Technologies – The Australian Curriculum
Technologies enrich and impact on the lives of people and societies globally. Australia needs enterprising individuals who can make discerning decisions about the development and use of technologies and who can independently and collaboratively develop solutions to complex challenges and contribute to sustainable patterns of living. Technologies can play an important role in transforming, restoring and sustaining societies and natural, managed, and constructed environments.
The Australian Curriculum: Technologies describes two distinct but related subjects:
- Design and Technologies, in which students use design thinking and technologies to generate and produce designed solutions for authentic needs and opportunities.
- Digital Technologies, in which students use computational thinking and information systems to define, design and implement digital solutions.
The Australian Curriculum: Technologies will ensure that all students benefit from learning about and working with traditional, contemporary and emerging technologies that shape the world in which we live. This learning area encourages students to apply their knowledge and practical skills and processes when using technologies and other resources to create innovative solutions, independently and collaboratively, that meet current and future needs.
The practical nature of the Technologies learning area engages students in critical and creative thinking, including understanding interrelationships in systems when solving complex problems. A systematic approach to experimentation, problem-solving, prototyping and evaluation instils in students the value of planning and reviewing processes to realise ideas.
All young Australians should develop capacity for action and a critical appreciation of the processes through which technologies are developed and how technologies can contribute to societies. Students need opportunities to consider the use and impact of technological solutions on equity, ethics, and personal and social values. In creating solutions, as well as responding to the designed world, students consider desirable sustainable patterns of living, and contribute to preferred futures for themselves and others.
This rationale is extended and complemented by specific rationales for each Technologies subject.
The Australian Curriculum: Technologies aims to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills to ensure that, individually and collaboratively, students:
- investigate, design, plan, manage, create and evaluate solutions.
- are creative, innovative and enterprising when using traditional, contemporary and emerging technologies, and understand how technologies have developed over time.
- make informed and ethical decisions about the role, impact and use of technologies in the economy, environment and society for a sustainable future.
- engage confidently with and responsibly select and manipulate appropriate technologies − materials, data, systems, components, tools and equipment − when designing and creating solutions.
- critique, analyse and evaluate problems, needs or opportunities to identify and create solutions.
- These aims are extended and complemented by specific aims for each Technologies subject.
Design and Technologies
This rationale complements and extends the rationale for the Technologies learning area. In an increasingly technological and complex world, it is important to develop knowledge and confidence to critically analyse and creatively respond to design challenges. Knowledge, understanding and skills involved in the design, development and use of technologies are influenced by and can play a role in enriching and transforming societies and our natural, managed and constructed environments.
The Australian Curriculum: Design and Technologies actively engages students in creating quality designed solutions for identified needs and opportunities across a range of technologies contexts. Students consider the economic, environmental and social impacts of technological change and how the choice and use of technologies contributes to a sustainable future. Decision-making processes are informed by ethical, legal, aesthetic and functional factors.
Through Design and Technologies students manage projects independently and collaboratively from conception to realisation. They apply design and systems thinking and design processes to investigate ideas, generate and refine ideas, plan, produce and evaluate designed solutions. They develop a sense of pride, satisfaction and enjoyment from their ability to develop innovative designed products, services and environments.
Through the practical application of technologies including digital technologies, students develop dexterity and coordination through experiential activities. The subject motivates young people and engages them in a range of learning experiences that are transferable to family and home, constructive leisure activities, community contribution and the world of work.
In addition to the overarching aims for the Australian Curriculum: Technologies, Design and Technologies more specifically aims to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills to ensure that, individually and collaboratively, students:
- develop confidence as critical users of technologies and designers and producers of designed solutions
- investigate, generate and critique innovative and ethical designed solutions for sustainable futures
- use design and systems thinking to generate design ideas and communicate these to a range of audiences
- produce designed solutions suitable for a range of technologies contexts by selecting and manipulating a range of materials, systems, components, tools and equipment creatively, competently and safely; and managing processes
- evaluate processes and designed solutions and transfer knowledge and skills to new situations
- understand the roles and responsibilities of people in design and technologies occupations and how they contribute to society.
This rationale complements and extends the rationale for the Technologies learning area. In a world that is increasingly digitised and automated, it is critical to the wellbeing and sustainability of the economy, the environment and society, that the benefits of information systems are exploited ethically. This requires deep knowledge and understanding of digital systems (a component of an information system) and how to manage risks. Ubiquitous digital systems such as mobile and desktop devices and networks are transforming learning, recreational activities, home life and work. Digital systems support new ways of collaborating and communicating, and require new skills such as computational and systems thinking. These technologies are an essential problem-solving toolset in our knowledge-based society.
The Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies empowers students to shape change by influencing how contemporary and emerging information systems and practices are applied to meet current and future needs. A deep knowledge and understanding of information systems enables students to be creative and discerning decision-makers when they select, use and manage data, information, processes and digital systems to meet needs and shape preferred futures.
Digital Technologies provides students with practical opportunities to use design thinking and to be innovative developers of digital solutions and knowledge. The subject helps students to become innovative creators of digital solutions, effective users of digital systems and critical consumers of information conveyed by digital systems.
Digital Technologies provides students with authentic learning challenges that foster curiosity, confidence, persistence, innovation, creativity, respect and cooperation. These are all necessary when using and developing information systems to make sense of complex ideas and relationships in all areas of learning. Digital Technologies helps students to be regional and global citizens capable of actively and ethically communicating and collaborating.
In addition to the overarching aims for the Australian Curriculum: Technologies, Digital Technologies more specifically aims to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills to ensure that, individually and collaboratively, students:
- design, create, manage and evaluate sustainable and innovative digital solutions to meet and redefine current and future needs
- use computational thinking and the key concepts of abstraction; data collection, representation and interpretation; specification, algorithms and implementation to create digital solutions
- confidently use digital systems to efficiently and effectively automate the transformation of data into information and to creatively communicate ideas in a range of settings
- apply protocols and legal practices that support safe, ethical and respectful communications and collaboration with known and unknown audiences
- apply systems thinking to monitor, analyse, predict and shape the interactions within and between information systems and the impact of these systems on individuals, societies, economies and environments.
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