Key ideas and concepts

The Technologies curriculum provides students with opportunities to consider how solutions that are created now will be used in the future. Students will identify the possible benefits and risks of creating solutions. They will use critical and creative thinking to weigh up possible short- and long-term impacts.

As students progress through the Technologies curriculum, they will begin to identify possible and probable futures, and their preferences for the future. They develop solutions to meet needs considering impacts on liveability, economic prosperity and environmental sustainability. Students will learn to recognise that views about the benefits and risks will vary, and that preferred futures are contested.

Accelerating crop farmers' adaptation to climate change

Summary: A case study briefly describing an AI project where scientists have used image-analysis technology in the agricultural sector.

Keywords artificial, intelligence, artificial intelligence, ai, experiments, machine learning, data scientists, ai examples, pattern recognition, images, animal populations, planet health, image-analysis technology, high-resolution imagery, land cover mapping, endangered species, animal monitoring, data-driven agriculture, sustainable solutions, preferred futures, climate change

Audience: Years 5–10

AI for Earth: Helping save the planet with data science

Summary: Wee Hyong Tok is a data scientist. In this article he explains how AI can help monitor the health of the planet.

Keywords: artificial, intelligence, artificial intelligence, ai, experiments, machine learning, data scientists, ai examples, pattern recognition, images, animal populations, planet health, high-resolution imagery, land cover mapping, endangered species, animal monitoring, data-driven agriculture, sustainable solutions, preferred futures
Audience: Years 5–10

Digital Technologies Hub student page

Summary: Love Digital Technologies? Want a job in the industry? Wondering how to get started?
There are so many different careers available in the digital technologies and STEM related space. Here are some videos, websites, articles, and suggestions to send you on the right path.

Keywords: preferred futures, careers, digital technologies, technologies

Audience: Years 7–10

Queensland STEM Education Network careers resources

Summary: The Queensland STEM Education Network is a consortium of Queensland universities providing a range of high-quality programs and initiatives designed to build STEM capacity for educators. These resources focus on careers that involve Digital Technologies knowledge and skills.

Keywords: preferred futures, careers, technologies

Audience: F–6

 

Students will develop skills to manage projects to successful completion through planning, organising and monitoring timelines, activities and the use of resources. This includes considering resources and constraints to develop resource, finance, work and time plans; assessing and managing risks; making decisions; controlling quality; evaluating processes; and collaborating and communicating with others at different stages of the process.

Students are taught to plan for sustainable use of resources when managing projects, and take into account ethical, health and safety considerations and personal and social beliefs and values.

Teaching and supporting project management in the classroom F–6

 

Summary: Project management is a key idea of the Australian Curriculum: Technologies. This document gives educators an overview of what project management is and ideas on how you can implement project management skills in the F–6 classroom.

 

Keywords: Project management, design, solutions

 

Audience: F–6

An introduction to computational thinking in the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies

Computational thinking is a problem-solving method that is applied to create solutions that can be implemented using digital technologies. It involves integrating strategies, such as organising data logically, breaking down problems into parts, interpreting patterns and models, and designing and implementing algorithms.

Computational thinking is used when specifying and implementing algorithmic solutions to problems in Digital Technologies. For a computer to be able to process data through a series of logical and ordered steps, students must be able to take an abstract idea and break it down into defined, simple tasks that produce an outcome. This may include analysing trends in data, responding to user input under certain preconditions or predicting the outcome of a simulation.

This type of thinking is used in Design and Technologies during different phases of a design process when computation is needed to quantify data and solve problems. Examples include when calculating costs, testing materials and components, comparing performance or modelling trends.

Computational thinking poster

Summary: A poster/infographic that gives a brief overview of the concepts related to computational thinking.

Keywords: pattern recognition, modelling, simulation, algorithms, abstraction, decomposition, computational thinking 

Audience: Years F-8 

In the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies, computational thinking is one of the key ideas. It is a problem-solving method that involves various techniques and strategies that can be implemented by digital systems. Techniques and strategies may include organising data logically, breaking down problems into parts, defining abstract concepts and designing and using algorithms, patterns and models. This infographic illustrates the skills and concepts needed by a student to think computationally.

Computational thinking cut out cards

Summary: A set of printable cards that give a definition of six aspects of computational thinking.

Keywords: pattern recognition, modelling, simulation, algorithms, abstraction, decomposition, computational thinking 

Audience: Years F-8

Print the computational thinking infographic on A3 for a classroom poster and as separate cut-out cards for a classroom activity (print on A4 double-sided, flip on short edge, for best results).

Computational thinking in practice F-2 ( Parent and teacher activity cards)
 

Summary: A set of printable cards that give simple activity ideas for parents and teachers on each of the
 six aspects of computational thinking.

