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ICT Innovators activities

Downloadable classroom activities that look at technological advances through the ages.

Decoding with binary

No printing required
Learn about Grace Hopper's contribution to the development of the COBOL language then use binary to write and decode secret.

ICT Innovators: Grace Hopper coding your name activity 1  [pdf · 1mb]

ICT Innovators: Grace Hopper coding your name activity 2  [pdf · 1mb]

Curriculum links

Digital Technologies: Plan, create and communicate ideas and information, including collaboratively online, applying agreed ethical, social and technical protocols (ACTDIP022). Design, modify and follow simple algorithms involving sequences of steps, branching, and iteration (repetition) (ACTDIP019).
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) capability: Assess the suitability of data or information using a range of appropriate given criteria.
Critical and creative thinking capability: Identify and clarify relevant information and prioritise ideas. Identify situations where current approaches do not work, challenge existing ideas and generate alternative solutions. Assess and test options to identify the most effective solution and to put ideas into action.

Designing dream apps and peripherals

No printing required
Explore design and innovation by inventing your dream app then draw out the app interface or develop an outline of what the app would do.
Who invented the computer mouse? What could you invent? Invent your dream peripheral device then develop an outline of what the device would do.

ICT Innovators: Douglas Engelbart dream app activity  [pdf · 1mb]

ICT Innovators: Douglas Engelbart dream peripheral activity  [pdf · 1mb]

Curriculum links

Digital Technologies: Recognise different types of data and explore how the same data can be represented in different ways (ACTDIK008). Collect, access and present different types of data using simple software to create information and solve problems (ACTDIP009). Define simple problems, and describe and follow a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve them (ACTDIP010).
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) capability: Create and modify simple digital solutions, creative outputs or data representation/ transformation for particular purposes.
Critical and Creative Thinking Capability: Transfer and apply information in one setting to enrich another. Identify and apply appropriate reasoning and thinking strategies for particular outcomes.

Think like George Boole

No printing required
Learn about the development of logic problems and logic gates through the work of George Boole and Claude Shannon. All students stand while teacher reads Boolean statements to them. Students to sit if any of the questions you ask are TRUE about them, for example, “sit down if  you wear glasses" or "sit down if you are the oldest child”. When all students are sitting, repeat the questions, combining Boolean statements using AND, OR and NOT. “Sit down if you wear glasses OR you are the oldest child”. Use logic operators to write a set of instructions to find a specific location at school or at home.

ICT Innovators: Think like George Boole - Teacher led activity  [pdf · 1mb]

ICT Innovators: Think like George Boole - Student led activity  [pdf · 1mb]

Curriculum links

Digital Technologies: Plan, create and communicate ideas and information, including collaboratively online, applying agreed ethical, social and technical protocols (ACTDIP022). Examine the main components of common digital systems and how they may connect together to form networks to transmit data (ACTDIK014).
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) capability: Assess the suitability of data or information using a range of appropriate given criteria. Online learning adjustments: The student edition is suitable for home as is. If the teacher edition is being taught as an online call, students can participate. If no online class is being held, teachers could post their questions online and students have to answer True or False to the questions and tally their score before writing their own series of Boolean statements.

Algorithmic thinking

Printing required, partner required
Practice thinking and describing things in an algorithmic way. Students draw a path or sequence of steps and then give instructions to a partner to exactly replicate their steps. Path could be replaced by a shape-based drawing (eg. a simple house or even just a series of shapes).
Alternative: If LEGO or similar bricks are available, students can build a simple structure and write a series of steps to create it. 

ICT Innovators: Algorithmic thinking activities 1 and 2  [pdf · 1mb]

Curriculum links

Digital Technologies: Plan, create and communicate ideas and information, including collaboratively online, applying agreed ethical, social and technical protocols (ACTDIP022). Design, modify and follow simple algorithms involving sequences of steps, branching, and iteration (repetition) (ACTDIP019). Information and Communication Technology (ICT) capability: Assess the suitability of data or information using a range of appropriate given criteria.
Critical and creative thinking capability: Identify and clarify relevant information and prioritise ideas. Identify situations where current approaches do not work, challenge existing ideas and generate alternative solutions. Assess and test options to identify the most effective solution and to put ideas into action. Online learning adjustments: Students submit their instructions to other students, or the whole class to replicate.Discussion about algorithms and clarity of instructions can be carried out in online class or, if permissible, school online learning platform. If class discussion can be held, discuss the use of repetition and loops in their instructions. Eg. Did students say, "do this three times"? How is that similar to a coding loop?

