Digital Technologies in focus (DTiF)
As a part of the Australian Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda, ACARA has been funded to support the implementation of the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies in some of Australia’s most disadvantaged schools.
One hundred and sixty schools with a low index of community socio-educational advantage (ICSEA) rating have been invited to participate in the project. From July 2017, leaders and teachers from these schools took part in workshops to support the implementation of Digital Technologies subjects within their schools.
Eight Digital Technologies specialists (also known as curriculum officers) support clusters of schools, providing digital technologies expertise to primary and secondary school teachers.
In 2018, the Digital Technologies specialists will conduct regional professional learning workshops with teachers and school leaders. These workshops will be customised to the specific needs of participating schools, with webinars and online mentoring complementing face-to-face events.
The DTiF team
Meet the DTiF team: (left to right):
Martin Levins, Beth Claydon, Peter Lelong, Shane Byrne, Deeane Poole, Simon Collier, Steve Grant, Kim Vernon, Julie King, Pam Furney and Sarah Hobson
Julie King, Project Lead, Digital Technologies in focus and Curriculum Specialist, Technologies, Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) is responsible for the Australian Curriculum: Technologies. Julie coordinated the development of the F–10 Australian Curriculum: Technologies. She is also Director of the Primary Industries Education Foundation Australia (PIEFA). Julie has previously worked as a teacher, distance education writer, curriculum advisor and manager for the NSW Department of Education.
Shane Byrne is responsible for three clusters in NSW (Dubbo, Newcastle and Sydney). After working for several years at Yew Chung International School in Shanghai, Shane joined ACARA. His experience includes teaching computer and information technology-related subjects within the NSW curriculum across primary and high schools, in Catholic and public systems. Shane also worked in the university sector, teaching Computer Science and Business IT bachelor’s degree courses in the United Arab Emirates, as well as International Baccalaureate and IGCSE Computer Science courses. Throughout his teaching career, Shane has held a range of roles, each role focusing on helping teaching staff to integrate ICT into their classroom pedagogy. Shane’s doctorate focused on the role integrators play in helping teachers to use technology to improve their practice and student learning outcomes.
Beth Claydon is responsible for supporting the north Queensland clusters of schools (Townsville, Cairns and Far North Queensland). Prior to this, Beth was a Technologies senior project officer with the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA). This role involved the creation of professional learning opportunities for not only the Technologies curriculum, but across all learning areas of the Australian Curriculum. Beth’s former teaching positions include teacher and Head of St Hilda’[email protected] at St Hilda’s School, Gold Coast; John Paul College, Brisbane; and Featherby Junior School, UK. Beth is an Apple Distinguished Educator; she completed her Master’s of Education, majoring in leadership and technologies implementation. She has developed a number of iTunes U-courses and co-authored a course for coding drones for primary students.
Simon Collier is supporting clusters of schools across three states and territories (Central Victoria, Murray River (NSW and Victoria) and Darwin (NT). Simon is an experienced school leader with a history working in both primary and secondary schools across Victoria. He has worked as a teaching and learning leader and curriculum coordinator for 10 years, implementing school-wide and regional initiatives. Simon played a pivotal role in the Skilling the Bay – Digital Technologies project, providing professional teaching and support to both primary and secondary school teachers. More recently, Simon was employed by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) as a specialist teacher, supporting Victorian schools in implementing school-wide change and incorporation of the Digital Technologies curriculum.
Steve Grant is supporting schools in three South Australian clusters (Port Lincoln cluster, North Adelaide and South Adelaide) and the Central cluster that includes Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Land schools and schools in the Northern Territory. Steve is an experienced educator and school leader, having worked as a Science teacher, head of learning area, and head of house. Steve most recently was a professional learning consultant with Scitech in Perth. He supported teachers and schools in urban, regional and remote locations, across primary, secondary, public, independent and Catholic education sectors. Steve has developed and presented a range of professional learning programs for teachers, school leaders, schools and school districts, with workshops in STEM, Science, Mathematics, Digital Technologies, Design and Technologies and project-based learning.
Sarah Hobson is supporting school clusters in south-west Queensland and northern New South Wales. Previously, she was an assistant manager, Technologies, at the Queensland Department of Education, where she quality-assured the Curriculum into the Classroom Technologies teaching and learning resources. Sarah also oversaw the development of data-representation resources for the Queensland Coding Academy. Sarah has previously worked as a specialist eLearning teacher at Good News Lutheran School. Sarah sits on the board of the International Bebras Computational Thinking Challenge and is an editor of the Australian Bebras Teacher solution guide. She was the chair of CSIRO’s Digital Careers Educators Advisory Committee for three years and was awarded the QSITE’s Outstanding Leader in 2015.
Martin Levins is supporting schools in the New England area of New South Wales and the Northern Territory (Arnhem Land). He is currently President of the Australian Council for Computers in Education (ACCE). Martin is considered a pioneer of internet use in K–12 education in Australia through his role of a director of information technology; he is a hands-on primary, secondary and tertiary educator. He has helped a generation of teachers and students through huge cultural changes of the technological revolution. Martin continues to play a leading role in strategic boards and committees. These include the ACCE, EduTech national conferences, Future-u.org and Day of STEM (Life Journey) advisory committees. He is also Australia’s affiliate representative to the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).
Peter Lelong is supporting two clusters of schools in Tasmania (Hobart and north-west coast). Peter has been a Digital Technologies educator supporting all three jurisdictions in Tasmania for many years. He is an Apple Distinguished Educator (2004) and Google Educator. Peter is also working with Adelaide University as the Tasmanian Project Officer, supporting the Computer Science Education Research Group (CSER) Digital Technologies Massively Open Online Course (MOOC) developed by the University of Adelaide. In recent years, Peter has worked to established links between Indigenous students in the Northern Territory with their peers in Tasmania through the use of a range of digital technologies and communications initiatives, in a project that aimed to provide opportunities for students to learn more about each other’s communities and environments.
Deanne Poole is supporting school clusters in Western Australia (north Perth, south Perth, Geraldton and Kalgoorlie). Prior to this, Deanne was a Digital Technology specialist teacher and a Technology curriculum leader in a Kindergarten – Year 6 school. Her role included developing and leading professional development for various educators across Western Australia. Deanne’s success in this role saw her invited to many educational events and conferences. Deanne has taught across multiple education sectors and is passionate about the educative integration of technology across the curriculum. In 2013, Deanne was awarded a scholarship with Edith Cowan University Computer Science School to travel to India as part of a Federally Funded Computer Science Tour. This experience provided her with an opportunity to create professional connections with leaders in the design and technology education fields.
Kim Vernon is supporting schools in New South Wales, cluster of Parkes. She is also Curriculum Specialist, Digital Technologies. Previously, Kim has held a position of head of Integrated Technologies at the British International school in Singapore for seven years. Kim has extensive experience in the field of early childhood / primary education, specialising in ICT education. Originally from Sydney, Kim has gained valuable experience working in the UK and Singapore. Kim is passionate about change in technology, focusing on pedagogy and curriculum integration support. For many years, she has worked with leadership teams, teachers and students to support the introduction and inclusion of digital technologies and ICT across all areas and all year levels of the UK and Australian Curriculum.