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The Industry Connection In Teaching Digi Tech

The digital technologies industry in Australia currently accounts for approximately 15% of our total economic production, and since the start of the pandemic, this A$167 billion technology sector has grown 26%.

The requirement to develop and drive our young people to contribute to this sector is only growing and increasing the need to support all Australian schools across the Digital Technologies curriculum. But where do we start? As a community, how do we reach across the divide of ICEAS scores, government, independent, catholic and other alternative education streams?

The ideal starting point is with the students themselves. No matter the educational system or the socioeconomic status of a given location, it is true that students the world over will dream what they see and, let’s be honest, they don’t see a lot in the tech space! We often find in schools that authors, sporting celebrities and philanthropists are invited into the halls of education to share their struggles, their journey and their inevitable successes, and while these lectures provide a short insight into great mindsets to build change what are the long-lasting outcomes?

As educators, we understand that the connection with have with our students supports them, building them up and providing them with the confidence to aim for more tomorrow than they were able to do today. So how do we best facilitate connection in the Digi Tech space to allow our students to dream for more? Why not call upon the very tech companies that need our educated students, offering them the opportunity to commit to Australian students? Australian tech companies have a vast range of highly educated and dedicated employees committed to giving back to the very same school system they emerged from. Many of these organisations would jump at the opportunity to work in cohort with schools to support and facilitate the connection between education and industry through ongoing partnerships.

Through partnerships with large tech companies such as CarSales, and smaller entrepreneurial businesses such as we connect tech volunteers with individual schools. These individual partnerships work to promote strong connections with students, teachers, school leadership and the broader school community. Through partnerships such as these, students can connect over a period of months and even years to an industry professional in a mentor-mentee relationship. This relationship opens up the world of technology to all students.

As an entirely free support structure for all Australian schools, CS in Schools connects industry mentors with local schools, offering free access to course materials, arranging free training and facilitating with free ongoing support. Our mission is to help schools create relevant and meaningful education by building industry connections with schools, providing a complete DigiTech pathway for all secondary students, and developing teacher confidence to teach digital technology to their students.

However, while we, at CS in Schools, can support you in making these connections quickly you also have a vast range of resources at your fingertips. Reach out to your local community, parents and friends of the school you work in. You are likely to find that Tech connections are hiding in plain sight, and the vast majority of these skilled individuals are more than happy to donate their time and connect in with you, your school and most importantly your students.

Together schools and industry can make a difference to the educational outcomes of our students.

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About The Author:

Hugh Williams

Co-Founder And Chairman Of CS In Schools

Hugh is the co-founder of CS in Schools, an organisation that is creating sustainable change in digital technology education. He is also a Professor at the Melbourne Business School, an Adjunct Professor at RMIT University, and a company advisor and investor. He was formerly a vice president at Google and has also held senior roles at eBay and Microsoft. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering and has a PhD from RMIT University.

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