Schools across the country can now apply for grants from the Federal Government to deliver digital literacy programs to students in engaging and innovative ways.
Federal Education Minister, Simon Birmingham, said the 2016 Digital Literacy School Grants program supports projects that demonstrate new methods for enhancing digital literacy in schools.
“Schools need to think creatively about how they teach digital literacy to ensure that students don’t fall behind or find it difficult to engage,” Birmingham said in a statement on Monday.
“We need all children to be digitally literate to ensure they are ready for a future full of technology.”
Around $4m has already been allocated to the program as part of the Federal Government’s $50.6m commitment to assist Australian teachers and students to embrace the digital age. This program is a key part of the $1.1bn National Innovation and Science Agenda.
“The grants are also designed to support teachers to implement the digital technologies parts of the national curriculum by providing guidance and support on digital literacy learning and skills in both primary and secondary schools,” Birmingham said.
“The Turnbull Government is committed to improving the teaching and learning of digital literacy in our schools.”
He added that “sparking an interest” in these subjects at an early age was the best way to ensure we increase the number of students taking up Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects to set them up for success after they leave school.”
Digital literacy has played a significant part in efforts to prepare students for the future workforce. The Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) recently released a new report, which outlined a national enterprise skills strategy to achieve this.
The report – titled: The New Basics – cautioned that more issues are ahead for young people as “the most significant disruption in the world of work since the industrial revolution” begins to have an impact in the next decade.
To address this challenge, the FYA called for a national enterprise skills strategy in order to achieve the following:
• Begin early in primary school and build consistently, year on year, throughout high school
• Be provided with ways that young people want to learn: through experience, immersion and with peers
• Provide accurate information and exposure about where future jobs will exist and the skills required to craft and navigate multiple careers
• Engage students, schools, industry and parents in code-signing opportunities in and outside the classroom.