TEP23 Master Teachers present at Digicon 2023
Digicon is a two-day digital education conference hosted by Digital Learning and Teaching Victoria (DLTV), where passionate educators, STEAM enthusiasts, and lifelong learners come together to embark on an extraordinary journey of inspiration and innovation. Digicon 2023 was supported by conference partners Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) and Games for Change Asia Pacific and took place onsite at ACMI, Federation Square in Melbourne CBD.
Featuring Master Teachers Francés Braithwaite, Paul McAloon and Anam Javed, this Digicon session was expertly moderated by DLTV President Dr. Jo Blannin and discussed the importance of meaningfully integrating technologies such as microcontrollers (micro:bit, Arduino, Raspberry Pi), drones, computer aided design (CAD) software, and paper and cardboard prototyping to support the building of 21st century skills.
A number of interdisciplinary applications of STEAM methodologies were shared by the panelists, including solar-powered boats, drones and ArcGIS to map rubbish disposal sites, and micro:bits to teaching algorithmic and computational thinking.
Equity of access was also addressed, with solutions explored including opportunities to liaise with local STEAM centers of excellence such as the Department of Education tech schools, along with local libraries, to source equipment and expertise. The importance of building community partnerships, particularly for regional schools was emphasised, with school educators encouraged to invite parents, guardians and local industry stakeholders to school conferences, open exhibitions, classrooms, and events where technologies were on display and in use. Furthermore, the need to be inclusive of parents/guardians regarding current educational technologies and their impact on student learning was emphasised. The panel looked to inspire school leadership to champion ongoing professional learning, and to support teachers to share learnings with the wider school community, along with securing them with the time and space to implement meaningful change.
At the conclusion of the keynote, audience members were encouraged to ask questions about how best to support new educators and how to build community partnerships. The Teaching Excellence Program was cited as an example of ongoing interdisciplinary professional development, where educators would have opportunities to build on pre-existing knowledge to develop interdisciplinary STEAM expertise.
The panelists would like to extend their gratitude to the team at Digital Learning and Teaching Victoria and the Australian Centre of the Moving Image (ACMI) for organising such an important and impactful event. This event brought together educators from across the country and beyond to network and harness each other’s expertise to build the knowledge and understanding of STEAM technologies, whilst collectively seeking to improve outcomes for students from a diverse range of backgrounds.