Supporting teaching at home

The ACA's COVID-19 response for our community
how we are supporting teachers and parents

Supporting remote learning

Teaching Digital Technologies, with and without a computer

The Australian Computing Academy has been working hard to help students, teachers, parents and schools in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. A summary of the changes so far:

Grok Learning have also been working on bringing new features to their Learning Platform to better support students and teachers:

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Discounted Grok subscriptions and continued free access to ACA Challenges

Australian students in Years 3-8 will continue to have free access to our DT Challenges and DT Mini Challenges. Students in Years 7-12 will also continue to have free access to the Schools Cyber Security Challenges. Our other webinars and activities available on our resources page also remain free for teachers and students to access.

From 6 July, Grok Learning has returned to a subscription model. This means that students will need a paid subscription to access Grok courses and competitions, such as the upcoming NCSS Challenge. Students will also need a subscription to access DT Challenges and Schools Cyber Security Challenges if they are not in the year groups with designated free access. This will include courses that students have started during the free-access period.

Grok Learning is offering a 33% discount off its regular pricing for subscriptions that will expire at the end of 2020. This applies to all schools, school students, and coding clubs worldwide. If your students require subscriptions, use the discount code GrokAssist2020 when you purchase subscriptions on Grok Learning. The discount offer is available from now until 31 Dec 2020, and subscriptions purchased using this discount code will end on 31 Dec 2020.

For any questions about pricing, including other options for subscriptions beyond 31 December 2020, please get in touch with support@groklearning.com.

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Explicit curriculum mapping of ACA activities

We've enabled our curriculum mapping view on the ACA website, which you'll now see visible on all of our ACA-created resources. On the resources page, each resource image will now include a banner that shows which of the key concepts in the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies it addresses. Clicking through to an individual resource page with the More Info button will then show you which elements of each Content Description is explicitly addressed through the learning activities. This all links back to our Curriculum Unpacking resource, which has been developed by the authors of the Australian Curriculum to provide additional clarity and support to teachers trying to understand the learning intentions of the curriculum.

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DT@Home unplugged worksheets

We have over 25 unplugged activities in our new DT@Home series of resources that are designed to support students learning at home, even if they don’t have access to the Internet. Perfect for student workbooks/learning packs, these are designed to be done with minimal resources at home. Each activity has simple instructions for a carer/guardian, and is aligned to the Australian Curriculum.

These activities are also suitable for classroom use. You can download a primary and secondary workbook from our resources page.

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Weekly professional development webinars

Our team of education specialists are running free weekly webinars on Mondays at 4pm throughout Term 3. Topics include:

Register for webinars here and keep an eye out for additional dates and topics. If you can't make it to a webinar, recordings of all of them are available on our resources page.

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An active Facebook support group

Join over 700 other educators on our Facebook group for daily updates about our latest resources. You can ask questions and find out how your colleagues are using our resources in their classroom. Join the group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/acagrok/

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Narration and tutoring available on ACA Challenges

To help students who are learning from home, we have added narration features to some of our most popular challenges for Years 3-6. Each slide and problem in these challenges has narration embedded to make learning more accessible to students.

Grok Learning has arranged for ACA challenges and Grok Courses to have Live Tutoring enabled. This means students working through problems can request assistance from online tutors if they get stuck on a problem. All tutors have Working With Children checks and receive training from Grok Learning on how to provide the appropriate level of support.

Live tutoring update: During Term 2, expert tutors provided additional support to remote students. We've had over 28,000 posts between tutors and students over the last few weeks, and the feedback from teachers and students has been very positive. These expert tutoring arrangements have been extended until 30 August.

View all courses with live tutoring enabled here. If you have questions about tutoring, read the Grok Learning Tutoring FAQ.

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Teacher-student messaging available on Grok Learning

Grok has expanded their existing tutor messaging system to allow any verified teacher to chat with students at their school. This means you can create a new chat thread with a student to offer help, or reply to a question that a student has asked.

Read the Student Messaging FAQ for more information, including how this interacts with our expert tutors, and what information other students and teachers can see. To begin with, chat is only enabled for courses that have live tutoring enabled.

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Google classroom integration with Grok Learning

If you already have your classes grouped in Google Classroom, you can import them directly into Grok Learning. On the Register Students page in Grok Learning, click the Import button and choose Google Classroom. For more details, go to Register Students.

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Live Classroom feature with real-time monitoring of student progress

You can now see your students in real time from your teacher dashboard. Click ‘View Live’’ next to a class or group name and you will see each student’s activity on the Grok Learning platform. You can view up to 24 hours of activity, and see real time course progression including problem submissions and slide views. You can also see when students were last online so you can identify those who have stalled or are struggling. Keeping track of your students’ progress has never been easier!

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Access our activities

Just need to see what activities are available to engage your students? Use this form to identify what you're after:

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We’ve delivered award-winning online Digital Technologies education for over 15 years. We have the pedagogical and technological expertise to help your school teach Digital Technologies remotely. And we wrote the curriculum.

What else do you need?

Let us help you! Enrol your students now. Got ideas about how we can help? Or need help getting started? Email us at help@aca.edu.au, or phone 02 8627 8686.

For live updates and to share ideas with other teachers, join our Facebook group here or send us a message/comment in any of our social media channels below.

Stay safe and be kind to yourselves.

thanks,
James

Associate Professor James Curran
Academic Director, Australian Computing Academy
CEO and Co-founder, Grok Learning
Author, Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies

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