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FAWKNER PRIMARY SCHOOL

CASE STUDY | snapshot February 2021


Fawkner Primary School is a government school situated in North Western Melbourne. They have approximately 260 students with a specialist Digital Technologies/STEM teacher taking students from Foundation to Year 6. Each class has a dedicated 1 hour per week session.

Digital Technologies devices depend on the year level. Foundation to Year 2 use a shared bank of iPads. For Years 3 and 4 there is a 1:1 Chromebook program. Years 5 and 6 have 1:1 MacBook Air laptops.

The Digital Technologies specialist teacher has access to a bank of iPads and the 1:1 student devices.

Fawkner Primary school uses a range of physical devices and robotics, including: BlueBots, Edison, Sphero (by the Maths Leading Teacher), Lego WeDo 2.0 and Lego Spike (newly purchased, not explored in detail). Software programs that are commonly used include: Tynker, code.org., Lego WeDo 2.0 and G-Suite (Google Classroom, Docs, Slides and Meet). Apps used on the iPads include: Drawing Pad, Pic Collage, Camera and Photos Apps, Animation and Drawing, and Green Screen by Doink.

Professional learning
The Digital Technologies specialist teacher has conducted some in-house school PL for staff members. Online PL and attendance to past DLTV conferences are professional development opportunities the specialist teacher has engaged in.

Our biggest success

A smooth and successful transition to using Google Workspaces (formally G-Suite) for remote learning.

Our biggest challenge

Cost, quantity and age of equipment.

Teaching ICT skills that are not emphasised in the DigiTech curriculum. Logging in issues especially when our Junior cohort are logging into Google Workspaces on shared devices.

CURRICULUM IMPLEMENTATION

Levels F-2
Unit Overview 

Levels 3-4
Unit Overview 

  Levels 5-6
Unit overview 


Spotlighted Unit: Coding and robotics (Levels 5-6)

Focussed topics: Algorithms, Computational Thinking, Design Thinking

GOING FORWARD

What we identified for development

Updates to our Scope and Sequence chart for Digital Technologies.

3 things we would avoid or do differently

1. More planning. As the ICT Coordinator providing tech support occupies time that could otherwise be spent on planning. This means that sometimes the students could have a better grasp of the pre-requisite skills.


2. More Preparation. Have examples of work for students to use to set the standard and style of work. Ensure there is dedicated time allocated to show students, particularly when apps are updated and common features move to new locations. It is wonderful to learn alongside the students but sometimes teachers need to be prepared to quickly answer questions.

3.  More testing and trialling when implementing new technologies (hardware and software) into classes.

INPUT FROM DLTV and ACS

NOTE: This advice is relevant to this school snapshot as at February 2021, with documents provided at that time.

starting out   >   building practices   >   consolidating practices

Fawkner Primary School is well on the way to completing the transition from a legacy ICT-heavy program to an implementation of Digital Technologies curriculum.

While Cybersafety is a critical topic for both Digital Technologies and as an ICT capability, consider whether the content description in the Digital Systems strand could be more directly addressed in all of the level bands, with a focus on hardware and software, parts of a computer, and digital networks. These topics can seem theoretical, but there are books and unplugged activities to engage students.

There are lots of ways to collect data so that it can be later manipulated and analysed in a spreadsheet. Consider multiple options like: paper and online surveys, gathering data with robots, accessing online data repositories. Google Sheets is a good alternative to Microsoft Excel when learning to use tools and formulas for analysing and presenting data.

To cover user interfaces at Levels 5-6, consider out-of-the-box physical user experiences with your existing tools like Lego robotics (or with a non-coded tool like Makey Makey). Another approach is to create GUI designs on paper or with free online tools like diagrams.net.

The school is clearly benefiting from the approach of a specialist classroom teacher, but it's important to consider the vulnerability in case of staff change. We recommend a deliberate strategy to ensure that the school can continue to deliver Digital Technologies and utilise the range of learning tools should a crucial staff member move on.

CONTACT

School contact:  Bronwyn McLeod - ICT Coordinator & Digital Technologies Specialist Teacher

Phone: (03) 9357 3579

Email: fawkner.ps@edumail.vic.gov.au, subject line: ‘Attention: Bronwyn DT Implementation’

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