DT4 3-4






DT4 3-4
















Year 3 to Year 4


Digital Technologies studies from Year 3 to Year 4 continue to develop their computational thinking skills by automating simple programming and data processing tasks.

By the end of Year 4 students must have had the opportunity to design, produce and evaluate digital technology solutions to a range of problems that include the following concepts:

  • Patterns:  represent familiar types of data, make judgments about information systems, and suggest creative applications; 
  • Information Systems: Collect data from different sources and turn it into information;
  • Algorithms: Define simple problems, follow and describe simple algorithms, and develop simple programming solutions involving user input and branching (IF) commands;
  • Online: Safely and considerately collaborate and share information online with known audiences. 

Schools will generally allocate 20 hours of Digital Technologies studies per year.

One approach would be to have two design challenges each year, each of 10 hours duration, covering two or three concepts per year.

In each design challenge, students should have opportunities to experience designing, producing and evaluating services and environments as well as products. 

Often a design challenge, particularly in younger years, will involve several teacher directed activities to scaffold student independent project based learning. For example, learning how to use a software tool or technology such as a digital camera through introductory activities before student use these skills in a design challenge. 

From Year 3 to Year 4, students should complete design challenges in each of the four contexts of 

  • Patterns; (Decomposition, Pattern Recognition, Pattern Generalisation and Abstraction)
  • Information Systems; (Decomposition, Pattern Recognition, Pattern Generalisation and Abstraction)
  • Algorithms; and (Algorithm Design)
  • Online. (Online)

With an expected time allocation of 20 hours per year, it would be realistic to complete two or three design challenges each year and over the course of two years, address each of the concepts at least once.

In 3-4, students be thinking computationally by using the power of digital systems to explore abstractions and interpreting models of real world systems to describe how they work; understand the characteristics of different data; and be able to program with user input and branching (IF) commands through projects and design challenges.


Design Challenge Example

A design challenge in the concept of Algorithms could involve:

Scratch Adventure Story

Design, create and test a program in a language such as Scratch that involves making at least 10 choices;


Challenge specifications that can be tested could include: to give the reader at least 10 choices during the story, to have multiple story arcs recombine to sustain an overall storyline, etc.

This should address:

Digital Technologies processes and production skills 

Define simple problems, and follow and describe the algorithms (sequence of steps and decisions) needed to solve them 

  • experimenting with different ways of describing a set of instructions, for example writing two simple sets of instructions for telling a story in Scratch, one where the player types in a response, the other where they click on an icon/image; 
  • explaining to others how to follow technical instructions, for example providing instructions on how to play the story/game in Scratch; 
  • defining and describing the sequence of steps needed to incorporate multiple types of data in a solution, for example sequencing the steps in selecting a story option; and showing different images, text and sound effects based on this selection.
  • defining and describing the rules of a simple story/game so that it can be implemented. 

Design and implement simple visual programs with user input and branching 

  • designing and implementing a simple interactive story telling program, for example preparing the content and design of a simple story/game; 
  • using different design tools to record ways in which programs will be developed, for example creating storyboards or flowcharts to record relationships or instructions about content and processes in the story; 
  • exploring different features of user interfaces that appeal to people, for example simplifying the style and consistently placing icons or symbols in the story/game interfaces to reduce the frustrations of players; 
  • experimenting with different ways of instructing a program to make a choice, for example using an ‘IF’ statement (a common statement used to branch) to indicate that the program must make a choice between two different circumstances; and 
  • creating options for users to make choices in solutions, for example using another user input and branching mechanism such as buttons, typing in text, clicking on images, etc. 

Years 3 and 4 Achievement Standard 

By the end of Year 4, students should be able to define simple problems, follow and describe simple algorithms, and develop simple digital solutions involving branching. 













































The Scratch programming language can be downloaded from http://info.scratch.mit.edu/Scratch_1.4_Download

and numerous examples of choose your own adventure type stories/games are available as models.

Years 3 and 4 Content Descriptions and Elaborations 

Digital Technologies knowledge and understanding 

Recognise a variety of different types of data and explore different representations for the same data 

  • recognising that numbers, text, pictures, graphics, sounds, animations and videos are all forms of data when stored or viewed on a digital device such as a computer, mobile phone or electronic toy; 
  • experimenting with different ways that a number can be represented, for example expressing a given number through words, images and MAB blocks; 
  • using a table to reorganise information that includes sentences, and/or words, and/or numbers and/or pictures; and 
  • investigating codes that are representations of data, for example morse code and semaphore. 

