2013 Teachers Day
Passion for engineering and information technology starts with the kids. That’s why UTS is committed to helping train teachers of high school students, updating their skill set with the latest technologies and providing them with resources to take back to the classroom.
Teachers Day in 2013 involved fifty high school teachers, from various schools around NSW, all motivated to further inspire their students to develop skills and a stronger interest in the engineering and information technology disciplines, undertaking a series of activities conducted by academics and students.
Stephen Alexander, the Web Master at Kogarah High School, got a lot out of the interactive day, especially from the activities focussed on programming. “Previously, we needed to use DOS for programming but schools wouldn’t be able to access it because of security reasons. Now with Internet-based software like Python, we can teach programming online and bypass the security programs,” he said.
Mr Alexander is keen to upgrade his programming skills so he can pass them onto his students. “As a teacher, I now need to know how exactly to use the latest Internet-based software so that I can teach it to my students. Python still applies the same principles as DOS, but it makes for a more hands-on style of teaching rather than theoretical,” he said.
With an interest in tinkering, Rosanna Sukkar from Santa Sabina College also found the day to be highly practical. “We need to teach our kids to not just be consumers of technology but creators of technology,” she observed. “Subjects like programming teach students transferrable skills like problem solving. It’s more than just the ability to program – it’s also creativity and analytical skills.”
Activities on the day included Game Design – exploring how design-based learning can help students personalise their project, collaborate with others and reflect on their work. Teachers were also exposed to the UTSRemoteLabs, which enables them to remotely control experiments from the safety and convenience of their classroom.