It has taken me rather a while to get around to the final part of my Demystifying the Digital Technologies Curriculum posts, but yesterday I received an email from someone who is actually using the posts in her work, eagerly hoping to see part 3. So thanks for the prompt, Kris! Here it is. 🙂
|Evaluating||Explore how people safely use common information systems to meet information, communication and recreation needs (ACTDIP005)||Explain how student solutions and existing information systems meet common personal, school or community needs (ACTDIP012)||Explain how student solutions and existing information systems are sustainable and meet current and future local community needs (ACTDIP021)|
|Collaborating and managing||Create and organise ideas and information using information systems independently and with others, and share these with known people in safe online environments (ACTDIP006)||Plan, create and communicate ideas and information independently and with others, applying agreed ethical and social protocols (ACTDIP013)||Plan, create and communicate ideas and information, including collaboratively online, applying agreed ethical, social and technical protocols (ACTDIP022)|
Ok. Finally we’re onto the last row. This section has been much wordier than the others, despite being fewer dot points, because it is largely based around complex social, environmental, and ethical considerations, rather than the relatively straightforward teaching of algorithmic thinking and coding.
F-2: Create and organise ideas and information using information systems independently and with others, and share these with known people in safe online environments (ACTDIP006)
Ironically the ACARA materials for this section repeatedly use examples of creating ICT artifacts “to share online”. Only the last line discusses privacy and cyber safety around sharing information online. When they say “share online” at this level, it’s safe to assume they mean on an intranet, or via email to individuals, but a lot of schools don’t have or use an intranet, or don’t have clear ideas around what is shared publicly and what is private.
So this is a great opportunity to talk about the safety of sharing things online, and who can see what, depending on where you share it. One of the key issues in cyber-safety is that once you have emailed someone a photo, or document, you have no control over what they do with it (whether deliberately or accidentally), so it’s crucial to talk about only putting things online that you don’t mind going public. I would argue that there really isn’t any such thing as a safe online environment. Even emailing pictures to your grandparents can lead to them being made available publicly online, if your grandparents don’t clearly understand the sharing settings on systems like Google Drive or Dropbox.
That also leads to conversations around what you can or should ethically do with things other people send to you. When is it ok to share them, and with whom? If someone chats with you online and says things about someone else, should you pass those comments on?
The technical content in this section is all around creation of things like presentations, documents, and movies – the kinds of activities you are probably already covering in class.
3-4: Plan, create and communicate ideas and information independently and with others, applying agreed ethical and social protocols (ACTDIP013)
The Acara explanations of this point are quite long, but they boil down to behaving in a polite and civilized fashion online – for example, by not writing all in caps, and reading all emails in a thread before replying, and treating other people the way you would want to be treated yourself – and exploring different ways of collaborating online.
Some examples of online collaboration might be using online document editing like Google Docs or MS Onedrive, or simply emailing versions of a document back and forth.
This section also includes an exploration of privacy settings, which is challenging to do in real online environments as most of them have an age restriction of 13+, meaning kids in grade 3/4 should not have these accounts. Social media platforms for younger kids typically have very restricted privacy by default.
5-6: Plan, create and communicate ideas and information, including collaboratively online, applying agreed ethical, social and technical protocols (ACTDIP022)
This is so close to the 3-4 version, only including the word “technical”. For the most part it is simply a deeper exploration of the same issues – online collaboration, and how you can make it work by setting up meeting times (in some cases considering timezones) and planning out the project so that different people contribute different parts.
Many classes these days derive their own set of Classroom behaviour rules, or Classroom Norms as my daughter’s school calls them. They are pretty much “how I want to be treated and how I think others should treat me” lists, and this is a perfect context for the class to create a list of “online norms” to match their classroom ones. How do they think people should behave online? What kind of behaviour makes online collaboration work and what makes it hard? How should they talk to people online, and is it any different to the way they should talk face to face?
There’s also a section in here about using web based systems – such as WordPress, Tumblr, or Blogger – to create and share information. I’m not sure how this is supposed to work, though, because once again the minimum age on these sites is 13. I did find one blogging site specifically for kids, kidblog.org, but it’s not clear how much you can do without paying for access to the site.
So there you have it. That’s the F-6 Dig Tech curriculum in an overlarge, but hopefully comprehensible nutshell. I hope you find it useful.
Feel free to share! And don’t forget, if you are looking for experts to help your teachers come to grips with the curriculum and how to incorporate it into your classroom work, head on over to Code Breaker Education and book an after-school or planning day workshop with former John Monash Science School Computer Science students. Hand picked for their teaching skills and empathy, Code Breakers make teaching programming easy.