ICT GISP Schools are Developing Coding Skills for Careers in Tech
The Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies recommends the development of coding skills and data wrangling expertise from Foundation through to Year 12. Very few teachers have the industry experience or Computer Science background to confidently use direct teaching to train students in the various popular coding languages. The ICT Gateway to Industry Schools project has partnered with Brisbane-based online training platform Zenva to provide ubiquitous and asynchronous access to relevant and engaging training.
As part of the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training’s ICT Gateway to Industry Schools project, Zenva Schools is currently being rolled out to ICT GISP schools across Queensland in an initiative to provide students with the in-demand skills needed to succeed in today’s tech workforce. The online, e-learning platform features courses on programming and software development that support the Australian Curriculum in Digital Technologies for Years 7 to 10 using fun, project-based learning courses that provide students with a certificate of achievement upon completion.
Zenva Schools has been designed by industry experts under consultation from Australian teachers and includes a variety of features designed specifically for classroom learning - including the ability to sort students into online classrooms, assign specific courses, and track student progress.
The courses can be tailored to the needs of individual students with a wide range of learning materials, including video lessons and guides created by industry practitioners, downloadable project files, and interactive exercises. Topics covered include general coding, augmented and virtual reality, and game, app and website creation. Teachers can download and adapt curriculum-mapped planning and assessment rubrics from Zenva Schools to ensure a well-constructed learning journey for students.
‘The best long-term training takes place in the classroom, where the teacher can leverage a blended learning approach; combining online, self-guided learning with direct teaching intervention,’ posits ICT GISP Project Manager Matthew Jorgensen. ‘Students with highly developed skills can progress quickly, whilst those who need support can work at their own pace. In these times of disrupted and remote learning, having access to online learning that comes directly from the tech industry is an invaluable resource.’
Teachers from the ICT GISP schools will complete the same courses as their students as a form of profession development and industry skills training using the popular Zenva Academy portal. Once teachers have mastery of the learning tool and coding concepts, they can confidently support students to complete the same courses in the classroom.
At Townsville’s Ignatius Park College, two of the Unity courses were recently trialed in the Year 9 cohort. Teacher Jake Jackson reported that Zenva Schools not only kept students highly engaged, but that it was also a valuable teaching aid, ‘I got to see where (Zenva) structured and sequenced all the learning opportunities within C# and Unity. So, it helped with my unit planning as well as my teaching.’
Students can access industry-standard training to learn coding and software development skills