Teachers of Australia’s Digital Technologies Curriculum have upgraded their skills during lockdown through ACS’ ICT Educators webinar series.

Nearly 1,000 attendees signed into virtual events during May and June which began with webinars about teaching online – a much needed skill for teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The webinar series was largely dedicated to teaching the Digital Technologies Curriculum and how to best foster the modes of thinking and learning that best encourage growing the skills needed for future innovators and IT professionals.

You can find recordings of the webinars on the ACS website.

Course facilitator, Catherine Newington, said she wanted to see Digital Technologies teachers think outside the box when they deliver material that is critical for 21st century students.

“I really wanted to open people’s minds about the Digital Technologies Curriculum,” Newington said.

“Not only getting teachers to think more creatively about their lessons, but also how to get students to find their own learning, too.

“Even though this is a relatively new curriculum, we are still seeing lots of dry lessons delivered with old methodologies that might not produce the best outcomes.”

Digital Technologies has been part of the national curriculum since 2016 and it is estimated that most of Australia’s primary teachers will need around 5-10 days training to get up to speed.

But extra training doesn’t have to be overwhelming.

One participant of the ICT Educators webinar said the series “expanded [her] thoughts and ideas about what is available, possible and useful”.

“I am really excited to begin next term with a more explicit program that has grown out of the ideas and resources that Catherine has helped me discover,” the webinar participant said.

Beyond developing the delivery of Digital Technologies lessons, Newington also wanted to foster a sense of community among the curriculum’s teachers.

“Specialist teachers who teach the digital technologies curriculum are often the only one in a school running that program, so they can feel isolated,” she said.

“One teacher told me she had been on her own and had been battling with this course over the last 18 months. She was grateful to have some support with the Digital Technology Curriculum.”

Supplementary resources from the webinars can be found on the ACS Communities of Practice site which is accessible for ACS members and registered ICT Educators.