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real world applications, really challenging

Brauer College, Warrnambool


In early 2018, Brauer College in Warrnambool took an unfocused ICT curriculum with leftover electronics technology from a Trade and Technologies history, and adopted a serious project-based learning approach to the Digital Technologies curriculum. 

In the video below, teachers Jason McMahon and Michael Salt explain some of the ingredients of this transition.


As part of its participation in the 2017-2018 DigiTech Start-ups Initiative from the Victorian Government Department of Education and Training, Brauer College received funds to spend on relevant classroom tools.

School Profile

Brauer College is a public high school in Warrnambool, Victoria and has a student population close to 800 students from Years 7 to 12.

  • High school improvement culture.
  • Vertical curriculum: Complete newbies in a subject without pre-requisite skills! 
  • Difficulties acquiring staff for some subjects. 
  • Delia Jenkins: A curriculum futures powerhouse! 
  • Strong trade and technologies background


STARTING POINT

In early 2018, DigiTech had a low subject profile, picking up all the new students and non academics. Very much a hands on class.

A strong focus on robotics/electronics  in the Digitech curriculum. In Year 8, the focus appeared to be around “hands on” construction of circuitry and electrical fundamentals, and less about the design process. Students from a less academic background. 

Robotics Academy provided a strong foundation towards redesigning the DigiTech curriculum.

First step: Understanding the curriculum (what language is this?)


PLANNING FOR 2019

A lot of collaboration and planning was required to redesign the DigiTech curriculum for 2019. The planning process kept in mind realistic restrictions around:

  • Facilities
  • Existing resources
  • Student prior knowledge

The curriculum was planned to scaffold DigiTech knowledge from Year 7 to VCE Computing AND provide a pathway for VCE Systems Engineering.


REFINING DIGITECH

We chose engaging projects first and determined where they would fit into the curriculum. Examples include:

  • Mouse Traps
  • Autonomous green house
  • Light tracking solar cars

Mapping the curriculum over

  • Year 8: Digital Makers
  • Year 9: Digital Innovators
  • Year 10: Digital Engineers

We introduced an emphasis on data (binary, SQL, Excel, compression), a significant part of the DigiTech curriculum that had not been addressed.

Developing school community awareness including it being a challenging, yet rewarding class.


For more detailed information, view the video and presentation slideshow at the top of this page.

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