The Technologies learning area has strong connections with a number of subjects across the Australian Curriculum. This section expands on some items discussed in the Australian Curriculum: Technologies in Links to other learning areas. Opportunities for integration are discussed below:
In the Australian Curriculum, design thinking and design processes feature significantly in Design and Technologies, Digital Technologies and The Arts. Design thinking and design processes are examples of critical and creative thinking. Critical and creative thinking is developed in all learning areas and is described in the critical and creative thinking learning continuum, which is a statement about learning opportunities in the Australian curriculum for students to develop their critical and creative thinking capability.
The Design and Technologies processes and production skills strand develops design thinking and design processes. Designing in Design and Technologies involves design thinking and the explicit use of design processes to develop and produce designed solutions for an identified user and purpose (usually to fulfil some practical purpose in the wider world). It involves developing designed solutions that take into consideration a range of factors − such as ethics, functionality, and sustainability − related to the identified need, and that can be evaluated using identified criteria for success. It involves experimenting with technologies through drawing, modelling and the manipulation of materials.
The Digital Technologies processes and production skills strand develops design thinking and design processes. Designing in Digital Technologies involves design thinking and the explicit use of design processes to design solutions for a purpose (usually to fulfil some practical purpose in the wider world). It involves identifying the steps and decisions that are needed to execute a solution, for example using algorithms, and determining the functionality and aesthetics required by the users (user interfaces and user experiences). Design ideas are documented using techniques such as mock-ups. Design thinking also involves taking into consideration a range of economic, environmental and social factors that influence the sustainability of designs.
Food and fibre production provides a context and body of knowledge, understanding and skills in the Australian Curriculum: Technologies. Students will also have opportunities across other learning areas from Foundation to Year 10 to learn about the production of the food they eat, fibres they use and the environment in which they live. Learning will address key processes of production, marketing, consumption, sustainable use of resources and waste recycling.
ACARA will document how food and fibre production is addressed across the Australian Curriculum. This will provide a framework − across learning areas and specifically within the Technologies learning area as a context for core learning in F–8 − for all young Australians to understand and value food and fibre production. States and territories may offer extra learning opportunities in Years 9–12.
Student attitudes and behaviour regarding healthy living can be influenced by providing students with opportunities to learn about where their food comes from, how it is produced and how they can prepare it. In the Australian Curriculum students will be taught about food and nutrition in Health and Physical Education (HPE) from Foundation to Year 10 and in the Technologies learning area through Design and Technologies from Foundation to Year 8. In the HPE curriculum students develop knowledge and understanding of nutrition principles to enable them to make healthy food choices and consider the range of influences on these choices.
In Design and Technologies students learn how to apply knowledge of the characteristics and scientific and sensory principles of food, along with nutrition principles (as described in HPE) to food selection and preparation through the design and preparation of food for specific purposes and consumers. They will also develop understandings of contemporary technology-related food issues such as ‘convenience’ foods, highly processed foods, food packaging and food transport. Beyond Year 8 students may choose to study a food-related subject offered by states and territories or they may have the opportunity in Design and Technologies to design and produce solutions in a food specialisations context.
ACARA will document how food and nutrition are addressed across the Australian Curriculum. This will provide a framework across learning areas and specifically within the Technologies learning area as a context for core learning from Foundation to Year 8 − for all young Australians to understand and value food and nutrition. States and territories may offer extra learning opportunities in Years 9 to 12.
Home economics subjects support students to develop the capacity to make decisions, solve problems and develop critical and creative responses to practical concerns of individuals, families and communities in the local and global context. Where Home Economics is offered as a subject, or home economics related subject elements of learning will be drawn from content in both Health and Physical Education (HPE) and Technologies in the Australian Curriculum.
Content to be drawn from the HPE curriculum is in relation to food and nutrition, growth and development, identity, and connecting to others. Students develop the knowledge, understanding and skills to make healthy choices about food and nutrition. They explore the range of influences on these choices and build the skills to access and assess nutritional information that can support healthy choices. In HPE, students become increasingly aware of the stages of human growth and development. They take increasing responsibility for their own growth and development by exploring, and learning how to manage, the many different factors that influence their identities. Students also develop a practical understanding of how connections to other people influence wellbeing. They learn positive ways to communicate, interact and relate to others in a range of social and movement-based situations.
In the Australian Curriculum, there are opportunities in all learning areas to develop information and communication technology (ICT) capability. These are described in the ICT general capability learning continuum, which is a statement about learning opportunities in the Australian Curriculum for students to develop their ICT capability.
In Digital Technologies the ICT capability is more explicit and foregrounded. Students develop explicit knowledge, understanding and skills relating to operating and managing ICT and applying social and ethical protocols while investigating, creating and communicating. The study of Digital Technologies will ensure that ICT capability is developed systematically. While specific elements are likely to be addressed within Digital Technologies learning programs, key concepts and skills are strengthened, complemented and extended across all subjects, including in Design and Technologies. This occurs as students engage in a range of learning activities with digital technologies requirements.
The clear difference between the Digital Technologies curriculum and the ICT general capability is that the capability helps students to become effective users of digital technologies while the Digital Technologies curriculum helps students to become confident developers of digital solutions.
Students use multimedia in a range of learning areas in the Australian Curriculum to communicate evidence of their learning. Explicit content descriptions detailing the knowledge, understanding and skills that students must acquire in relation to multimedia are found in two subjects: Digital Technologies and Media Arts. Also, in Design and Technologies students may produce designed solutions through the technologies context Materials and technologies specialisations; for example, graphics technologies specialisation with a multimedia focus. In Digital Technologies the multimedia focus relates to the technical aspects of digital multimedia solutions, and privacy and intellectual property. The technical aspects cover the digital representation of multimedia and text as forms of structured data and the digital systems required to capture and display those data. It also includes the algorithms required to create or manipulate them. An understanding of design elements and principles and how people interact with solutions (user experience) and digital media is also addressed.
In Media Arts there is a focus on using standard software to produce images, animations, videos and audios, whereas the digital representation of these media elements and the automated interaction with them are addressed in Digital Technologies. Digital Technologies takes a technical and computational approach to digital solutions featuring multimedia such as computer games and the design and development of web pages. Computer games, for example are almost always implemented by some form of computer programming (including simple visual programming environments). Learning about web design in Digital Technologies looks at the digital representation of a web page that includes digital media, the representation of a document (its structure), the formatting (its appearance), and how web pages are transmitted. Security practices and ethical protocols related to online communication when using blogs, messaging, information sharing and creation web sites and social networking are also addressed in Digital Technologies.