Digital Technologies and Numeracy—Synergy or Discord?
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Engaging young learners in STEM practices such as robotics and coding gives students the opportunity to use new and emerging technologies to solve problems while extending their own knowledge and understanding of mathematics. In Australia, a digital technologies curriculum was introduced in 2014 to assist with making connections between Technology and areas such as mathematics. Drawing on examples from Australia, British Columbia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand, this chapter examines how the introduction of a new curriculum intersects with existing curricula. As an example of an authentic activity that successfully combines elements of both curricula to support STEM learning, findings of a research project that has been conducted with Year 2 students (n = 153) from two Australian primary schools are presented. It appears as young students engage in robotics and coding (Technology) to learn mathematics concepts, they demonstrate learning that moves beyond their curriculum year level, creating a possible conflict between the digital technologies and mathematics curricula with their tightly prescribed sequence of content.
The authors acknowledge the support from the schools, teachers and students involved in the study. Aspects of the teaching experiment component of this article were presented at a MERGA conference; however, this article is a substantive development of this earlier work.
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