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 through a national consultation process between 2012 and 2014 and approved for release in 2015.

In 2015 the Queensland Government announced the Advancing education action plan for education in Queensland. As part of that plan they committed to implementing the technologies curriculum and fast-tracking the Digital Technologies curriculum from 2016. They promoted the #codingcounts hashtag and have prioritised coding and robotics in schools. The Scratch activities in Weeks 2 to 4 are intended to prepare you for that work and should help you to begin developing knowledge and skills that will enable you to offer something of value in the schools. 

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 some 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.

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
  • Follow, describe and represent a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve simple problems (ACTDIP004)
  • Define simple problems, and describe and follow a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve them(ACTDIP010)
  • Implement simple digital solutions as visual programs with algorithms involving branching (decisions) and user input (ACTDIP011)
  • Design, modify and follow simple algorithms involving sequences of steps, branching, and iteration (repetition)(ACTDIP019)
  • Implement digital solutions as simple visual programs involving branching, iteration (repetition), and user input (ACTDIP020)
These materials include notes for an introduction to Scratch (a visual programming language) that will require approximately 3 hours to complete. Those activities form the basis of the workshops in Weeks 2 to 4 but you are encouraged to spend more time in individual exploration of Scratch.
User interface design
  • Design a user interface for a digital system (ACTDIP018)
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 PowerPoint™ and use slides with links to simulate the operation of the system.
Infographics
  • Collect, access and present different types of data using simple software to create information and solve problems (ACTDIP009)
  • Acquire, store and validate different types of data, and use a range of software to interpret and visualise data to create information (ACTDIP016)
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
  • Collect, access and present different types of data using simple software to create information and solve problems (ACTDIP009)
  • Acquire, store and validate different types of data, and use a range of software to interpret and visualise data to create information (ACTDIP016)
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
  • Follow, describe and represent a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve simple problems (ACTDIP004)
  • Define simple problems, and describe and follow a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve them(ACTDIP010)
  • Implement simple digital solutions as visual programs with algorithms involving branching (decisions) and user input (ACTDIP011)
  • Design, modify and follow simple algorithms involving sequences of steps, branching, and iteration (repetition)(ACTDIP019)
  • Implement digital solutions as simple visual programs involving branching, iteration (repetition), and user input (ACTDIP020)

Experiment with animation to demonstrate sequence and repetition.

Spreadsheets
  • Collect, access and present different types of data using simple software to create information and solve problems (ACTDIP009)
  • Acquire, store and validate different types of data, and use a range of software to interpret and visualise data to create information (ACTDIP016)
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
  • Examine the main components of common digital systems and how they may connect together to form networks to transmit data (ACTDIK014)
Investigate apps used with smartphones to overlay informational labels and other data on real time images seen through the device camera.
Data representation
  • Recognise different types of data and explore how the same data can be represented in different ways (ACTDIK008)
  • Examine how whole numbers are used to represent all data in digital systems (ACTDIK015)
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 include items in the online quiz related to digital technologies concepts and simple programming in Scratch.