Turing and cyphers

No printing, no group work, screen free encouraged
Learn about Alan Turing and how code breaking was crucial to WWII. Crack codes, figure out the cypher and find the coded locations. 

ICT Innovators: Alan Turing Caesar cipher activity  [pdf · 1mb]

Curriculum links

Digital Technologies: Plan, create and communicate ideas and information, including collaboratively online, applying agreed ethical, social and technical protocols (ACTDIP022). Design, modify and follow simple algorithms involving sequences of steps, branching, and iteration (repetition) (ACTDIP019).
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) capability: Assess the suitability of data or information using a range of appropriate given criteria.
Critical and creative thinking capability:
Identify and clarify relevant information and prioritise ideas. Identify situations where current approaches do not work, challenge existing ideas and generate alternative solutions. Assess and test options to identify the most effective solution and to put ideas into action.
Online learning adjustments: This activity could be completed easily at home. It is more challenging if students do not have access to the internet, as there are online cypher breakers which make decoding much easier! If you are using an online learning platform and are OK with students using the internet to solve the problem, it could be a ‘race’ to see who solves it first.
Warning: Googling the problem (eg. ‘Drsbn, gkvu pyb 650w kmbycc dro Gsvvskw Lkbku Lbsnqo) will result in Digital Careers as the first result, and the answers are in the document! We encourage you to make up your own statements if you have savvy students!

Search engine comparison

No printing required
Learn about the development of the google search engine process and compare the search results of different search engines.

ICT Innovators: Comparing search engines activity  [pdf · 1mb]

Curriculum links

Digital Technologies: Plan, create and communicate ideas and information, including collaboratively online, applying agreed ethical, social and technical protocols (ACTDIP022).
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) capability: Assess the suitability of data or information using a range of appropriate given criteria. Locate, retrieve or generate information using search engines and simple search functions and classify information in meaningful ways.
Critical and creative thinking capability:
Identify and clarify relevant information and prioritise ideas. Assess and test options to identify the most effective solution and to put ideas into action.
Online learning adjustments: Can be completed as an independent activity and submitted as a report.

Broken Difference Engine

No printing required One of the first ever computers was known as the Difference Engine. This mechanical device would spin wheels with numbers attached. Difference Engines could be used to do large amounts of mathematical calculations such as trigonometry and quadratic equations. Identify and solve problems for these broken Difference Engines.

ICT Innovators: Broken Difference Engine activity 1  [pdf · 1mb]

ICT Innovators: Broken Difference Engine activity 2  [pdf · 1mb]

Curriculum links

Digital Technologies: Design algorithms represented diagrammatically and in structured English and validate algorithms and programs through tracing and test cases (ACTDIP040).
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) capability: Develop and use criteria systematically to evaluate the quality, suitability and credibility of located data or information and sources.
Critical and creative thinking capability: Clarify complex information and ideas drawn from a range of sources. Speculate on creative options to modify ideas when circumstances change. Predict possibilities, and identify and test consequences when seeking solutions and putting ideas into action. Assess risks and explain contingencies, taking account of a range of perspectives, when seeking solutions and putting complex ideas into action.
Online learning adjustments: No adjustments needed, no group work required.

RGB colouring

Printing required
6 worksheets included
Learn about Mark Dean and his contribution to computers then use RGB code to create an image for a partner to colour. Use RGB colours to decode a pattern and produce pixel art.

ICT Innovators: Mark Dean RGB colouring activity  [pdf · 1mb]

ICT Innovators: RGB images activity  [pdf · 1mb]

Curriculum links

Digital Technologies: Recognise different types of data and explore how the same data can be represented in different ways (ACTDIK008). Collect, access and present different types of data using simple software to create information and solve problems (ACTDIP009). Define simple problems, and describe and follow a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve them (ACTDIP010).
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) capability: Create and modify simple digital solutions, creative outputs or data representation/ transformation for particular purpose.