Sunday, March 16, 2008
Each website that has been added to the list is paired with an annotation to describe the site.
Policies: State and National
Peer and Professional Support Materials
- Tammy Butow
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
This paper explores the discussion surrounding the naming of a Senior QLD IT Learning Domain and suggests an appropriate domain label. It will be argued that the term information technology (IT) is inappropriate for use as a Senior Learning IT domain label in the QLD education sector. In identifying an appropriate term that could match the current and future trends of ICT we must consider a number of questions. What does the term IT mean and why does this make it inappropriate for education? Why have alternative labels appeared in the education sector and what will be explored by students who choose to study within this learning domain?
To distinguish what information technology means at present I have developed an original definition. Information technology (IT) refers to an industry associated with the creation of digital products through the conversion of data to information. Data is converted through a process which employs a variety of electronic devices such as personal computers (PCs) and personal digital assistants (PDAs). This definition acknowledges that IT refers to a variety of electronic devices as well as the industry which utilises them.
So why was it decided that adding an extra letter was necessary? Currently computers are used in QLD secondary schools as an educational tool to promote communication. Toomey (2001) states that the skills students learn through studying ICT are important for lifelong learning. Students undertaking the ICT SAS course “develop important, transferable skills for using a computer as a problem-solving and communication tool” (QSA, 2004, p.2). Students are encouraged to work in teams and to participate in challenging collaborative projects (Kearns, 2002, p.35). The United Nations and the Australian education sector both promote the ICT acronym and the communication aspect it stands for throughout curriculum and policy documentation (UNESCO2, 2002, p.19; DETYA, 2000, p.50). The increasing importance of the intended use of technology has therefore resulted in the evolution of the term IT to become ICT. Lloyd (2008a) acknowledges this trend and explains that there has been a change of focus from the differences in technology to the intent and use of technology. The Australian Catholic education sector further increased ICT to become ICLT. The additional letter represents learning which further contributes to Lloyd’s (2008a) argument that clearly the focus is on what students gain through studying ICT.
As the focus of ICT has changed, students have begun to investigate a range of different processes. The most recent QLD IT syllabus, Information Technology Systems, focuses on ‘project-based learning and the problem-solving design-develop-evaluate (DDE) cycle (QSA, 2006, p.6). Recent policy documents such as the ACS ICT in schools policy (2005) and the MCEETYA National Assessment Program – ICT Literacy Years 6 & 10 Report (2005) emphasise the importance of Australian students having sufficient ICT literacy skills to encourage life-long learning. These documents also stress that assessing ICT literacy skills is crucial to combat differing levels of ICT knowledge nationwide. MCEETYA (2006) also state that “the decision to focus on ICT literacy as an essential skill across all learning areas, for all students, reflects the wide prevalence and use of ICT in society and the value of ICT literate citizens” (p.2).
So what should the Senior QLD IT Learning Domain be named?
For an industry that is always changing, I would like to suggest the name: innovation development.
Innovation is a word which represents new ideas and advancement (QLD Government, 2004). Innovation is continuously mentioned in ICT literature (Lloyd, 2008a; ANTA, 2000; Spender & Stewart, 2002). Development represents a process of creation and improvement. Development is already commonly linked to Software Development in the IT industry. Savage (cited by Lloyd, 2008a) suggests that the key criteria to judge a possible domain name include whether it is “readily identifiable, convincing and marketable” (p.7). This essay explores how “innovation development” meets these requirements.
The term innovation development is a clearly defined term which is logical both within the information technology industry and in the general public. In line with Lloyd’s (1997) discussion on the importance of a good acronym id would pass this test. Not only is it commonly known as a means of identification which is an important part of the development process (Long & Long, 2004). More interestingly id also represents what Freud described as the “pleasure principle” which is an important part of our personality. The id is determined and ensures a person “speaks up until his or her needs are met” (AllPsych, 2004). This clearly represents the importance of meeting and understanding a client’s needs in the information technology industry.
To be successful the new domain name must appeal to both male and female students. There have always been a lower number of females involved in the study of IT in Australian schools (Lloyd, 2008b) and appropriate marketing could change this (Savage cited by Lloyd, 2008a). To increase the marketability of innovation development typical marketing techniques such as branding must be implemented. I have created two draft logos. The purpose of these logos is to present a visual representation of the domain name. Logo 1 is a descriptive logo which includes a simple logo on the left as well as the name of the domain, innovation development.
