Australia’s Digital Technologies Curriculum is a premiere standard for ensuring students are learning digital skills they’ll need for the future. However, while version 8.4 is tried and true, a recent review led to the creation of Digital Technologies Version 9 – with a vast variety of improvements to achieve coveted learning outcomes.
With a full roll-out of version 9 expected by 2025 at the latest, learning what the curriculum is all about is imperative for veteran and new teachers alike.
In this guide, we’re going to take a look at the Digital Technologies Version 9 Curriculum as it pertains to years 5 & 6. We’ll be going over what changes to expect from version 8.4, and detail what the focuses of version 9 are for these years.
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What Is Digital Technologies Curriculum Version 9 For Years 5-6?
For those coming from version 8.4, you’ll know the Australian Digital Technologies Curriculum is massive; it contains various sub-subjects that cover every topic a beginner or intermediate-level student should know. Because of the large number of teachings within the curriculum, it is constantly growing (hence the new version).
Version 9 of the years 5-6 Digital Technologies Curriculum is finished and is available for early adopters; the full rollout for V9 will end by 2025.
The changes for the new version of the curriculum for years 5-6 are arriving after an extensive review by ACARA. The latest version is coming after the review started in 2020. The review involved extensive market research into the changing needs of modern curricula and how students should learn current subjects.
Additionally, it involved interviewing years 5-6 teachers to ask them for their thoughts on what should change for the curriculum.
What Content Does Version 9 Of The Digital Technologies Curriculum Include For Years 5-6?
When a student gets to the end of year 6, there are several things they should know after learning the content in V9 of the curriculum.
Some of the goals of version 9 of the digital tech curriculum include:
- Students should learn computational thinking. Specifically, they should know it to the degree that they should be able to apply it to many problems to create solutions. For example, they can learn to use it to develop algorithms, modify them, and apply them to systems.
- Students should learn how to apply abstract thinking to a problem. For example, they can use it for data representation; they can think about how a whole number can represent data.
- Students should learn design thinking, which will help them design solutions by developing numerous ideas. Additionally, they can use design thinking to evaluate existing solutions and improve them.
- In version 9 of the digital tech curriculum, students can also learn systems thinking. Systems thinking is beneficial for learning about the functions of digital systems and how to use them to solve problems.
The goals within version 9 of the digital curriculum link very closely to its content. Here are some of the content descriptions for years 5-6 in version 9 of the digital tech curriculum.
Digital systems involve learning the primary components of digital systems and what they do.
Specifically, teachers need to explain that digital systems consist of multiple vital components. They also need to clarify how processors can perform calculations to solve problems. Additionally, it includes expanding on the functions within a video conferencing system.
Data representation focuses on explaining how digital systems represent data. Specifically, students must recognise that digital systems represent data with whole numbers.
It also explores the idea of on and off states to explain how they can represent data. For example, showing how on and off states can answer yes and no questions.
Investigating And Defining
Processes And Production Skills primarily focuses on teaching students how to fully define problems using design ideas. To achieve this, the curriculum provides a stimulus to define these problems.
Generating And Designing
Generating and Designing teaches students how to create algorithms to solve complex issues. It also focuses on how to edit and improve an existing algorithm to fix a problem.
As well as algorithms, this sub-strand takes it further by showing students how to create an effective UI system or edit a current one to improve it.
Producing And Implementing
Producing And Implementing is the natural next step after Generating and Designing. It focuses on taking a designed algorithm or program and implementing it to solve a problem.
It can teach students that implementation involves understanding and changing specific variables, control structures and input options.
The evaluating sub-strand entirely focuses on taking the ideas, algorithms and programs you create and evaluating them to determine if they will successfully solve a problem.
The evaluation methods taught in this sub-strand are applicable for any problem in a digital system; students can apply these evaluation methods to solve any digital system problem.
Collaborating And Managing
Collaborating and Managing focuses on using digital tools to create digital content. Additionally, it teaches years 5-6 students how to find content and communicate it to others.
Specifically, it can show students how to share digital content online.
Privacy And Security
The privacy and security sub-strand for years 5-6 focuses on teaching them how to understand multiple accounts and their digital footprint.
The first years 5-6 privacy and security curriculum objective focuses on teaching students how to use passphrases to access multiple personal accounts. Additionally, it will explain how using numerous passwords can be risky.
The first years 5-6 privacy and security curriculum objective explains the creation of a student’s digital footprint and its permanence. It also teaches how to consider user privacy when collecting their data.
What Is The Desired Outcome For Years 5-6 Students When They Engage With V9 Content?
At the end of year 6, V9 digital tech students should be able to:
- Create, edit and evaluate digital solutions.
- Understand and show how a digital system can process data.
- Create complex algorithms with concepts like branching, and implement in a digital solution.
- Access and use a digital system and explain in detail how its components work to process data.
- Use digital tools to plan and create digital content, and share it with other users for collaboration purposes.
- Identify their digital footprint and understand how it is permanent.
What Are The Changes Between The V9 And V8.4 Digital Technologies Curriculum For Years 5-6?
Now you know how version 9 of the Digital Technologies Curriculum came about; you need to know and understand the extensive changes that will improve the curricula and the teaching resources on platforms like Zenva Schools.
Here are the most significant elements that are different for years 5-6 students in version 9 of the digital tech curriculum.
