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School of Education and Professional Studies

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The 2016 Digital Technology Summit saw educators, students and stakeholders come together to discuss and strategise new approaches to teaching technology in schools.

Rethinking classrooms, positioning students as creators rather than consumers and enabling authentic learning experiences are some of the key issues facing today’s educators. This is according to Griffith University’s Dr Jason Zagami who recently spoke at the Queensland Digital Technologies Summit in Brisbane hosted by the School of Education and Professional Studies.

“There is a trend to reinvent the classroom and rearrange the school experience where students move from one learning activity to another more organically, removing the limitations of the bell schedule,’’ he says of the trend in reshaping traditional classrooms. “As technologies such as tablets and smartphones are more readily accepted in schools, educators are leveraging these tools to connect the curriculum with real life applications.”

Dr Zagami said in today’s classrooms student learners are able to explore subjects through the act of creation rather than mere consumption of content. “There is a vast array of digital tools available to support this from kindergarten to Year 12. This can lead to deeply engaging learning experiences whereby students become the authorities on subjects through investigation, storytelling and production. In particular, the Digital Technologies curriculum enables thedevelopment of higher order thinking skills such as computational, design, systems, futures and strategic thinking in students. Other components of this trend include game development and access to programming instruction that nurtures learners as inventors and entrepreneurs.” Dr Zagami also advocated for authentic student learning experiences. “It’s important to bring students in touch with the world outside school – where reflection and self-awareness are cornerstones to their learning. In this way students can experience the future that awaits them once they graduate.” 

The Summit Communique will make an important contribution to the ongoing shape of this agenda in Queensland and more widely.