Teaching the Technologies learning area using a thinking skills approach

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  • Teaching the Technologies learning area using a thinking

    skills approach

  • Dr Jason Zagamijason.zagami.info


  • LecturerGriffith University

    School of Education and Professional StudiesGold Coast

  • Teaching

  • Research

  • Service

  • Curriculum Development

  • Mid October

  • End of 2015

  • Thinking Skills

  • Systems Thinking

    Computational Thinking

    Design Thinking

    Futures Thinking

    Strategic Thinking

  • Digital systems: the components of digital

    systems: hardware, software and networks and

    their use Representation of data:

    how data are represented and structured symbolically

    Knowledge and UnderstandingDesign and

    Technologies Digital


    Creating Solutions

    Technologies and society: the use, development and impact of technologies in

    peoples lives Technologies contexts:

    technologies and design across a range of

    technologies contexts

  • Engineering principles and systems

    Food and fibre production

    Food specialisations

    Materials and technologies specialisations

  • Information systems

    Information technology

    Software engineering

    Computer engineering

  • Investigating Generating Producing Evaluating

    Collaborating and Managing

    Defining Designing

    Implementing Evaluating

    Collaborating and Managing

    Processes and Production SkillsDesign and

    Technologies Digital


    Creating Solutions

  • Challenge Based Learning

  • Systems Thinking

    Computational Thinking

    Design Thinking

    Futures Thinking


  • Systems Thinking

    Computational Thinking

    Design Thinking

    Futures Thinking

    Strategic Thinking

  • Systems Thinking

    Computational Thinking

    Design Thinking

    Futures Thinking

    Strategic Thinking Solutio

    ns Thinkin

    g .

  • Once a new technology rolls over you, if youre not part of the steamroller, youre part of the road

    Stewart Brand

  • We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology and yet have cleverly arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. Thats a clear prescription for disaster

    Carl Sagan

  • It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity

    Albert Einstein

  • Systems Thinking

    Computational Thinking

    Design Thinking

    Futures Thinking

    Strategic Thinking Solutio

    ns Thinkin

    g .

  • Global Warming

    Armed Conflicts

    Food Scarcity

    Clean Water

    Ageing Population



    Alternative Energy


    Health Care


    Housing and Shelter

    Big Problems

  • Challenge Based Learning

  • Systems Thinking

  • Systems Thinking makes it possible to analyse and understand complex phenomena

    Systems Thinking

  • Instead of isolating smaller and smaller parts of the system being studied, systems thinking works by expanding its view to consider larger and larger

    numbers of interactions as an issue is being studied

    Systems Thinking

  • Thinking consists of two activities: constructing mental models and then simulating them in order to draw conclusions and make decisions

    Barry Richmond

  • Understanding the concept of a tree requires more information than is available through sensory experience alone. Its built on past experiences and knowledge.

  • Mental Models

  • The image of the world around us, which we carry in our head, is just a model. Nobody in his head imagines all the world they have only selected concepts, and relationships between them, and uses those to represent the real system

    Jay Forrester

  • The problems we have created in the world today will not be solved by the level of thinking that created them

    Albert Einstein

  • We are limited in our capacity to form and reform mental models. Systems modelling allows us to move from what to what if and make our thinking visible

    The basic building blocks of dynamic models are stocks, flows, and loops

  • Essentially, all models are wrong, but some are useful

    George Box

  • A supermarket can be seen as any of the following kinds of systems, depending on the perspective:

    a "profit making system" from the perspective of management and owners

    a "distribution system from the perspective of the suppliers

    an "employment system from the perspective of employees

    a "materials supply system from the perspective of customers

    an "entertainment system from the perspective of loiterers

    a "social system" from the perspective of local residents

    a "dating system" from the perspective of single customers

  • Students need learn to identify the properties of the various subsystems they explore, for example of a bicycle,

    and examine how they relate to the whole. Children tend to think of the properties of a system as

    belonging to individual parts of it rather than as arising from the interaction of the parts. A system property that

    arises from interaction of parts is therefore a difficult idea.

  • Students should already know that if something consists of many parts, the parts usually influence one another.

    Also they should be aware that something may not work as well (or at all) if a part of it is missing, broken, worn out,

    mismatched, or misconnected.

  • 1:00

  • Students can learn about the choices and constraints that

    go into the design of a bicycle system. Depending

    on whether the bicycle is intended for racing,

    mountain roads, or touring, influences its design and

    such choices as the type of tires, frame and materials,

    and drives and gears.

  • In addition, accommodating one constraint can often lead to conflict with others. For example, the lightest material may not be the strongest, or the most efficient shape may

    not be the safest or the most aesthetically pleasing. Therefore, every design problem lends itself to many

    alternative solutions, depending on what values people place on the various constraints.