Investigate how well information systems meet home, classroom and community needs and envisage new applications for existing information systems 

  • investigating how information systems are used in different settings, for example students collaboratively creating a short survey and collecting data about frequency of home usage of different information systems;
  • imagining and considering alternative uses and opportunities for information systems, for example verbally asking an information system for information when preparing a meal or visiting a museum or accessing the information using another interface; 
  • exploring different types of information systems that suit particular needs, for example considering how an existing information system could be used to help a person with disability; 
  • imagining how to bring two different types of information systems together to create a new system, for example bringing together a school learning system and a gaming system to create games-based learning; and
  • considering ways of managing social media to meet privacy needs, for example not divulging personal data such as photos or addresses and recognising that all electronic instructions/actions are traceable (electronic footprints).


Digital Technologies processes and production skills 

Collect, access and present different types of family, classroom and community data using simple spreadsheets, databases and other software to create information and solve problems 

  • using different techniques to present data as information, for example creating a column chart in a spreadsheet by colouring cells to represent different measurements; 
  • selecting appropriate formats or layout styles to present data as information depending on the type of data and the audience, for example lists, tables, graphs, animations and presentations; 
  • applying software functions and techniques to improve the appearance and usability of data, for example using colour, headings and labelling of images to organise and accurately identify data; 
  • using software to sort and calculate data when solving problems, for example, sorting numerical and categorical data in ascending or descending order and automating simple arithmetic calculations using nearby cells and summing cell ranges; and 
  • exploring different online sources to access data, for example using online query interfaces to select and retrieve data from an online database such as a library catalogue. 

Use a range of digital systems and peripherals for diverse purposes, and transmit different types of data 

  • using different peripherals to display information, for example using an interactive whiteboard or a data projector to show information to a group, or a printer to show information to a person; 
  • using specific peripherals to capture different types of data, for example using a digital microscope to capture cellular images of nature and a digital probe to capture numeric data; 
  • experimenting with different types of digital system components and peripherals to perform input, output and storage functions, for example a keyboard, stylus, touch screen or joystick to input instructions; a monitor, printer or tablet to display information; a USB flash drive and external hard drive as storage peripherals;
  • representing the conversion of analog to digital, for example listening to notes played on an instrument and recording the pattern of the notes as a series of numbers on a chart; and
  • recognising that a photograph can be transferred to a computer using a memory card and reader and that a message typed into the class journal appears on the screens of other students. 

Define simple problems, and follow and describe the algorithms (sequence of steps and decisions) needed to solve them 

  • experimenting with different ways of describing a set of instructions, for example writing two simple sets of instructions for a programmable robotic device; 
  • explaining to others how to follow technical instructions, for example providing instructions on how to capture and download photos from a mobile device; 
  • defining and describing the sequence of steps needed to incorporate multiple types of data in a solution, for example sequencing the steps in selecting and downloading music to create a book trailer; and
  • defining and describing the rules of a simple game so that it can be implemented. 

Design and implement simple visual programs with user input and branching 

  • designing and implementing a simple interactive program, for example preparing the content and design of a simple guessing game that provides options in English and an Asian language for each question and creating the game using a visual programming language; 
  • using different design tools to record ways in which programs will be developed, for example creating storyboards or flowcharts to record relationships or instructions about content or processes; 
  • exploring different features of user interfaces that appeal to people, for example simplifying the style and consistently placing icons or symbols in games interfaces to reduce the frustrations of game players; 
  • experimenting with different ways of instructing a program to make a choice, for example using an ‘IF’ statement (a common statement used to branch) to indicate that the program must make a choice between two different circumstances; and 
  • creating options for users to make choices in solutions, for example using another user input and branching mechanism such as buttons in a slideshow. 

Manage the creation, sharing and exchange of information with known audiences and apply agreed social protocols to protect people when communicating online 

  • using a range of online tools to share information, for example adding entries to a class blog for a project, participating in a web conference or online chat with an author, or participating in a forum on a specific topic;
  • organising and creating different types of information for sharing online, for example planning the sequence and appearance of an animation, using digital systems to create it and sharing it online with students from another school; 
  • managing collaborative projects in online environments, for example planning online meeting times and tasks when collaborating with students from another school on projects; 
  • discussing digital citizenship rules and behaviours for participating in an online community and sending emails; 
  • making ethical decisions when faced with dilemmas about reporting a person’s inappropriate online behaviour, for example using a ‘care-based’ criterion focusing on how individuals would like to be treated by others; and 
  • applying safe practices while participating in online environments with known people, for example checking the default privacy settings to ensure maximum protection of personal details when participating in an online chat with an expert.

Design and Technologies processes and production skills 

Critique, explore and investigate needs or opportunities for designing and test and evaluate a variety of technologies, materials, systems, tools and techniques to produce designed solutions.

  • discussing the different uses of materials in a range of products;
  • testing a range of materials under different conditions for suitability including sustainability considerations and identifying appropriate tools, equipment and techniques; 
  • selecting materials and appropriate joining techniques to create working models; 
  • compiling the criteria for success and planning processes as a class, for example recording a procedure or creating time plans; 
  • examining the structure and production of everyday products, services and environments to enhance their own design ideas; and
  • comparing the amount of waste that would be produced from different design and development options. 

