum through training them in systems thinking, design thinking and computational thinking.
King’s exposes children from Prep through to High School to different aspects of coding from an understanding of algorithms through to block and then text coding.
Within the Digital Technologies curriculum, it is important to know that coding is one aspect of a larger whole. Students learn about concepts like abstraction, data collection, representation and interpretation; algorithms and their implementation, digital systems, interaction and the impact of digital technologies on our world.
Spheros has become popular in the last few years, particularly due to the popularity of Star Wars and their BB8 Droid. Students throughout the College learn to program these and in High School Mathematics, they assist in developing a real-world sense of spatial awareness.
The Tickle App is a block-based coding environment, similar to Scratch. In it you can write some programs that control figures on the screen, but the real power comes in its ability to program drones and Arduinos such as the LightBlue Bean.
These will be used in a new Design Technologies rotation beginning in 2017.
The new kid on the block in iPad coding is Apple’s Swift Playgrounds. The app takes students through a text coding course with the language that creates a growing number of iOS apps – Swift.
This will be used as the coding model for the Digital Technologies course in 2017.
The Adobe company is a leading provider of well-known industry standard applications such as Photoshop, Illustrator and Lightroom. King’s uses this software extensively in our Art, Industrial Design and Technology and Film, TV and New Media subjects.
In the example above a Digital Art student takes a photograph which is then edited into a production ready graphic using Lightroom and Photoshop.
In Industrial Design and Technology, students can use Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to prepare files with fine details ready to be laser cut in our Fab Lab. This technology can be used to either cut through objects or etch designs.
In Film, Television and New Media, students use After Effects and Premiere Pro to prepare special effects and edit short films, documentaries and other video projects.
Find out more about each of the Adobe Products we use by clicking on the icons below.
Our third live webcast will start at 10:30am today! We will be with Brad Huddleston from the US. Brad is an author and speaker, renowned for his incredible work with young people, parents and grandparents. He has some wonderful ideas and tips for parents in this ever changing technology driven society.
This morning we did our first IT webcast for parents. We streamed live just after 9am this morning and had about 8 parents login during the broadcast. You can view the broadcast below. The topic of this morning’s discussion was “Managing Technology in the home – Tips for parents.”
Thank you to parents who could join us and asked questions. We will spend some time ironing out the bugs and host more down the track. Please fee free to offer any feedback and suggestions for topics and appropriate time slots.
The following article is a guest post from Mr Mal Galer our Head of Creative Arts. I wanted to post it on this site, as creativity is something that computing can inspire and develop in a number of different ways. Creativity can be expressed in many different forms and our access to technology can help promote that creativity in various ways.
Have a look at this video from many years ago where former Apple CEO Steve Jobs describes what the computer is and what it is capable of. The resources our students have at their finger tips can be used to do amazing things, including developing creative insight to help solve a number of problems and create new opportunities.
A huge thank you to Mr Galer for this article. I am sure you will find it as interesting as I did.
The Science of Creative Insight
Mr Mal Galer
Head of Creative Arts
Insight. Often seen as the realm of creative people or those chosen few who make breakthroughs in their fields of endeavour such as Albert Einstein or Steve Jobs. Scientific studies into the brain are discovering that we all have the capacity for creative insight and interestingly, they are starting to uncover how.
In all classes at school, students are encouraged to come up with ideas for assignments, perhaps a science experiment, a persuasive oral or a unique artwork. The most common roadblock that students have is that of uncovering an original idea. There are a number of roads that they can take after this immediate roadblock – one way is to give up and find something unoriginal, another option is for them to persevere and hope that they can be inspired by something.
In the first instance, students are facing what is called aporia, ‘the expression of a simulated or real doubt, as about where to begin or what to do or say.’ This can often be a roadblock to true creativity and if not nurtured can cause real problems in the life of the student. They become stunned in the brain by new information and don’t do anything for fear that they may get it wrong.
A cure for this type of behaviour, is simply to begin moving forward. Martin Luther King Jr., the great civil rights activist is often quoted as saying ‘If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.’
The brain science seems to support him. Scientists have monitored brainwaves on the left and right hemispheres and discovered the moment of insight in a person showing a spike in brainwaves in the right hemisphere just above the ear. You can see how here. The controlled experiment demonstrated that this insight occurred when they were actively engaging their brain and that it made the connections in that moment of insight. It is clear to see then, that if students actively try and brainstorm (write ideas, draw pictures, take photographs, etc) they open the way for creative inspiration.
The other thing the scientists discovered was that the section of the brain that spiked during a moment of insight, has connections that link to every other part of the brain in contrast to the left brain which had only localised connections to areas nearby. Put simply, the right brain brought together seemingly unrelated ideas from every part of the brain whilst the left brain functioned with logical precision.
Creativity is certainly not limited to the arts as it is required in all endeavours of life to solve problems in the realm of physics, chemistry, literature, business, accounting and mathematics. What is unique about the creative subjects like Art, Drama, Music, Dance and Film and Television is that students are challenged frequently to have moments of insight and explore the works of others that require the brain to be activated in less conventional ways. Music, for instance, requires students to think in terms of rhythm and pitch, art needs students to think in terms of unity and balance – skills that can be applied to other aspects of life. Integrating an arts subject in combination with other fields of endeavour will enrich a student’s ability to think more divergently.