Another of the items on my ‘bucket list‘ was to ‘visit a waterfall’. I didn’t expect that to be a major challenge because we have always enjoyed short walks in the forest to visit waterfalls. At the same time we were going to be away for 12 weeks and had no specific plans for waterfall visits in that time unlike some previous trips such as our 2012 visit to the USA and Canada that included Niagara Falls.
Coding has become a hot topic in educational circles. In a previous post – The second coming of coding: Will it bring rapture or rejection? – I responded to some comments posted by Bron Stuckey and concluded that a key challenge would be the limited experience that most teachers, and students preparing to be teachers, have of coding in any form. In my view it will not be sufficient to provide teachers with some basic instruction in coding and resources for teaching it. They will need to have experiences that make the usefulness of coding in daily life apparent if they are to embed it authentically in their teaching.
Since that time the Queensland Government has launched Advancing Education, an action plan for education in Queensland, with coding featured as a key component marked by its own hashtag – #codingcounts. The website notes the highlights as fast-tracking of the new Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies subject from 2016, creation of a coding academy, and incubation of future entrepreneurs. Robotics is proposed as a key component and professional development is to be provided for teachers.