Logo 2. iDea
When deciding why innovation development is appropriate as a Senior Learning IT domain label it is crucial to explore the alternatives to examine why they would not be sufficient. Three words which are commonly suggested are information, technology & creative (Lloyd, 2008a). Information and technology are already common terms in the IT industry which is why these words may be tainted with the label of ‘nerdy’ (Beise & Myers, 2001). If a clear division is not made between this domain and other technological domains such as industrial technology females will continue to avoid the domain.
It is also important to develop a unique name which inspires students to create. Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research places emphasis on the importance of building a “culture of innovation” in Australia (Carr, 2008). Creative could possibly be an appropriate word; however it definitely narrows the scope of the domain. Creativity is already strongly linked to the arts and using this word implies that to be successful students must have some sort of artistic or creative ability. This does not market the domain to a range of students with differing abilities.
This paper has demonstrated that the use of the term IT in the education sector does not accurately characterise the IT learning domain and should be reserved for referring to the IT industry and the electronic devices used within this industry. ICT is a term which accurately characterises the IT learning domain, however due to a variety of issues such as student disinterest & negative connotations a more marketable, identifiable and appealing term is required. Innovation Development (id) is a term which matches the direction ICT education is heading and is embedded in current policy and ICT literature.
AllPsych. (2004). Personality Development. Retrieved March 1, 2008 from http://allpsych.com/psychology101/ego.html
ANTA (Australian National Training Authority).(2000). Learning for a knowledge society: An education and training action plan for the information economy. Retrieved March 1, 2008 from http://www.dest.gov.au/sectors/school_education/publications_resources/indexes/documents/learning_pdf.htm
ACS (Australian Computer Society). (2005). ICT in schools policy. Retrieved March 1, 2008 from http://www.acs.org.au/acs_policies/docs/2005/computerliteracy.pdf
Beise, C. & Myers, M. (2001). Nerd Work: attractors and barriers perceived by students entering the IT field. Retrieved March 1, 2008 from http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=371236
DETYA (Department of Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs). (2000). Australia Policy 2000: learning for the knowledge society. Retrieved March 1, 2008 from http://www.dest.gov.au/archive/schools/publications/2000/learning.pdf
Kearns, P. (2002). Towards the connected learning society: an international overview of trends in policy for Information and Communication Technology in education. Retrieved March 1, 2008, from http://ictpolicy.edna.edu.au/Publications/Towards_the_Connected_Learning_Society.pdf
Lloyd, M. (1997) Modern Mythology. QUICK, Sept 1997, Issue 65.
Lloyd, M. (2008a). What’s in a name: towards the naming of a new information technology learning domain. Quick No. 105. Summer 2007-08.
Lloyd, M. (2008b). QSITE PowerPoint. Presented in MDB017 29/02/08
Long, L & Long, N. (2004). Computers: Information and Technology in Perspective. USA: Prentice Hall.
MCEETYA (Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs). (2008). National Assessment Program Information and Communication Technology Literacy 2008 Years 6 and 10 An Assessment Domain for ICT Literacy. Retrieved March 1, 2008, from
QLD Government. (2004). Commercialising Queensland’s discoveries and innovations. Retrieved March 1, 2008 from http://www.smartstate.qld.gov.au/resources/publications/ss_strategy/innovations.shtm
QSA (Queensland Studies Authority). (2004). Information and Communications Technology Study Area Specification. Retrieved August 26, 2007, from http://www.qsa.qld.edu.au/yrs11_12/sas/ict/sas.pdf
QSA (Queensland Studies Authority). (2006). Information Technology Systems Senior Syllabus. Spring Hill, Queensland: State of Queensland (Queensland Studies Authority).
Spender, D. & Stewart, F. (2002). Embracing e-learning in Australian Schools. Retrieved March 1, 2008 from http://www.bssc.edu.au/public/learning_teaching/research/embracing%20e-Learning%20000-731.pdf
Toomey, R. (2001). Information and Communication Technology for Teaching and Learning. Schooling Issues Digest 2. Retrieved March 1, 2008, from http://www.dest.gov.au/NR/rdonlyres/C251724A-1E09-4954-BFBE-FDA5836375E3/4508/technology.pdf
UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). (2002). Information and Communication Technologies in Teacher Education. Retrieved March 1, 2008 from http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0012/001295/129533e.pdf
Tammy Butow : QUT B IT/B Education (4th Year Student)