If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.
Project Based Learning is a particular theme of this course, and while more difficult in a university context, is not impossible. To support your learning and scaffold you through completion of your assessment tasks, you will undertake a project during the course. This project can be used as an example in your first assignment task where you review and relate different approaches to teaching Digital Technologies, and as an example of an activity for your assignment 2 planning task.
The project you undertake can incorporate any aspect of the Digital Technologies curriculum but should aim to solve a real-world problem, not just be an example of your technical skill. This project will be used each week to discuss PBL pedagogy and how it can be best incorporated into the scope and sequences, and assessments, you will develop for teaching Digital Technologies.
Week 2 Researching your problem
This week students will use Strategic and Systems Thinking approaches to explore the entrepreneurial opportunities and complex interrelated nature of their problem.
Week 3 Relating your problem to the curriculum
This week students will use Computational Thinking approaches to explore how digital technologies can be used to develop solutions, and how solving your problem can address curriculum outcomes.
The curriculum defines Computational Thinking is a set of problem-solving skills - using data logically, breaking down problems into parts, using algorithms, patterns and models.
Professor Seymour Papert defined computational thinking as the way in which digital technologies changed the way students thought when they interacted with digital technologies.
Computational Thinking can be much more than just a collection of skills and processes - abstraction, decomposition, algorithms, etc. It is a communication between student and machine, in which digital technologies are an extension of our minds, letting us create and think more effectively.
Aim of Digital Technologies is to empower all students to be able to think differently and be more creative with the aid of computers.
In computational thinking, we are developing in students the ability to understand the digital technologies that they will encounter during their lives. Not to become computer programmers, but to understand and engage with digital technologies so that they can see the potential and opportunities these can provide, but more importantly so they can think about the world in very different ways.
Skill development can be done efficiently through direct instruction, worksheets, and computer based tutorials, etc. but it is only through project based learning that students use these skills to develop their confidence and cognitive ability to solve real world problems with digital technologies, and it is through this that we see the full potential of computational thinking expressed.
Week 4 How direct instruction supports PBL
This week students will use Design Thinking approaches to develop solutions to their problem.