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.