Keywords:  abstraction, algorithms, computational thinking, decomposition, evaluation, modelling and simulation, pattern recognition

Audience: Years F–2 

Design thinking involves the use of strategies for understanding design needs and opportunities, visualising and generating creative and innovative ideas, planning, and analysing and evaluating those ideas that best meet the criteria for success.

Design thinking underpins learning in Design and Technologies. Design processes require students to identify and investigate a need or opportunity; generate, plan and realise designed solutions; and evaluate products and processes. Consideration of economic, environmental and social impacts that result from designed solutions are core to design thinking, design processes and Design and Technologies.

When developing solutions in Digital Technologies, students explore, analyse and develop ideas based on data, inputs and human interactions. When students design a solution to a problem they consider how users will be presented with data, the degree of interaction with that data and the various types of computational processing. For example, designing a maze; writing precise and accurate sequences of instructions to move a robot through the maze or testing the program and modifying the solution.

What is design thinking?

Summary: A video that provides a brief explanation of design thinking by the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Keywords: design thinking, design, solutions

Audience: F–10

Design thinking: a problem-solving framework

Summary: A video produced by Edutopia that describes what the design thinking process is and what it looks like when it is taught to K–8 students at Design 39 Campus in San Diego, California.

Keywords: design thinking, design, solutions

Audience: F–8

Get started with design thinking

Summary: Design thinking is a methodology for creative problem-solving. Teachers can use it to inform teaching practice, or to teach students as a framework for developing solutions to real-world needs or dilemmas. The resources available at this link offer experiences and lessons for teachers to use with students. They have been developed and shared under a Creative Commons 4.0 licence by the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University (also known as the Stanford d.school)

Keywords: design thinking, design, solutions

Audience: F–10

 

A system is an organised group of related objects or components that form a whole. Systems thinking is a holistic approach to the identification and solving of problems where the focal points are treated as components of a system, and their interactions and interrelationships are analysed individually to see how they influence the functioning of the entire system.

In Design and Technologies, the success of designed solutions includes the generation of ideas and decisions made throughout design processes. It requires students to understand systems and work with complexity, uncertainty and risk. Students recognise the connectedness of and interactions between people, places and events in local and wider world contexts and consider the impact their designs and actions have in a connected world.

Participating in and shaping the future of information and digital systems is an integral part of learning in Digital Technologies. Understanding the complexity of systems and interdependence of components is necessary to create timely solutions to technical, economic and social problems. Implementation of digital solutions often has consequences for the people who use and engage with the system and may introduce unintended costs or benefits that affect the present or future society.

An introduction to systems thinking

Summary: This is an overview of systems thinking and strategies that students can use to develop systems thinking within primary school projects by CSER (Computer Science Education Research Group), Adelaide University.

Keywords: systems thinking, digital systems

Audience: F–10

Getting started with systems thinking in the primary grades

Summary: This is an article written by Sharon Coffin, Maumee Valley Country Day School, explaining how she taught systems thinking to primary grades in her school through Science. Coffin explains the benefits that came about in understanding and engagement and how she discovered that systems thinking is a tool to aid in teaching. You may find it beneficial to watch example online videos of the game ‘Oh Deer’ mentioned in the article.

Demonstration of the Oh Deer game referenced in the article

Keywords: systems thinking, science

Audience: F–6

A number of key concepts underpin the Digital Technologies curriculum. These establish a way of thinking about problems, opportunities and information systems and provide a framework for knowledge and practice. The key concepts are:

  • abstraction which underpins all content, particularly the content descriptions relating to the concepts of data representation, and specification, algorithms and implementation
  • data collection (properties, sources and collection of data), data representation (symbolism and separation) and data interpretation (patterns and contexts)
  • specification (descriptions and techniques), algorithms (following and describing) and implementation (translating and programming)
  • digital systems (hardware, software, and networks and the internet)
  • interactions (people and digital systems, data and processes) and impacts (sustainability and empowerment).

The concepts of abstraction, data collection, representation and interpretation, specification, algorithms and implementation correspond to the key elements of computational thinking. Collectively, these concepts span the key ideas about the organisation, representation and automation of digital solutions and information. They can be explored in non-digital or digital contexts and are likely to underpin future digital systems. They provide a language and perspective that students and teachers can use when discussing digital technologies.

Digital Technologies key concepts poster

This poster by the Australian Computing Academy (ACA) provides a list of the 10 Digital Technologies key concepts and a simple definition for each. This resource is ideal for printing A3 size.

Keywords: digital technologies, abstraction, digital systems, data representation, data interpretation, impact, interactions, implementation, algorithms, specification, data collection

Audience: F–10

Unpack the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies by key concept

An interactive resource that unpacks and provides links to the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies, gives definitions of key concepts and teaching examples at each year level by the Australian Computing Academy (ACA).

Keywords: digital technologies, abstraction, digital systems, data representation, data interpretation, impact, interactions, implementation, algorithms, specification, data collection

Audience: F–10

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