Digital Technologies learning activities

This element of the course is intended to help you to prepare for working with the Digital Technologies subject in the Australian Curriculum: Technologies. The curriculum was developed during 2012 and 2013. Its status is "Available for use; awaiting final endorsement". It includes a digital technologies component addressing topics linked with computational thinking and associated concepts.

Our goal in this section of the course is to explore some options for introducing Digital Technologies and related concepts in the primary school classroom. As you work through the various activities you should consider how the activities and resources might be used in a primary school classroom. That will inform your planning and development of a related teaching resource as part of your assessment.

If you are studying on campus, you will have one hour of each week of classes scheduled in a computer laboratory to facilitate completion of the activities listed below. You can expect to spend some additional time outside of class to prepare for, complete, and reflect on the activities, and engage in associated assessment. If you are studying online, you should expect to spend an equivalent amount of time on this work.

If you are studying on campus in Toowoomba, you will be offered the opportunity to engage directly with the RALfie project, which is investigating the use of Remote Access Laboratory systems for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. If you are studying on one of the other campuses or online, you will have opportunity to engage remotely with RALfie. All students in the course will be invited to complete questionnaires related to the RALfie research.

The table includes some suggestions relevant to selected content descriptions from the curriculum. You may find other ideas by exploring the content descriptions and elaborations in the curriculum document and/or the Exploration page.

Activity Content descriptions Notes
Introduction to Scratch programming 4.5 Implement simple digital solutions as visual programs with a sequence of steps, branching (decisions), and user input.
6.6 Design, modify and follow simple algorithms represented diagrammatically and in English involving sequences of steps, branching (decisions), and iteration (repetition).
6.7 Implement digital solutions as simple visual programs involving branching (decisions), iteration (repetition), and user input.
These materials include notes for an introduction to Scratch (a visual programming language) that will require approximately 3 hours to complete.
RALfie as a maker 4.1 Explore and use a range of digital systems with peripheral devices for different purposes, and transmit different types of data.
6.1 Investigate the main components of common digital systems, their basic functions and interactions and how such digital systems may connect together to form networks to transmit data.
Students enrolled on Toowoomba campus will be able to participate in this activity with support from the RALfie team. The experiments they set up will be available for other students to access remotely.
RALfie as a user 4.1 Explore and use a range of digital systems with peripheral devices for different purposes, and transmit different types of data.
6.1 Investigate the main components of common digital systems, their basic functions and interactions and how such digital systems may connect together to form networks to transmit data.
All students in the course will be able to participate in this activity with support from the RALfie team. They will work with remote access to experiments set up by other students who have been able to work directly with RALfie.
User interface design 6.5 Design a user interface for a digital system, generating and considering alternative designs. Explore the effective design of web sites, mobile apps, ebooks, or other forms of digital systems by designing (and/or building) a simple system. One simple approach is to draw the interface using software like PowerPointâ„¢ and use slides with links to simulate the operation of the system.
Infographics 4.3 Collect, access and present different types of data using simple software to create information and solve problems.
6.3 Acquire, store and validate different types of data, and use a range of commonly available software to interpret and visualise data in context to create information.
Infographics present data using visual design to appeal to users and better communicate the information. They are an alternative or supplement to more conventional charts or graphs. You might begin by investigating tools to make infographics in the classroom.
Google Maps 4.3 Collect, access and present different types of data using simple software to create information and solve problems.
6.3 Acquire, store and validate different types of data, and use a range of commonly available software to interpret and visualise data in context to create information.
Investigate the My placesfunctionality of Google Maps for generating custom maps and displaying data of different kinds. A free Google account will be needed.
Animation 6.7 Implement digital solutions as simple visual programs involving branching (decisions), iteration (repetition), and user input.

Experiment with animation to demonstrate sequence and repetition.

Spreadsheets 4.3 Collect, access and present different types of data using simple software to create information and solve problems.
6.3 Acquire, store and validate different types of data, and use a range of commonly available software to interpret and visualise data in context to create information.
Investigate the use of spreadsheets for managing data such as mark books and/or the use of online spreadsheets such as that in Google Apps for collecting and managing data.
Augmented reality 6.1 Investigate the main components of common digital systems, their basic functions and interactions and how such digital systems may connect together to form networks to transmit data. Investigate apps used with smartphones to overlay informational labels and other data on real time images seen through the device camera.
Data representation 4.2 Recognise different types of data and explore how the same data can be represented in different ways.
6.2 Investigate how digital systems represent whole numbers as a basis for representing all types of data.
8.2 Investigate how text, image and audio data are represented in binary and how these are represented.
Investigate how different media forms are represented in digital systems and the effects on quality, storage requirements, and speed of transmission.
Your choice Review the content descriptions and elaborations to find suitable topics that interest you. Some of the ideas on the Explorations page might spark your interest.

Assessment of learning in this section of the course will be based on items in the online quiz related to digital technologies concepts and simple programming in Scratch.