Generate, develop, evaluate, communicate and document design ideas and design decisions using manual and digital technologies.

  • generating a range of design ideas for intended products, services, environments or systems; 
  • visualising and exploring design ideas by creating thumbnail drawings, models and labelled drawings to explain features and modifications;
  • planning, sharing and documenting ideas and processes using digital tools such as a class blog or collaborative document; 
  • exploring ways of joining, connecting and assembling components that ensure success, and the impact ICT has on these processes; 
  • evaluating and revising design ideas, choosing one that meets class-developed criteria for success and includes consideration of ethics, social values and sustainability; and 
  • recognising the sustainability implications of selected designed solutions. 

Select materials, components, tools and equipment using safe and sustainable work practices to produce and evaluate designed solutions based on identified criteria for success for technologies contexts.

  • using tools accurately when measuring, marking and cutting; and explaining why accuracy is important in designing and making, for example creating a template;
  • using appropriate technology terms to confidently describe and share with others procedures and techniques for making, for example cutting and joining materials; 
  • selecting and using materials, components, tools, equipment and processes with consideration of the environmental impact at each stage of the production process; 
  • demonstrating safe, responsible and cooperative work practices when making designed solutions, for example building a model windmill with moving sails; 
  • managing time and resource allocation throughout production; and
  • reflecting on designed solutions to critique and assess suitability, sustainability and enterprise opportunities and how well they meet identified criteria for success.

Years 3 and 4 Achievement Standard 

By the end of Year 4, students demonstrate different ways of representing a variety of familiar types of data. They make judgments about the usefulness of common information systems and suggest creative applications. 

Students define simple problems, follow and describe simple algorithms, and develop simple digital solutions involving branching. They collect and access data from different sources and use a range of digital systems and peripherals when creating information and digital solutions. Students apply agreed social protocols and safely use appropriate information systems when creating, managing and sharing information with known audiences. 



Level 3 Activity elaboration

In completing this or other design challenges, you will need to demonstrate the design process, taking a given problem through each of the stages of the process.

The design stage should show your identification and clarification of the problem, specifying any assumptions you have made with regards to the problem, and identifying what will determine a successful solutions (ensuring that these aspects can be tested).

The next step of the design stage is to research existing solutions to the problem, the different materials, tools, and systems related to the problem, to ideate as many different solutions as you can to solve the problem, create prototypes to compare possible solutions on a small scale, draw design plans and processes, and detail the reasoning behind your choice of which solution you will develop.

The development stage should detail your construction of a solution, the problems you encounter, and your solutions to these problems.

The testing and evaluation phase should determine how well your solution solves the problem you identified, with each factor measured in some way and based on this testing, an evaluation made to determine if the solution developed is the best possible or if other solutions should be explored from what has been learnt.

If necessary, the design cycle should be continued until the best possible solution has been derived (within constraints such as available time and resources).

This process should be fully documented (up to 400 words and 3 minutes of video) showing how you have demonstrated the design process. This process is much more important than the actual solution that is derived. 


You will be assessed on your interpretation of this design process (how well you implement what has been described to derive an effective solution); innovation in your research, planning and development of the design challenge; and articulation and presentation of your process and solution. 


Level 4 Activity elaboration 

As seen in the above example, a design challenge can address either a very specific or wide range of the Knowledge and Understanding; and Processes and Production Skills (including Processes and Production Skills for Design and Technology) to be developed from Year 3 to Year 4. While not all possible aspects must be addressed each year, sufficient aspects should be completed to ensure that all aspects are covered in the year grouping with some overlap to enable students multiple opportunities. In general, Processes and Production Skills will be addressed each year with Knowledge and Understanding varying depending upon the chosen context.
 
For a Year 3 to Year 4 unit outline, you should detail 10 hours of learning activities  over 18 weeks including at least one design challenge such as that described for the Scratch Storytelling design challenge. Other activities can be included that usually complement the main design challenge, such as learning to use a video camera, testing trigger events, etc. but do not constitute design challenges in themselves or only part of a challenge e.g. just a testing and evaluation of a particular solution.

The unit outline you develop should meet the requirements of the Australian Curriculum: Technologies and address one or more computational thinking concepts: Decomposition, Pattern Recognition, Pattern Generalisation and Abstraction, and/or Algorithm Design.

You may include design challenges you explored for Level 3 tasks but you only need to describe how they would be taught.

Your unit should indicate 1. the learning activities students will undertake and the time to be spent on them (innovation), 2. the Knowledge and Understanding and Processes and Production Skills that the unit will develop in students (interpretation), and 3. how these will be assessed (analysis). 























Subpages (1): DT3 3-4 Activities
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