We’ve been funded by Education Queensland to work with Queensland teachers, and help them to plan for teaching the ACARA Digital Technologies curriculum in a way that is engaging for students and creative for all involved.

Our approach to this project is based upon principles of:

Design thinking is at the core of everything that we do. Teachers use design thinking to plan out whole terms of work – and they in turn encourage students to use design thinking, developing their 21st Century skills.

Co-design forms the basis of our relationship with schools. We believe that teachers know best what needs to be taught and how to teach it. Through the co-design process, the research team acts as enablers of the design process, and as capacity builders with an expert knowledge of technologies and the DigiTech curriculum.

Student engagement is critical to the success of the project. Engaged students are students that are learning. We help teachers to use principles of user-centred design to “bring the student into the room” whenever we are designing lesson plans, through use of role-playing, personas, and other tools to evoke empathy. When students design they are given the opportunity to bring their own knowledge and experiences into the room and to develop their 21st century skills – and the opportunity to learn by losing themselves in the flow of creativity.

Capacity building of teachers is our motivation for developing this project. We have a vision of a Queensland in which teachers are given the support that they need to let students learn through creativity and collaboration. With the right support, teachers have the time, resources, and know-how to use design-led pedagogy to achieve their objectives.

That warm fuzzy feeling of support and community. We believe that, because every teacher has had a unique set of experiences, they have something of value to teach other schools across the state. Our project serves as an enabler for skill- and resource-sharing between schools that otherwise may never have occurred. So not only do we make sharing possible but we make sure that we complete the feedback loop and tell each teacher the echoes that their contribution has had. A feeling of support and of community – we believe this is something that every teacher deserves.

So what are we doing?

We’ve started out small, working with select Queensland schools to implement the ACARA Digital Technologies curriculum for years 9 and 10, with a focus upon teaching using a design approach for developing 21st century skills.

We began with two inner city Brisbane schools, and worked closely to co-design a whole term of study through a number of design workshops and using OneNote as a vehicle for online collaboration.

Then we shifted out focus to a mix of schools across Queensland (some rural and some on the city fringe) working with teachers who were curious to develop their design skills and willing to try something different. We’re currently working with these schools to offer free profession development, through online workshops with groups of three or four teachers at a time. These workshops focus on: (i) Understanding the goals of the school and the teacher; (ii) Sharing the opportunities to re-purpose existing resources to meet these goals; (iii) Capacity building through training in design thinking for teachers; and (iv) Co-design to extend existing resources and tailor a plan to fit the needs of the local context

We’re quite surprised by how many unintended and positive flow-on effects seem to be arising from the co-design process. We’re still working hard to make sure that all teachers involves in the project are supported and that students are learning the DigiTech curriculum… but we’re looking forward to sharing the outcomes with you in the second half of 2018!

Contact us on the form below if your school wants to join the waiting list. Watch this space as we attempt to scale the project up and work with more schools across the state.