Digital Technologies Curriculum
Level 3 - 4

Level 3 - Level 4

Creating Digital Solutions

Content Description

  • Define simple problems, and describe and follow a sequence of steps and decisions involving branching and user input (algorithms) needed to solve them.
  • Develop simple solutions as visual programs.
  • Explain how student-developed solutions and existing information systems meet common personal, school or community needs.

Lesson Ideas

Online Resources

Hector's World
  • Investigate Intel Galileo board: students program the Galileo to play hot cross buns. See: student sample work.
  • Guiding Each Other: this lesson plan has been developed to teach students about algorithms and following instructions. It includes using if/then statements and develops an understanding of how these are used in programming.
  • Hector's World: an age appropriate animation with fun and engaging characters that explores digital safety. Children observe the characters as they explore how to stay safe online. Teachers can find full lesson plans on the website to help scaffold class discussions and follow up activities.
  • Graph Paper Programming: in this lesson students program one another to draw pictures and will begin to understand the concepts of programming. Code.org
  • Unplugged Activity: Graph Paper Programming.
  • Conditionals with Cards: students learn about algorithms and conditional statements in this lesson. They will define circumstances when certain parts of programs should run and when they should not and determine whether a conditional is met based on criteria.

  Videos

  • My Robotic Friend: this lesson idea can be adapted for a variety of age and abilities and could be conducted with a whole class, groups of students with older student support or in small groups. It requires students to problem solve using computational thinking and write a set of instructions for a 'robot' to follow. This idea could be implemented over multiple lessons, enabling students to explore and start thinking about how a real robot works and conduct some research about it. Code.org

Units of Work

Online Resources

Scratch
  • 'Getting up' algorithm design: this sequence of classroom activities supports students to create a flow chart of decisions to design an algorithm. Students will use word processing or publishing software to design their algorithm of getting up in the morning and colour code it accordingly. For further information, see: Student examples.
  • Using Scratch and Pygame to understand gaming basics: this lesson sequence explores the concepts of programming before starting with more complex programming languages such as Python.
  • Celebrations and Commemorations: in this inquiry unit, students are asked to research, plan and develop an information product that would inform and persuade the school Principal that their chosen Celebration or Commemoration should be an event celebrated at school. Direct integration links with History and English.
  • Where is it?: this lesson sequence has been designed to explore algorithms and programming. A student is selected to play the role of a computer and another to give explicit instructions to locate a particular number in a sequence. Students then work in pairs to practice giving and receiving explicit instructions, exploring the concepts of an effective algorithm.

Resources

Apps and Software

  • The following apps and software could be used to help students to learn about programming and how to create instructions (algorithms) to make something happen/work:
  • Overview of Visual Coding Environments: short video explaining visual programming environments and how they work by the CSER team at Adelaide University.
  • Growing Up Digital Classroom Resources: links to downloadable classroom activities, videos, interactive learning modules and advice sheets and other useful resources to use in the classroom.
  • Blockly (free, web): is a series of educational games that teach programming. It is designed for children who have not had prior experience with computer programming. By the end of these games, players are ready to use conventional text-based languages.For schools that have poor Internet connections, Blockly can be downloaded in an offline version.
  • Mildura West
  • BotLogic (free, web): great for young students. It is an educational puzzle game that challenges students to solve logic problems as well as introduce valuable programming concepts.
  • Build with Chrome: similar to Minecraft; use virtual Lego blocks to build in your browser.
  • CargoBot (free, Apple app): this iPad app supports students to learn the basics of coding in a puzzle environment. Slightly more advanced students can create separate smaller programs which they can repeat in the main instructions, helping them to learn about loops and repeat.
  • Code Monkey Island (paid, board game): helps student to learn basic programming syntax and logic. Students develop concepts such as conditional statements and looping.
  • CS is Fun (free, web): a resource bank of resources for students in age categories. Explore the different programming resources available.
  • Dot and Dash Robots (paid, programmable robots): these robots can be programmed using an iPad or Android device. Teachers can also access lesson plans.
  • GameStar Mechanic (free, web): teaches students to design their own video games. Students complete different self-paced quests while learning to build game levels. The site integrates critical thinking and problem-solving tasks.
  • Hopscotch (free, iOS): programming on the iPad. Drag and drop blocks to create your own games. Students are able to add their own artwork and share games so that their friends can play them too. Support resources are also available. For further assistance, download the free Hopscotch Challenges iBook.
  • Kodable (free, web, iOS, Android): teachers students to basics of programming language in a fun game. It is self-guided and teaches students about strings, integers, and arrays.
  • LEGO Mindstorms (paid, lego kit, app and computer software): build and program robots and machines using Lego Mindstorms kits. Designed for older and advanced coders. The EV3 brick comes with motors, sensors, remote controls, which are all powered by the EV3 brick that connects to a computer. After creating the robot, students can use the drag and drop interface on either a PC or Mac computer to program it to complete projects.
  • Made with Code (free, web): this website teaches students the basics of programming while completing a project. It supports students to start thinking about digital solutions and how they could create their own creative digital solutions to solve problems. The projects use drag and drop blocks to make something work.
  • Minecraft Edu (paid license per student structure, Windows, Mac or Linux computer with Java installed): Minecraft contains a set of powerful yet simple tools to customise the user experience for learning. Intuitive tile-based programming. Schools need to purchase a license to use the software, based on the number of students using the program.
  • Boy with Robot
  • Move the Turtle: programming via iPad, students use computational thinking to solve the problems.
  • Pencil Code (free, web): a programming site for drawing art, playing music and creating games with block or text code. It has strong connections with maths including the areas of geometry, graphing and algorithms. Students can create using either block code to extend them they can swap to text coding using Coffeescript. Pre-load projects from the library or start with a blank page.
  • Scratch (free, on-line or offline editor): developed for young people to develop their visual programming language It is made up of block code which they drag to the workspace to animate sprites. It is multi-platform and web based that makes it more accessible. Students can complete a range of projects including programming and sharing interactive stories, games, and animations. The Scratch website includes a range of a range of quality resources and an education community. Use the following FUSE package for resources to get started with your class. More advanced resources are also available in this FUSE package.
  • Snap! (free, web): is a visual, drag-and-drop programming language. It is an extended reimplementation of Scratch that allows you to Build Your Own Blocks. Teacher resources and student resources are available to support students to use Snap!
  • Code Studio (free, web): students complete 20 hour courses. The courses are sequential and become more complex. Code.org
  • Tynker (free, web or Apple app): with the option for Premium upgrade Tynker was designed to teach programming. The app features starter lesson plans, classroom management tools and online showcase of student created games and programs. Students can use the built in characters and graphics to create their own games. If using the iPad version students learn to program with puzzles and easily build their own games.
  • Sphero (paid, robot): ball can be programmed to move in different directions. Students can set up mazes and challenge another student to program their robot to move around it. They can be controlled with iOS or Android smartphone or tablet. For further information, explore the education pages and check out this student sample.

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