Day 2 began with opening remarks from Dr Megan Vazey, STEM consultant, Association of Independent Schools, NSW. Megan talked about having an intimate relationship with the computer, it is not just a tool to get something done, the relationship is much more important and deeper than that. She also talked about how it is important to share content, knowledge, work together in terms of resources and teaching skills. She said we should all celebrate ‘epic wins’ and make our lessons creative, innovative and a little bit crazy. A wonderful, positive start to the day.
The first speaker of the day was Paul Herring, Curriculum Leader IT, St Peters Lutheran College. He spoke about a four-step approach to computational thinking, but his presentation was clearly rushed and he skipped over most of his slides, speaking incredibly quickly and skimming over most of his content, which was unfortunate. He had some very interesting information and touched on the subjects of physics and religion in his talk.
Paul talked about the need for authentic learning with real world scenarios, give projects a client focus with a real purpose. He talked about some incredible projects that use technology in some amazing ways, such as SCiO, a portable molecular scanner that fits in the palm of your hand. This piece of technology could have a huge impact in so many ways, and is a sign that technology is evolving quickly and far-reaching. A reminder that we need the young people of today to be innovative, creative and equipped with the correct skill-set to be able to develop the technology of the future.
After Paul, Amanda Hogan, yesterday’s chairperson spoke about collaborative problem solving. She talked about a means of testing for collaborative problem solving, like a NAPLAN style system. Her talk raised some interesting points, such as problem solving is exciting and we should be encouraging and developing these skills. Problem solving opens up your mind to endless possibilities. What is more creative than solving a problem?
Roundtables up next.