By Cindy Thornton from the Flinders Island District High School.
It’s been just over a year since we shared the start of our Digital Technologies journey on the CSER MOOC blog and what a year it’s been! Inspired by the energy and excitement of completing the first MOOC, and with the enthusiastic support of our principal, this year Flinders Island DHS introduced Digital Technologies lessons for all grades from Prep (Foundation) through to Grade 10. For the first time, all primary students have one timetabled 50 minute lesson a week and secondary students two lessons a week dedicated specifically to delivery of the Digital Technologies curriculum.
Secondary students have completed challenges using Arduino microcontrollers, explored the use of drones, studied cybersecurity and kept a critical eye on the progress of new encryption laws through parliament. They have looked at solving the problem of e-waste, continued with hands-on exploration of computer hardware, data transmission and networks. Some students participated in Grok Python courses, although with unreliable internet and a download speed that still averages 0.5 mbps it was slow going at times!
Content and resources from the MOOC have also given classroom teachers confidence to integrate Digital Technologies into other subject areas including geography, science and maths, with the majority of students embracing new learnings.
We have been supported by visits from our super-supportive project officer, Peter Lelong, funding from a Federal Digital Literacies grant and support from the Department of Education Tasmania with the technologies teacher’s enrolment in a Graduate Certificate in Technologies course. All staff have now completed, or are very close to completing at least one MOOC. Our neighbouring island school, Cape Barren Island School has also come on board to ensure Furneaux Islands students are not disadvantaged in their technologies education by their remote location
2019 is looking even more promising with upgraded internet ever closer on the horizon, continued enthusiastic support from Peter Lelong, and the opportunity to refine our delivery of such an exciting, relevant and ever-changing part of the curriculum, for the benefit of our students.