  • 1:00

  • Subsystems could include:

    The Wheel Drivers & Gears

    Frames & Materials Brakes & Steering

    Aerodynamics Power System

  • Speed Safety Comfort Durability Endurance

    The Wheels

    Drivers and Gears

    Frames and Materials

    Brakes and Steering


    Power System

  • Behaviour (changes) over time

  • Weather

  • Weather

  • Attendance

  • Tying Shoes

  • Experiments

  • Literature

  • Tortoise vs the Hare

  • As you are reading, look for key words such as: change transform revolution becoming more rose went up increased got higher grew/growth gained less fell went down decreased went

    lower declined lost

    Write down one or more quotes in each box. Circle key words of change and underline what you think is changing. Draw a line graph of how the

    quote shows change over time. Explain why the change occurs.

    Identifying Change Over Time in Text

    Quotes from book Change over time Why this might be occurring

  • Identifying Change Over Time in Text

  • Behaviour over time

  • Behaviour over time

  • Behaviour over time

  • Stocks and Flows

  • Stocks are the foundation of any system and are the elements that you can see, feel, count, or measure Stocks do not have to be physical


  • Reservoirs

  • Reservoirs

  • Reservoirs

  • Money

  • Air Quality

  • Air Quality

  • Air Quality

  • Animal Populations

  • Animal Populations

  • Human Populations

  • Stock changes over time



  • Stocks change over time through the actions of a flow A stock is the present memory of the changing flows within a system


  • The Waterhole

  • The Waterhole

  • The Waterhole


  • A feedback loop is formed when changes in a stock affect the flows into or out of that same stock Balancing feedback loops are stability seeking and try to keep a stock at a certain level or within a certain range Reinforcing feedback loops occur when a system element has the ability to reproduce itself or grow at a constant fraction of itself


  • Marker Pen Scarcity

  • Population Change

  • Endangered Animals

  • Professional Development

  • Symbols

    A converter holds information or

    relationships that affect the rate of the flows, or that

    affect the content of another converter

    A connector indicates that

    changes in one element cause

    changes in another element; only

    changes a stock by going through an

    accompanying flow

    A flow represents actions or processes; transports stuff,

    concrete or abstract, that directly adds to or takes away from accumulation in a stock;

    the verbs in the system

    A stock represents an accumulation,

    concrete or abstract, that increases or

    decreases over time; the nouns in

    the system

  • Feedback Loops

  • Rumours

    Increasing or compounding Reinforcing Feedback

  • Avalanche

    Increasing or compounding Reinforcing Feedback

  • Epidemics

    Increasing or compounding Reinforcing Feedback

  • World Population

    Increasing or compounding Reinforcing Feedback

  • Soil Fertility

    Decreasing or collapsing Reinforcing Feedback

  • Predator / Prey

    Equalising / Oscillating Balancing Feedback

  • Fire Management

    Equalising / Oscillating Balancing Feedback

  • Growing Plants

    Causal Loops

  • Immunisation

    Causal Loops

  • Friendships

    Reinforcing Causal Loops

  • Types of loops

    Balancing Feedback

  • Connection Circle

  • Connection Circle

  • Causal Loop

  • Connection Circle

  • Causal Loop

  • Connection Circle

  • Causal Loop

  • Systems Thinking

    Computational Thinking

    Design Thinking

    Futures Thinking

    Strategic Thinking

  • Computational Thinking

  • Computational ThinkingThe curriculum is designed so that students will develop and use

    increasingly sophisticated computational thinking skills, and processes, techniques and digital systems to create solutions to

    address specific problems, opportunities or needs.

  • Computational ThinkingComputational thinking is a process of recognising aspects of

    computation in the world and being able to think logically, algorithmically, recursively and abstractly. Students will also

    apply procedural techniques and processing skills when creating, communicating and sharing ideas and information, and

    managing projects.

  • Computational Thinking Skills

  • Analysis - the process of breaking the complex into smaller parts to gain

    a better understanding of it.

  • Decomposition

  • Pattern recognition

  • Pattern generalisation and abstraction

  • Algorithm Design

  • Curriculum Concepts

  • Digital systems

    Digital systems (hardware, software, and networks and the internet)

  • Digital systems

    The digital systems concept focuses on the components of digital systems: hardware and software (computer architecture

    and the operating system), and networks and the internet (wireless, mobile and wired networks and protocols).

  • AbstractionAbstraction, which underpins all content, particularly the

    content descriptions relating to the concepts of data representation and specification, algorithms and


  • AbstractionAbstraction involves hiding details of an idea, problem or

    solution that are not relevant, to focus on a manageable number of aspects. Abstraction is a natural part of communication:

    people rarely communicate every detail, because many details are not relevant in a given context. The idea of abstraction can be

    acquired from an early age. For example, when students are asked how to make toast for breakfast, they do not mention all

    steps explicitly, assuming that the listener is an intelligent implementer of the abstract instructions.

  • AbstractionCentral to managing the complexity of information systems is

    the ability to temporarily ignore the internal details of the subcomponents of larger specifications, algorithms, systems or interactions. In digital systems, everything must be broken down

    into simple instructions.

  • Data collection, representation and

    interpretationThe properties of data, how they are collected and represented, and how they are interpreted in context to produce information.

