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Scitech program elevates digital technologies teaching in Peel region schools

Singleton Primary School teachers are becoming leaders in the integration of digital technologies in their classrooms thanks to one-term program Alcoa Real World Digital Technologies.

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Singleton Primary School is fast becoming a leader in the integration of digital technologies in their classrooms, thanks to Alcoa and Scitech.

Facilitated by Scitech, Alcoa Real World Digital Technologies is a one-term professional learning program that aims to increase teacher confidence and capability in incorporating digital technology into daily teaching.

The program is providing teachers with support and resources, including a class set of micro:bits, pocket sized computers which students use across all subjects. By investigating how the micro:bit could be used to measure distances without a ruler, or tell a story through animation and sound for example, students explore and learn how to use block-coding by applying problem-solving skills, creativity and collaboration.

Singleton Primary School is one of four primary schools in the Mandurah and Pinjarra region participating in the program this term.

Year 5 and 6 Teacher Lisa Williams said that the program is supporting her to prepare students for a digitally focussed future.

“Students will be at the forefront of future technological advances and need to be ready for and able to adapt to digital change” she said.

“So far, the students have thoroughly enjoyed coding with their micro:bits. They are highly engaged during our whole class coding tutorials, following along with enthusiasm.  They have applied their knowledge, created some creative codes, and shared their understanding with each other.”

Year 6 Teacher Andrew Clouting said having six teachers from Singleton Primary School in the program meant they could learn from each other’s experience.

“With teachers participating throughout the school, we will increasingly have a student cohort that are developing their digital technology skills in-line with the curriculum,” he said.

“As a teacher, it has been really gratifying to have such a well thought out and resourced program provided to me. It’s been brilliant to see the students independently apply their problem-solving skills to the tasks and observe their genuine enthusiasm and reactions to completing a challenge successfully.”

The program includes a community event called Catch a Hacker, which brings parents and students together to participate in a problem-solving activity, allowing them to see their children’s digital technologies knowledge and skills in action.

Year 3 Teacher Lynn Braithwaite said it was important to involve families and the community at the school as much as possible.

“The Catch a Hacker event provides a perfect opportunity to host an after-school event for families through the support of Alcoa and Scitech,” she said.

Reflecting on the program’s success, Alcoa of Australia’s Social Investment Manager Rebecca Miniken said, “Today, digital literacy is a critical factor in academic success. We are really proud to be working alongside Scitech to ensure children in the communities where we operate have the opportunity to learn digital skills from an early age.”

Alcoa Real World Digital Technologies is an important part of Scitech’s commitment to support teachers and create opportunities to further their skills and knowledge in teaching STEM skills, so they are ready to future-proof students for the jobs of tomorrow.

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