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DT Challenges

Australian Digital Technologies Challenges for Years 3 - 8

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Australian Digital Technologies Challenges

The Australian DT Challenges are free in-classroom activities for the most challenging aspects of the Year 5-6 and 7-8 bands of the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies, including algorithms, implementation (coding), data representation and data interpretation.

Full instructions for signing up your students can be found on our blog.

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The DT Challenges are focused on solving problems with:

  • visual programming environments: Blockly
  • general-purpose programming: Python, Javascript, and Arduino.

The Challenges require about 4 weeks of class time (2 hrs/week), depending on student experience, plus extension material.

A screenshot of the Blockly Year 5-6 Challenge, Project 2.
A screenshot of the Blockly Year 5-6 Challenge, Project 2: Word Chain

DT Challenges

Access each of the challenges by clicking below. Use the filters to identify the challenge that suits your needs.

Filter by:

5 Blockly + Biology Challenge

5 Blockly + Biology

5/6 Blockly Turtle Challenge

5/6 Blockly Turtle

5/6 Blockly Chatbot Challenge

5/6 Blockly Chatbot

5/6 Blockly - Space Invaders Challenge

5/6 Blockly - Space Invaders

7 Python + Biology Challenge

7 Python + Biology

7 Blockly + Geometry Challenge

7 Blockly + Geometry

7/8 Python - Chatbot Challenge

7/8 Python - Chatbot

7/8 Javascript - Space Invaders Challenge

7/8 Javascript - Space Invaders

7/8 Arduino - Sound Challenge

7/8 Arduino - Sound

7/8 Python Turtle Challenge

7/8 Python Turtle

7/8 Python - Intro to micro:bit Challenge

7/8 Python - Intro to micro:bit

7/8 Javascript - Cookie Clicker Challenge

7/8 Javascript - Cookie Clicker

Some of the DT Challenges will be Digital Technologies + X, where X is another learning area. For example, the Blockly + Geometry Challenge covers geometry content from the Year 7 Australian Curriculum: Mathematics in addition to data representation, algorithms and implementation.

A screenshot of the Year 7-8 Arduino Challenge, Module 3: Automatic torch.
A screenshot of the Year 7-8 Arduino Challenge, Module 3: Automatic torch.

What a DT Challenge contains

Each Challenge will provide the following resources:

  • multimodal learning materials (interactive notes and videos);
  • engaging, authentic, real-world coding problems and projects;
  • sample solutions and commentary, and manual marking rubrics;
  • unplugged activities similar to CS Unplugged;
  • examples from industry of the concepts in the real world; and
  • 1-3 hours of modular lesson plans per week.

A professional development version of the Challenge will also provide:

  • deeper technical detail and explanation of the learning materials;
  • explanation of prerequisite and subsequent content in each thread;
  • incorrect student submissions for a teacher to practice fixing;
  • accreditation for completing the Challenge as professional development.

Learning platform and automated marking

The DT Challenges are currently hosted in the Grok Learning platform. As well as hosting the notes and problems, Grok Learning provides intelligent, automated marking to provide instant feedback to students and teachers on correctness and hints for each problem.

This allows the Challenges to be self-pacing and differentiated, as the system gives students feedback as they need it to progress onto the next concept or problem.

Students can see their progress and scores as they complete the problems. Teachers can monitor student progress with real-time learning analytics and drill down into their individual submissions to the system.

Teachers can print certificates for students who complete a Challenge.

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Access to the platform

The Australian Government Department of Education and Training has funded all Australian teachers, and Years 3 - 8 students, to have free access to the DT Challenges in the Grok Learning platform until 31 December, 2020.

Students in other years can access the Challenges within the platform by purchasing a Grok Learning subscription.

A screenshot of the Year 7-8 Blockly + Maths with automated marking.
A screenshot of the Year 7-8 Blockly + Maths with automated marking.