  • Data collection

    Data collection describes the numerical, categorical and textual facts measured, collected or calculated as the basis for creating

    information and its binary representation in digital systems.

  • Data representation

    Data representation describes how data are represented and structured symbolically for storage and communication, by

    people and in digital systems

  • Data interpretation

    Data interpretation describes the processes of extracting meaning from data

  • Specification (descriptions and techniques), algorithms (following and describing) and implementation (translating and


    Specification, algorithms and implementation

  • Specification

    Specification describes the process of defining and communicating a problem precisely and clearly. For example,

    explaining the need to direct a robot to move in a particular way.

  • Algorithms

    An algorithm is a precise description of the steps and decisions needed to solve a problem. Algorithms will need to be tested

    before the final solution can be implemented. Anyone who has followed or given instructions, or navigated using directions, has

    used an algorithm.

  • Implementation

    Implementation describes the automation of an algorithm, typically by using appropriate software or

    writing a computer program.

  • Interactions and impacts

    Interactions (people and digital systems, data and processes) and impacts (sustainability and empowerment).

  • Interactions and impactsThe interactions and impacts concepts focus on all aspects of human interaction with and through information systems, and

    the enormous potential for positive and negative economic, environmental and social impacts enabled by these systems. Interactions and impacts are addressed in the processes and

    production skills strand.

  • Interactions

    Interactions refers to all human interactions with information systems, especially user interfaces and experiences, and

    humanhuman interactions including communication and collaboration facilitated by digital systems.

  • Impacts

    Impacts describes analysing and predicting the extent to which personal, economic, environmental and social needs are met

    through existing and emerging digital technologies; and appreciating the transformative potential of digital technologies

    in peoples lives.

  • Error Correction Example

  • Binary Search Example

  • Travelling Salesman



  • 0:45

  • Computational Thinking for Educators


  • Abstraction Data & Information Systems

    Algorithms and Programming Digital Systems

    Implications and Impacts

    Computational Thinking

  • Modelling problems

    Identifying subsystems

    Exploring interactionsother systems

    Systems Thinking

  • Systems Thinking

    Computational Thinking

    Design Thinking

    Futures Thinking


  • Design Thinking

  • Design ThinkingUse of strategies for understanding design problems and

    opportunities, visualising and generating creative and innovative ideas, and analysing and evaluating those ideas that

    best meet the criteria for success and planning.

  • Design Process Creating a product, environment or service

    investigating the problem generating a solution producing a solution evaluating the solution collaborating on and managing this


  • Systems Thinking

    Computational Thinking

    Design Thinking

    Futures Thinking

    Strategic Thinking Solutio

    ns Thinkin

    g .

  • 3:16



  • Systems Thinking

    Computational Thinking

    Design Thinking

    Futures Thinking

    Strategic Thinking

  • Futures Thinking

  • conceptualise more just and sustainable human and planetary futures.

    develop knowledge and skills in exploring probable and preferred futures.

    understand the dynamics and influence that human, social and ecological systems have on alternative futures.

    conscientise responsibility and action on the part of students toward creating better futures.

    Futures Thinking

  • Trend Analysis

  • Cyclical Pattern Analysis

  • Environmental Scans

  • Fashion

  • Scenarios

  • Backcasting

  • Visioning

  • www.nmc.orgHorizon Reports

  • Strategic Thinking

  • Managing Projects and Collaboration

    plan (with teacher support) simple steps and follow directions to complete their own projects or manage their own role within team projects.

    responsibility for specific roles within a project with increasing levels of collaboration and team work.

    manage projects, with support from peers and teachers.

    fully manage projects and teams. They use digital tools to support their project management. They coordinate teams and collaborate with others locally and globally.

    F - 2




  • Tools

  • Bee Bots

  • Programming Languages

  • Guessing Game

  • Computer Games

  • Mobile Apps

  • Dynamic Websites

  • Mapping

  • Robotics

  • Interfaces

  • Picoboard

  • 2:14

  • Wearables

  • 5:25

  • 1:22

  • Expert Systems

  • Expert Systems

  • Artificial Intelligence

  • 2:09

  • Systems Thinking

    Computational Thinking

    Design Thinking

    Futures Thinking

    Strategic Thinking

  • The Investigation stage does not investigate the

    problem to better understand it

    Common Unit Problems

  • Project is the teachers, with students following directions to support the creative ideas

    of the teacher

    Common Unit Problems

  • There is no opportunity for students to be creative and design their own solutions

    Common Unit Problems

  • There is no demonstration of the iterative nature of the

    design cycle, using what was learnt from evaluation to

    inform further investigation, generation and production

    Common Unit Problems

  • It is an ICT unit that supports the learning of another

    learning area

    Common Unit Problems

  • Evaluation is little more than reflection, with no criteria or

    possibility of failure

    Common Unit Problems

  • Systems Thinking

    Computational Thinking

    Design Thinking

    Futures Thinking

    Strategic Thinking

  • Systems Thinking

    Computational Thinking

    Design Thinking

    Futures Thinking

    Strategic Thinking Solutio

    ns Thinkin

    g .

  • 0:27