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Industry experts to show teachers all about tech this week

Following the national success of shadowtech for students, TechwomenNZ and CreateOps is this week running a shadowtech day for teachers for the first time.

The shadowtech day for teachers will be held on Wednesday which will create an opportunity for teachers to gain first hand understanding as greater responsibility falls on teachers to pass on tech skills to students.

TechwomenNZ executive director and CreateOps founder Edwina Mistry says the special tech day for teachers will directly involve industry and teachers will spend the day experiencing how tech is used in the real world.

“The big organisations participating include IBM, Xero, Air NZ, Genesis Energy and Auckland Transport and they will give teachers exposure to real life technology,” she says.

“Most teachers in school have self-taught themselves the digital technologies in the national curriculum.

“Almost 80 percent of digital tech teachers in schools have never worked or experienced how tech is used in industry, so it is difficult for them to inspire and motivate students to follow a career in tech unless they know more about it.

“We will help create more awareness among tech teachers in schools by letting them experience first-hand how the tech is used today across industries and is part of most careers.

“Ideally, we want all teachers in schools teaching tech to experience the wonderful world of tech by spending time alongside leading industry experts.

“In level three external exams students need to write about concepts relating to industry and if teachers have experienced or seen these ideas in action, they can support students more easily.

“Teachers who experience the shadowtech teachers’ day on Wednesday will be able to talk to students about how important collaboration is in industry and be able to give them real examples of what they have experienced.

“It will give teachers an insight into practical application of computational thinking, how computer science principles/topics are relevant in the real world and real-world development practices.

“As a result, we expect to see more students considering careers in technology which will reduce the skill shortage in industry. It also means getting big industry involved will give them the opportunity to have input into curriculum at school level.

“We know the Ministry of Education will be very interested in what we are doing at this level to help grow technology skills in New Zealand.”

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