What is Digital Literacy?
Digital literacy involves knowing how to use a range of technologies to find information, solve problems or complete tasks. Digital literacy is also about knowing how to act safely and respectfully online.
It is important that all children and young people in Australia learn to become ‘digitally literate’ in a safe and supportive environment, by engaging with the materials, data, systems, tools and equipment that are available in their schools and communities.
In order to drive children’s digital literacy in schools, Digital Technologies has been developed as one of the learning areas of the Australian Curriculum. Digital Technologies aims to ensure that all students from Foundation to Year 10 benefit from learning about and working with traditional, contemporary and emerging technologies. Digital Technologies focuses on developing knowledge and understanding of data and digital systems and the processes and production skills involved in using digital technology.
Through the Australian Curriculum Digital Technologies learning area, students will have the opportunity to learn coding or programming skills and to develop the general capability of information and communication technology (ICT) competence. Coding or programming is a list of step-by-step instructions to get computers to do what you want them to do, to complete a task or solve a problem. Coding is what makes it possible for us to create computer software, apps and websites. ICT competence is knowing how to use traditional computers like desktop PCs and laptops, with a focus on practical skills in particular types of software.
Digital Technologies Hub
The Digital Technologies Hub is an exciting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) initiative that offers a single and easily accessible portal to a collection of freely available activities, learning sequences and other resources to support the teaching of the Australian Curriculum for digital technologies. The aim of the Hub is to increase teacher and student engagement and confidence with digital technologies, and increase student proficiency in coding and computer programming. The Hub is administered by the Department of Education and Training and delivered by Education Services Australia (ESA).
Australian Digital Technologies Challenges
The first four Australian Digital Technologies Challenges for Years 5 and 7 are now available for schools to use! Developed by the University of Sydney’s Australian Computing Academy, the resources are the first in an online series of 23 free, structured, progressive teaching and learning activities and challenges for all year 5 and 7 students. All of the resources are aligned to the Australian Curriculum. The initiative includes lesson plans, professional learning and online support for teachers. The Australian Digital Technologies Challenges is an initiative of and funded by the Australian Government to 2020.
Digital Literacy resources and activities
CS First is a free Google resource for students to learn about coding. There’s something for everyone! Students use computer science to complete projects on different themes, from fashion and design to storytelling, friendship and music. Students can try them all, or make an account and save a bigger project.
CS Unplugged is a collection of free learning activities that teach Computer Science through engaging games and puzzles that use cards, string, crayons and lots of running around. CS Unplugged is for students of all ages and computer abilities. The activities introduce students to Computational Thinking through concepts such as binary numbers, algorithms and data compression, separated from the distractions and technical details of having to use computers. Importantly, no programming is required to engage with these ideas!
Code Club Australia is a nationwide network of free, volunteer-led, after-school coding clubs for children aged 9-11. Code Club is about fun, creativity, and learning through exploring.
Code Club Australia creates projects for volunteers to teach at after school coding clubs. The projects teach children programming by showing them how to make computer games, animations and websites. To access Code Club’s wonderful resources, see if there is a Code Club in your area or set up a new Code Club at your school! Register your Code Club and access the great resources. There are new projects every school term. Students will progress and learn as they use their imaginations and creativity.
The eSafety website has a range of online cyber safety resources available for primary and secondary students. eSafety activities teach students critical digital skills and promote discussion about online safety between young people and their parents, carers and teachers. There are also standalone lesson plans for primary classes designed to build a range of skills, knowledge and behaviours in students that will help to keep them safe online.
Code Club Australia and the eSafety resources are supported by the Australian Government.