Overarching idea: Creating preferred futures
The Technologies curriculum provides students with opportunities to consider how solutions that are created now will be used in the future. Students will identify the possible benefits and risks of creating solutions. They will use critical and creative thinking to weigh up possible short- and long-term impacts.
As students progress through the Technologies curriculum, they will begin to identify possible and probable futures, and their preferences for the future. They develop solutions to meet needs considering impacts on liveability, economic prosperity and environmental sustainability. Students will learn to recognise that views about the priority of the benefits and risks will vary and that preferred futures are contested.
Students will develop skills to manage projects to successful completion through planning, organising and monitoring timelines, activities and the use of resources. This includes considering resources and constraints to develop resource, finance, work and time plans; assessing and managing risks; making decisions; controlling quality; evaluating processes and collaborating and communicating with others at different stages of the process.
Students are taught to plan for sustainable use of resources when managing projects and take into account ethical, health and safety considerations and personal and social beliefs and values.
Thinking in Technologies
A system is an organised group of related objects or components that form a whole. Systems thinking is a holistic approach to the identification and solving of problems where the focal points are treated as components of a system, and their interactions and interrelationships are analysed individually to see how they influence the functioning of the entire system.
In Design and Technologies, the success of designed solutions includes the generation of ideas and decisions made throughout design processes. It requires students to understand systems and work with complexity, uncertainty and risk. Students recognise the connectedness of and interactions between people, places and events in local and wider world contexts and consider the impact their designs and actions have in a connected world.
Participating in and shaping the future of information and digital systems is an integral part of learning in Digital Technologies. Understanding the complexity of systems and the interdependence of components is necessary to create timely solutions to technical, economic and social problems. Implementation of digital solutions often has consequences for the people who use and engage with the system, and may introduce unintended costs or benefits that impact the present or future society.
Design thinking involves the use of strategies for understanding design needs and opportunities, visualising and generating creative and innovative ideas, planning, and analysing and evaluating those ideas that best meet the criteria for success.
Design thinking underpins learning in Design and Technologies. Design processes require students to identify and investigate a need or opportunity; generate, plan and realise designed solutions; and evaluate products and processes. Consideration of economic, environmental and social impacts that result from designed solutions are core to design thinking, design processes and Design and Technologies.
When developing solutions in Digital Technologies, students explore, analyse and develop ideas based on data, inputs and human interactions. When students design a solution to a problem they consider how users will be presented with data, the degree of interaction with that data and the various types of computational processing. For example, designing a maze; writing precise and accurate sequences of instructions to move a robot through the maze or testing the program and modifying the solution.
Computational thinking is a problem-solving method that is applied to create solutions that can be implemented using digital technologies. It involves integrating strategies, such as organising data logically, breaking down problems into parts, interpreting patterns and models and designing and implementing algorithms.
Computational thinking is used when specifying and implementing algorithmic solutions to problems in Digital Technologies. For a computer to be able to process data through a series of logical and ordered steps, students must be able to take an abstract idea and break it down into defined, simple tasks that produce an outcome. This may include analysing trends in data, responding to user input under certain preconditions or predicting the outcome of a simulation.
This type of thinking is used in Design and Technologies during different phases of a design process when computation is needed to quantify data and solve problems. Examples include when calculating costs, testing materials and components, comparing performance or modelling trends.
Information and communication technology in the Australian Curriculum
In the Australian Curriculum, there are opportunities in all learning areas to develop information and communication technology (ICT) capability. These are described in the ICT general capability learning continuum, which is a statement about learning opportunities in the Australian Curriculum for students to develop their ICT capability.
In Digital Technologies the ICT capability is more explicit and foregrounded. Students develop explicit knowledge, understanding and skills relating to operating and managing ICT and applying social and ethical protocols while investigating, creating and communicating. The study of Digital Technologies will ensure that ICT capability is developed systematically. While specific elements are likely to be addressed within Digital Technologies learning programs, key concepts and skills are strengthened, complemented and extended across all subjects, including in Design and Technologies. This occurs as students engage in a range of learning activities with digital technologies requirements.
The clear difference between the Digital Technologies curriculum and the ICT general capability is that the capability helps students to become effective users of digital technologies while the Digital Technologies curriculum helps students to become confident developers of digital solutions.
Identifying and managing risk in Technologies learning addresses the safe use of technologies as well as risks that can impact on project timelines. It covers all necessary aspects of health, safety and injury prevention and, in any technologies context, the use of potentially dangerous materials, tools and equipment. It includes ergonomics, safety including cyber safety, data security, and ethical and legal considerations when communicating and collaborating online.
Technologies learning experiences may involve the use of potentially hazardous substances and/or hazardous equipment. It is the responsibility of the school to ensure that duty of care is exercised in relation to the health and safety of all students and that school practices meet the requirements of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, in addition to relevant state or territory health and safety guidelines.
In implementing projects with a focus on food, care must be taken with regard to food safety and specific food allergies that may result in anaphylactic reactions. The Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy has published guidelines for prevention of anaphylaxis in schools, preschools and childcare. Some states and territories have their own specific guidelines that should be followed.
When state and territory curriculum authorities integrate the Australian Curriculum into local courses, they will include more specific advice on safety.
For further information about relevant guidelines, contact your state or territory curriculum authority.
Any teaching activities that involve caring, using, or interacting with animals must comply with the Australian code of practice for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes in addition to relevant state or territory guidelines.
When state and territory curriculum authorities integrate the Australian Curriculum into local courses, they will include more specific advice on the care and use of, or interaction with, animals.
For further information about relevant guidelines or to access your local animal ethics committee, contact your state or territory curriculum authority.