Welcome to the third Digital Technologies Hub newsletter!
What is Computational Thinking?
Computational thinking describes the processes and approaches we draw on when thinking about complex problems or systems. This may involve thinking logically, breaking problems into parts, or using algorithms. We then use a computer to help us solve the problem. The glossary on the Australian Curriculum website includes a definition of Computational Thinking and other terminology.
Teaching computational thinking
CS Unplugged: Programming languages
Unplugged activities are a great way to introduce computer science concepts without the use of a computer. Use these activities with your students to explore how a computer program is made up of a sequence of instructions that the computer must follow.
A collection of videos, graphics, and examples to explain Computational Thinking in practice.
BBC Computational Thinking
This collection of interactive lessons can be used to teach Computational Thinking.
Exploring Computational Thinking
A curated collection of lesson plans, videos, and other resources on computational thinking from Google.
Bebras Computational Thinking Challenge
Bebras is a free international student challenge with the goal to promote computational thinking for teachers and students in years 3–12. Aligned to the curriculum, Bebras tasks are delivered online and can be answered without prior knowledge about computational thinking or ICT. Students work alone or in teams to solve tasks and are required to think about information, discrete structures, computation, data processing, and algorithmic concepts. You can view sample tasks
here, with the competition opening on the 6th of March.
Computational and Algorithmic Thinking (CAT) Competition
The CAT Competition is run by the Australian Mathematics Trust. This one-hour problem-solving competition seeks to identify computer programming potential. It is an ideal activity to encourage an interest in programming. CAT has 4 divisions: Upper Primary (year 5–6), Junior (year 7–8), Intermediate (year 9–10) and Senior (year 11–12). The competition opens on the 21st of March.
The Digital Technologies Hub features lesson ideas with step-by-step instructions for implementing one or more of the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies content descriptions for each band of the curriculum.
Try one of these lesson ideas to implement Digital Technologies in your classroom.
Students design a sequence of steps for others to follow. They convey their instructions to peers and evaluate the work of others to determine if the outcome was successful.
This sequence provides a gentle introduction to the skill of decomposition by having students develop discrete modules which together serve a single need.
Spotlight Case Study
The journey towards an integrated approach to digital technologies
Getting started with DT in schools
We hosted our very first webinar earlier this month. Presented by Chris Harte, this webinar focused on auditing technology, curriculum, and expert capacity to implement the Digital Technologies Curriculum. If you missed the webinar, you can view slides and the full recording.
It starts with teachers: Building teacher capacity in Digital Technologies
1 March, 4.30-5.30pm (AEDT)
Presented by Dr Rebecca Vivian and Lauren Stanhope from The Computer Science Education Research (CSER) Group.
How can we prepare teachers for the Digital Technologies curriculum? The Computer Science Education Research (CSER) Group at The University of Adelaide share approaches schools are taking to build teacher capacity, as well as an abundance of opportunities freely available to teachers and schools, including free online professional development courses, face-to-face training, and a national technology lending library. Whether you're a classroom teacher, school leader or professional development provider, you'll leave with ideas to launch or expand professional development in F-10 Digital Technologies.
Stay tuned for our other upcoming webinar
29 March, 4.30-5.30pm (AEDT)
Presented by Tim Bell, from CS unplugged
Further details and registrations will be available soon.
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Find out what competitions, conferences and professional learning opportunities are on offer in 2017 through our events calendar.
- Bebras Australia Computational Thinking Challenge; 6–17 March, online
- Unpacking the Digital Technologies Curriculum; 7 March, Spotswood, VIC
- Delivering the Digital Technologies Curriculum conference; 7–8 March, VIC
- ICTENSW 2017 Conference - Ready-Set-Digi-Tech Conference; 10–11 March, Sydney
- CSER Digital Technologies Course certification; 15–16 March, Perth
- Teaching Programming for the First Time; 15, 22 and 30 March; TAS
- Improving STEM education conference; 21–22 March; NSW
- Future Schools Expo and Conference; 22–24 March, VIC
- Women in STEM; various dates from March–August, VIC
- Digital Technologies Masterclass at Melbourne West Summit featuring Google for Education; 3 April, VIC
- TeachTechPlay Conference; 3–4 April, VIC
Digital Technologies making news