In examining the current state of computer education in Australian schools, this report is informed primarily by the Australian Computer Society’s survey response to the 2020/21 Australian Curriculum review (ACS, 2021), but it also includes a selection of recent research into the various aspects of computer education in Australia and internationally.
The report gives a background into how computer education has developed in Australia, the significant changes occurring due to the implementation of the Australian curriculum, and the development of Digital Technologies as a compulsory subject in all primary and lower secondary schools.
It explores the approaches schools are taking to implement the curriculum and the challenges they are facing in establishing an entirely new subject.
Specific attention is given to areas of confusion such as the distinctly different but parallel Digital Literacy and Digital Technologies curricula, the lack of focus on coding, the potential for focusing on developing thinking skills, and the impact of the compulsory curriculum on senior secondary computing subjects and tertiary pathways.
The barriers to implementation are unpacked and support mechanisms detailed, with a focus on initial teacher education and ongoing professional learning.
Overall, the report provides a snapshot of the state of Australian computer education in schools at the start of 2022, and presents a series of 55 recommendations to various organisations that can assist in advancing Digital Technologies education.