By Cindy Thornton from the Flinders Island District High School.

It’s been just over a year since we shared the start of our Digital Technologies journey on the CSER MOOC blog and what a year it’s been! Inspired by the energy and excitement of completing the first MOOC, and with the enthusiastic support of our principal, this year Flinders Island DHS introduced Digital Technologies lessons for all grades from Prep (Foundation) through to Grade 10. For the first time, all primary students have one timetabled 50 minute lesson a week and secondary students two lessons a week dedicated specifically to delivery of the Digital Technologies curriculum.

Secondary students have completed challenges using Arduino microcontrollers, explored the use of drones, studied cybersecurity and kept a critical eye on the progress of new encryption laws through parliament. They have looked at solving the problem of e-waste, continued with hands-on exploration of computer hardware, data transmission and networks. Some students participated in Grok Python courses, although with unreliable internet and a download speed that still averages 0.5 mbps it was slow going at times!

Grade 8 student calculating how to make a Sphero win the long jump competition and student made prototype of a drone flight controller.

Content and resources from the MOOC have also given classroom teachers confidence to integrate Digital Technologies into other subject areas including geography, science and maths, with the majority of students embracing new learnings.

We have been supported by visits from our super-supportive project officer, Peter Lelong, funding from a Federal Digital Literacies grant and support from the Department of Education Tasmania with the technologies teacher’s enrolment in a Graduate Certificate in Technologies course. All staff have now completed, or are very close to completing at least one MOOC. Our neighbouring island school, Cape Barren Island School has also come on board to ensure Furneaux Islands students are not disadvantaged in their technologies education by their remote location

Grade 8 student assembling a block drone.

2019 is looking even more promising with upgraded internet ever closer on the horizon, continued enthusiastic support from Peter Lelong, and the opportunity to refine our delivery of such an exciting, relevant and ever-changing part of the curriculum, for the benefit of our students.

Posted in News, Your Stories
Comments Off on Your Stories – Flinders Island District High School: A Digital Technologies Journey – Part 2!

By Meridith Ebbs, NSW Project Officer. 

Meridith with Martin Levins

In 2018 there was an amazing demand for workshops from teachers and schools wanting to prepare for the 2019 launch of the NSW digital technologies syllabus. Last year Meridith Ebbs (NSW Project Officer) and Toni (ACT/NSW Project Officer) and #spotbot travelled throughout NSW both physically and virtually to deliver more than 103 events to almost 2000 teachers from 976 schools.

We have run workshops on Introduction to Digital Technologies, Design and Production, Visual Coding, Python and syllabus content.

We have travelled the full length of the NSW east coast, including Byron Bay to Bathurst, Tamworth, Wollongong and Newcastle. We have a lot more ground to cover in 2019. If you would like to be added to our map of places we have visited please contact us via

Meridith presenting virtually

In 2019 we will be running workshops to explore the new Lending Library equipment, Micro:Bits, as well as design and production, and the Scratch visual programming environment.

We are also able to speak at your conferences, school events in person or via webinar. If you have participated in one of our workshops your school is eligible to apply to borrow one of our Library Kits for a term.

Meridith in Tamworth, NSW

Posted in News, Your Stories
Comments Off on Your Stories: Reflecting on 2018 in NSW

Computer Science doesn’t have to be taught only with computers. There are many engaging activities that can promote computational thinking and provide an introduction to algorithms in an “unplugged” way! We’ve curated a few of our favourite unplugged algorithm activities shared by our Project Officers that they model in their CSER Digital Technologies workshops with teachers. These activities can be done with all ages and can be easily adapted!

Activity 1: Learners find a partner and place a barrier between them (using a book, hat, etc) so they cannot see each other’s desk space. Using building blocks or Lego, students individually create a design and write the instructions (an algorithm) for how to re-create the design that their partner is to follow. Once partners have both finished, swap instructions and students follow their partner’s algorithm. Once both are ready, students remove the barrier – did they turn out as intended?! Depending on the age group, invite students to share what they learned from the activity and what they found to be challenging. What parts of their design need to be fixed (“debugged”)?

Activity 2: In this activity, we undertake a similar approach to the one above, except this activity can be done with pen and paper! One partner draws a shape, letter or number and writes the algorithm for their partner to follow. The instructions can be passed on to the partner to follow or can be read aloud to engage students in developing listening and speaking skills! When provided an opportunity to write instructions without any code or rules, what did they notice about the way their partner interpreted their instructions?

Activity 3: In this activity, students each receive graph paper (with larger sized squares). Using black and white squares or by colouring over laminated sheets with a whiteboard marker, students create a pixel image. Using only arrows and a “colour-in-the-square” icon, they need to design the algorithm for their partner to re-create the pixel image.

If you liked these unplugged algorithm activities or have some of your own ideas, share them with us on Twitter with #csermoocs or on our CSER Facebook page!

Posted in News, Resources
Comments Off on Resources: Some of our favourite unplugged algorithm activities

By Shannon Morgan at St Francis of Assisi, Northern Territory. Year 3/4M from St Francis of Assisi Catholic Primary School in Humpty Doo, Northern Territory, investigated push and pull forces in their Science unit in Term 4, 2018. Digital Technologies were utilised to engage the students and to develop their understanding and abilities across both […]

Posted in News, Your Stories
Comments Off on Your Stories: Sphero with St Francis of Assisi (NT)

On behalf of the CSER Digital Technologies Education team, we’d like to wish our wonderful community of educators and partners a safe and happy holiday season. To wrap up the year, we would like to share some 2018 program highlights with you all! Project Officers worked face-to-face with over 6,000 teachers, around 2,000 schools and […]

Posted in News
Comments Off on Happy holidays from the CSER Team!

We’re going to highlight some unit plan ideas generated by participants in our MOOC that might inspire a unit plan for your own classroom for 2019! In this first post, we have some examples where teachers are combining Digital Technologies and English subjects. These have some from our F-6 Digital Technologies: Extended Massively Open Online […]

Posted in News, Resources
Comments Off on Resources: Digital Technologies & English unit ideas

By CSER Project Officer, Suzanne Carter, working with Holly Harlow, Classroom Teacher at Jabiru Area School. Class 4/5H from Jabiru Area School held a highly engaging Digital Technologies Expo for the whole school. Using the Mixed Kit from the CSER National Lending Library, the class spent the term learning about computational thinking through the use […]

Posted in News, Your Stories
Comments Off on Your Stories: Jabiru Area School (NT) hosts Computational Thinking Expo

We are seeking to appoint an additional QLD-based member to our enthusiastic team of Digital Technologies Project Officers, based across Australia. Our Project Officers support the CSER MOOC program, providing embedded face-to-face support across Australia, with a focus on disadvantaged and Indigenous communities (visit view position advert). This position is available because our wonderful QLD team […]

Posted in News, Recruitment
Comments Off on Position available – QLD Project Officer

By Celia Coffa and Toni Falusi CSER Project Officers support the online courses (MOOC’s) across Australia with face to face professional learning sessions.   The sessions bring the Digital Technologies curriculum to life, highlighting and introducing required skills as well as exploring opportunities for integration across the curriculum. Recently, Toni Falusi (ACT Project Officer) and Celia […]

Posted in Implementing Digital Technologies, News, Resources, Your Stories
Comments Off on CSER roadtrip with Celia and Toni in Victoria

The annual international Hour of Code event is almost here! Sign-up your school or library up to run an event in December. This year’s promotion theme is “What is Creativity?” What do your students think creativity is? What types of careers do creative people work in? This is a great opportunity to bust misconceptions and […]

Posted in Events, News
Comments Off on Events: The 2018 Hour of Code is almost here!