A digital skills challenge will be free to schools across Australia to plug a critical gap in teaching, and attract thousands of students needed as future technology professionals.
Australia requires an additional 286,000 workers and 12,000 students to enter the sector by 2025 to keep up with demand, according to the Tech Council of Australia.
Backed by Amazon Web Services, Telstra, Accenture and Commonwealth Bank, Grok Academy will launch the Digital Technologies Applied Challenge on Wednesday at the EduTech conference in Melbourne.
"Teachers do need help," James Curran, CEO of Grok Academy, told AAP.
"A child could come in knowing more than the teachers and that's a bit confronting."
Dr Curran said federal, state and territory education needs to do more, but industry can develop real-world content to get students thinking and designing, and support teachers.
"Design thinking, user interface and user experience, cloud computing, data analytics - they're all huge areas in their own right that teachers don't know much about, and that kids are going to enjoy learning," he said.
The challenge aligns with the school curriculum from Year 5 to Years 9 and 10, and could get parents thinking about supporting a career in tech for their child.
"It's a challenge of the modern era that kids need to deal with, starting at school," Dr Curran said.
He expects many state, independent and Catholic schools to participate.
Using a similar model, the academy's cyber project has had more than 200,000 enrolments since it was launched in 2019.
Not to be confused with tech billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes' Grok Ventures, the Grok Academy is a charity focused on computer education.
The word "grok" was coined in the 1960s by a science fiction writer and adopted within tech to mean understanding thoroughly and with empathy, and experiencing joy in technology.
"We're all about students, or any learners, understanding tech ideas deeply," Dr Curran said.
Australian Associated Press
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