Category Archives: Articles

When push comes to pull: cultivating entrepreneurial learning

Last month, the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) released The New Work Smarts report that revealed growing concerns about young Australians not being adequately prepared for their futures.

While it is impossible to forecast where tomorrow’s technology and its concomitant skills demand will lead the next generation, we do know that globalisation, flexibility, automation and robotics will have more influence over determining how jobs are performed, and what jobs are required into the future  (FYA, 2017).

This indicates that students must be much more flexible, innovative and resilient, not only in the context of developing entrepreneurial skills, but also, more importantly, in their development into strong, adaptable human beings (Shaw, 2017).

Chief Executive of the Australian Council for Educational Research, Greg Masters, suggests we need to be much smarter about the school curriculum in order to equip students for a significantly changed and continually evolving world. Many features of the school curriculum have, however, remained unchanged for decades (Masters, 2015). Truly modern schooling must cultivate the traditional 3Rs — reading, writing and arithmetic — along with the more recently identified 4Cs — critical reflection, creativity, collaboration and communication (Anderson, 2017).

Educators need to design curricula carefully so that our students are:

  • critical, empathetic and inventive thinkers
  • using human-centred design processes to be makers, designers, artists and engineers
  • applying mathematics and science skills in a much broader way, using advanced technology
  • employing technical skills in an increasingly enterprising way
  • technology-savvy innovators who can also effectively communicate ideas with others and respond positively to change
  • effective verbal and non-verbal collaborators who can negotiate, pitch, persuade and unpack ethical dilemmas
  • visual-spatial learners, able to scale and visually sketch and prototype solutions
  • passionately entrepreneurial.

The job of teachers is to foster these skills. Renowned researcher, John Seely Brown, suggests the key is ensuring students play with knowledge..read more 

Draft reflection paper

The world of work is changing (Wiliam, 2015) and there will be some tough decisions ahead about the direction the Australian labour market in the next decade (Martin, 2015). Australia is on the cusp of a new and very different industrial revolution (Martin, 2015) driven by technology.

Teachers as expert clinicians, with vested interest and encouragement as learners themselves, will need to push well beyond situating skills for closed tasks and simply adding knowledge. Instruction for modern learning requires an ability to apply learning in varied situations, not solely in the context in which they are learned (McTighe and Curtis, 2015). The new economy requires all of us to be agile, responsive, design minded and liable for learning when faced with unrehearsed situations in the modern complexities of our lives. Young learners in the new economy need to know how to act when faced with situations they were not specifically prepared for (Papert, 1998, cited in Wiliam, 2015). They will also need an appetite for change and have the aptitude to connect the seemingly unconnected. read more

Optimistic superseders

Being put on hold, waiting for service in a complex system or hastily trying to edit detailed information on a mobile device, we have all experienced the waits, tensions and downfalls of bottlenecked systems and services. We can either get confused and frustrated, or we can design more effective solutions.

Today, design plays a much more profound role in shaping our lives than just appearance, styling and interiors (Norman, 2011). Well-designed systems can shape our experiences and communications. As though invisible, good design transforms and uncomplicates our daily interactions. Read more…..

Tech Success – Style Magazine, July 2015

Girls opting to continue technology studies into senior are steadily increasing. Currently twenty-two per cent of the School’s Year 12 cohort undertake technology studies, more than double the state average of ten per cent. Girls Grammar alumni are receiving industry recognition and landing highly-sought after jobs both nationally and internationally, such as one recent graduate who is now working in programme management for fashion brand Burberry in London and another chosen by Westpac as their Young Technologists Ambassador.

‘Our technologies programme emphasises fundamental skills in design methodology, experimentation, business skills (enterprise), user experience (UX) and interaction design as much as customary computer coding. Building real products for real businesses provides our students with the relevancy and ownership their young creative minds want and this is the important link in their learning and engagement , ultimately enhancing their prospects for tertiary study and career outcomes.

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Australian jobs of the future need training strategy now

The fastest growing, most diverse and dynamic segments of the Australian economy exist in creative industries with the dominant segment being software development and interactive content (Crean, 2009).

Creative practitioners with commercial talent are mainstream and embedded across the entire Australian economy (CCI, 2013) and while computer coding and computational thinking is an all important new literacy, we need to place just as much emphasis on time to teach fundamental skills in design methodology, experimentation, business skills (enterprise), user experience (UX) and interaction design.

Jobs of the future need a training strategy now

 

Young designers: future creators

As a parent it is a marvellous sight to see one’s own children embark on flights of imaginative fancy, and as educators, watching our students do this points us towards promising educational methodology that can help lead us to meet some of the big challenges we face in 21st century learning and earning. read more