Year 5-6 Teaching Resource Descriptions Will Be Much Clearer
A significant problem that many teachers found with the previous version of the curriculum is that the curriculum descriptions were often unclear; they were too vague and didn’t provide descriptions that made sense to teachers. Specifically, they focused on too many concepts within the same description.
Thankfully, one element that is different for years 5-6 within version 9 of the Digital Technologies Curriculum is the content descriptions. Specifically, the descriptions are far more straightforward, because they use transparent language and have separated descriptions that used to cover more than one topic.
These changes benefit years 5-6 teachers, because they will fully understand what a teaching resource will provide their grade 5 and 6 students.
Another significant problem with the Australian V8.4 Digital Technologies Curriculum is that you can find many pieces of duplicate content. For example, some grade 5 or 6 digital tech teaching resources have similar ideas, so some resources relay these ideas more than once, which isn’t beneficial for students or teachers.
Additionally, many digital tech subjects for years 5-6 crossover with the teaching from several maths curricula, meaning that students could learn the same thing twice in two different subjects.
To solve this problem, version 9 of the curriculum designs teachings for grades 5-6 students that are unique and don’t borrow teachings and ideas from other subjects. The primary focus for these changes is from foundation year to year 6, so younger students will gain unique knowledge from all topics within the curricula.
Additionally, digital tech subjects are more concise and streamlined due to the removal of duplicated content.
The Rise Of Digital Literacy Within Year 5-6 Content
A massive problem within the modern digital world is that we are more vulnerable online than ever. Unfortunately, version 8.4 of the curriculum doesn’t reflect this problem with teaching online safety and security. Instead, there is a curriculum strand focusing on ICT capabilities.
Knowing internet safety is essential for young people to learn and understand. Therefore, version 9 of the Digital Technologies Curriculum is moving away from ICT capabilities and is transitioning to digital literacy.
The digital literacy strand of the digital tech curriculum focuses on teaching students how to be safer using technology. Some subjects within this strand include online security, how to maintain online privacy, safety problems when using tech and more.
These changes are essential for years 5-6 students because learning about online security and safety is more important when they are young and can absorb and retain the teachings.
Improving Year 5-6 Course Achievements By Linking Them To Content
An issue that many teachers commented on when asked about version 8.4 of the Digital Technologies Curriculum is that the course achievements could be a lot clearer and more relevant. Specifically, the course achievements did not link to the content descriptions as much as they could have.
The new version of the curriculum is changing this by linking course achievements closer to content descriptions (making them more effective). These changes will massively benefit years 5-6 teachers because they can use the more precise achievement guidelines to set clear goals for their students and assess them when they finish a course.
Additionally, clearer achievements will benefit year 5-6 students, because they can progress and learn more effectively.
Highlighting How Different Digital Technologies Curriculum Strands Relate To Each Other
A clear problem with version 8.4 of the Digital Technologies Curriculum is that many of the curriculum strands feel too separate; many relate to each other and connect, but the curriculum objectives and content descriptions rarely bring attention to this fact.
Thankfully, version 9 of the Digital Technologies Curriculum is beginning to include teachings that help students understand how specific topics relate to each other. Specifically, learning objectives and content descriptions show students how the Processes and Production Skills and The Knowledge And Understanding strands relate.
For example, Knowledge understanding will focus on teaching students about software and what it means in modern society, and the Processes and Production Skills strand will give students an idea of how to use software and solve problems with it.
Where to Find V9 Digital Technologies Resources
Although Version 9 of the Digital Technologies Curriculum isn’t much different content-wise, it’s still important to start looking for resources that are specifically tailored to the outcomes required by these new standards.
Zenva Schools is an excellent platform already on top of tailoring content to match Australian curriculum standards where this is concerned.
The platform offers a wide range of content focusing on digital literacy, coding, game development, data analysis, STEAM, and more. The courses come fully packed with video courses, text-based lesson summaries, interactive activities, quizzes, and more – all well-suited to saving teachers a lot of time.
Alongside this, Zenva Schools also offers professional development opportunities for teachers, including the ability to take the same courses as their students.
In terms of the topic of this article, Zenva Schools offers pre-made lesson plans for the available content. This includes mapping not just for Version 8.4 of the Digital Technologies Curriculum, but new mapping for Version 9 as well.
However, Zenva Schools offers more than just content. Schools receive classroom management tools to organize their classrooms as well as analytics to help teachers track student progress.
All in all, it’s a great package that comes with tons of content ready-to-go for your classroom, and with preparation well underway for the Version 9 curriculum roll-out.
Conclusion: What Does The Australian Curriculum Review Mean For Years 5-6 Digital Technologies Students And Teachers?
Overall, the switch to Version 9 of the Digital Technologies Curriculum will mean a better experience for years 5/6 students and teachers.
Not only do the curriculum changes boast clearer descriptions for learning outcomes, but make sure digital literacy gets the attention it deserves for preparing kids for the future. The strands are also much better defined, so it’s easier to ensure that your resources are achieving the goals needed.
Of course, with platforms like Zenva Schools already mapping content to Version 9, there is no shortage in teaching material available to make sure you’re current with the technology industry.
We hope this information helps during your transition, and make sure to visit the main Version 9 website for more information.
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