Integrate Digital Technologies (4-6)

It’s 2017, and the new Digital Technologies subject is now starting to be introduced into Queensland schools, with full implementation of the subject expected to happen in 2020. The Digital Technologies subject is not a standalone subject: it is to be integrated into existing subject areas, such as English, Math, and Humanities and Social Sciences (HASS), among other areas.

Let's have a look at how to integrate the Digital Technologies subject into other subjects for Years 4, 5 and 6. Here are three class activities for you:

  • Australian convict history multiple-choice quiz for Digital Technologies and HASS, Year 4
  • Solar system quiz for Digital Technologies and Science, Year 5
  • Game Pitch for Digital Technologies and English, Year 6
 

Year 4 — Digital Technologies and HASS

Australian convict history multiple-choice quiz

The Australian convict history multiple-choice quiz can be used for Digital Technologies and HASS in Year 4. It involves building a quiz to test your students' knowledge of Australian convict history.

Your students will first be required to do some research on Australian convict history before building their online quiz game. Here are some of our research findings on crime and punishment in colonial Australia:

Crimes punishable by deportation to Australia:

  • Stealing / all theft above the value of one shilling
  • Receiving stolen goods
  • Stealing lead, iron or copper
  • Stealing ore from black lead mines
  • Setting fire to firewood
  • Stealing fish from a pond or river
  • Cutting or burning clothes
  • Stealing roots trees or plants
  • Escaping from prison
  • Stealing a shroud from a grave
  • Counterfeiting a copper coin
  • Ferryman carrying too many passengers




Crimes and punishments in colonial Australia:

Gender Punishment Crimes

Male

Flogging

Neglecting work

Attempting to escape

General misconduct (being rude in the eyes of someone with power)

Torture to force convicts to confess to crimes

Treadmill

Insolence

Leg irons

Attempting to escape

Hanging

Attempted murder

Murder

Female

Factory work

Drunkenness

Theft

Pregnancy

Head shaved

Swearing

Disorderliness or disrespect

Solitary confinement

Continual disrespect

Once your students have completed their research, they can start to build their online quiz game. We'll introduce to you three ways in which you can do this, each with varying levels of difficulty:

 

Quiz Style A
Press letter key, no text input interface (Easy)

This quiz style requires the player to press letter keys corresponding to the answers (i.e. a, b, c or d) to answer the questions. There is no text input window.

Pros Cons
The player is required to press only one letter key. Only very basic typing skills are required. There is no text input interface, so students may need to type out the full instructions if players are to know how to respond to questions.
The code for Quiz Style A.

The code for Quiz Style A.

You can look at this project in more detail here.

 

Quiz Style B
Type letter as input (Easy)

This quiz style requires the letter to enter the appropriate letter (i.e. a, b, c or d) into a text input window, and then either press enter or click the blue tick icon with the mouse.

Pros Cons
The player is required to press only one letter key, and then either press enter or click on the blue tick icon. Only very basic typing skills are required. The students may need to explain to the player that they only need to type the letter (i.e. a, b, c or d), not the full answer (e.g. flogging).
The code for Quiz Style B.

The code for Quiz Style B.

You can look at this project in more detail here.

 

Quiz Style C
Using text input (More challenging)

This quiz style requires the player to type the full answer, e.g. "flogging".

Pros Cons
Good typing practice. The player is required to type the answer correctly, i.e. a good level of typing skills required.
The code for Quiz Style C.

The code for Quiz Style C.

You can look at this project in more detail here.

 

Optional: Makey Makey Game Controller

Students who make a multiple-choice quiz using Style A or B have the option of connecting their Scratch game to a physical game interface or controller using Makey Makey.

Makey Makey is an invention kit that allows you to make input devices that can be connected to Scratch, and other such software. Using conductive materials — such as lolly snakes, marshmallows, fruit, aluminium foil, or a cup of water, to give a few examples — you can build game controllers or musical instruments, among other things.

For example, you can build a fruit drum kit by connecting fruit to Makey Makey, and then connecting Makey Makey to a Scratch project that uses input keys to play drum sounds.

In the context of the above quizzes, your students can use Makey Makey to build a game controller, allowing students to select an answers in the multiple-choice quiz game using the aforementioned controller. You can create a directional pad consisting of four 'buttons' or 'touch pads' to represent the four answer options, i.e. 'A', 'B', 'C' and 'D'.

An example of a Makey Makey game controller.

An example of a Makey Makey game controller.

 

Year 5 — Digital Technologies and Science

Solar system quiz

The solar system quiz allows for Digital Technologies to be embedded into Science for a Year 5 class. It involves building an online quiz game using Scratch, and testing your students' knowledge of the solar system.

Your students will first be required to do some research on the solar system, and then write up their questions and answers for their quiz. With them, the students can then design their game in Scratch. Unlike the Australian convict quiz game for Year 4 students, this quiz game is not multiple-choice.

We have built this example solar system quiz game using Scratch:

The code for the solar systems quiz example.

The code for the solar systems quiz example.

You can look at this project in more detail here.

You might also consider having your students deliver this project as a Python program. Such would be a suitable extension for students. For more details on how to build the solar system quiz game using Python, see here.

 

Year 6 — Digital Technologies and English

Game Pitch

Game Pitch is a project for Year 6 Digital Technologies and English classes. Students will design their own game using Scratch and, optionally, Makey Makey. They will then give a presentation and pitch their new game to the class.

Students can build any type of game they like. Here are some examples:

  • Pac-Man collects Pokemon game (x)
  • Flappy bird-inspired game (x)
  • Agar.io solo (x)
  • Asteroid Smash (x)

If you would like ideas on how to deliver a Year 6 Digital Technologies/English project using Python rather than Scratch, have a look at our text adventure game that we built using Python. A text adventure game is a non-linear story, similar to the popular 90s book series "Choose your own adventure". A text adventure game allows a student to image and write a non-linear story that they can then develop into a computer game.

If you are interested in more class activities that integrate Digital Technologies and Design and Technologies into the other subjects for Prep to Year 6, see our e-book "Integrate Digital Technologies into the classroom".