Begin your journey to digital empowerment
Gain useful new skills today from any of the activities or courses on this page:
Expressing problems and solutions in ways that a computer can understand.
Commissioner Connolly’s Learn to Speak Robot challenge will get you started with the absolute basics using Code.org’s Hour of Code, Code Club Australia and others – https://commissionersdigitalchallenge.net.au/digital-thinking/outside-school/beginners-guide-for-outside-school/
Computer programming and computer science courses that are free and for everyone from the non-profit organisation, Khan Academy – https://www.khanacademy.org/computing
A well-stocked library of free courses ranked into beginner, intermediate and advanced from non-profit organisation freeCodeCamp – https://www.freecodecamp.org/news/450-free-online-programming-computer-science-courses-you-can-start-in-september-59712e77635c/
PICOCTF is a challenge hosted by Carnegie Mellon Cylab where older children can reverse engineer, break, hack, or decrypt to solve the challenge. Access to materials is available outside of challenge dates. Most suitable for ages 14 years+ – https://picoctf.com/
Scratch is a creative learning community to create stories, games, and animations using well-known free introductory block-based coding language, Scratch – https://scratch.mit.edu/about/
A framework to build confidence and transform problems into opportunities.
Try out Commissioner Connolly’s Space to Dream challenge to get familiar with the process of design thinking – the backbone of digital success – and the same process professional engineers and designers all over the world use to solve real problems. In this challenge you can design a gadget for someone your age who is ‘Moving to Mars’. Designs can be hand-drawn or created using free 3D design tools from Makers Empire – https://commissionersdigitalchallenge.net.au/design-thinking/outside-schools/
A free intro course from the birthplace of design thinking, Stanford University, on getting started with design thinking – https://dschool.stanford.edu/resources/design-thinking-bootleg
MAKER CHALLENGES FROM JOHN SPENCER
Maker Challenges using everyday items by award-winning design thinking educator, John Spencer:
- Design a city for superheroes – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHXk7yMS1oU&list=PLzDOGMsmDvetek2wQR1xyCD0SG6ekGU4c&index=8
- Design the ultimate tiny house – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6a_P-N3EFIc&list=PLzDOGMsmDvetek2wQR1xyCD0SG6ekGU4c&index=5
- Design a drone delivery system – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8fPxa2rpeg&list=PLzDOGMsmDvetek2wQR1xyCD0SG6ekGU4c&index=3
- Create an arcade game – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4am6dNDQVz4&list=PLzDOGMsmDvetek2wQR1xyCD0SG6ekGU4c&index=4
- Invent a creature that lives inside an active volcano – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-l3zpxRbbc&list=PLzDOGMsmDvetek2wQR1xyCD0SG6ekGU4c&index=7
- Invent a sport using these random items – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLKa2weeajI&list=PLzDOGMsmDvetek2wQR1xyCD0SG6ekGU4c&index=11
- Divergent thinking challenge – ‘what would you make with this?’ –
- Explore your own genius – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COF-bqZuE-I&list=PLzDOGMsmDvetek2wQR1xyCD0SG6ekGU4c&index=13
Finding big picture solutions by looking at how each component influences the whole.
Use the free version of this web site to play games, deconstruct them and to design, test and improve your own games using systems thinking – http://gamestarmechanic.com/
Explore this interactive playable post on the shape of society by Vi Hart and Nicky Case which demonstrates how small and seemingly harmless choices can lead to a harmful world – https://ncase.me/polygons/
The ability to use digital technology services in a smart way.
An online course covering the topics of: Privacy and Reputation, Identity Exploration, Positive Behavior, Security and Community Engagement – https://www.facebook.com/safety/educators
Find out more about how to safely take part in-game chat, how to avoid scams, how to think about your digital footprint and loads more from the NSW Department of Education – https://www.digitalcitizenship.nsw.edu.au/students-articles
Making positive and socially minded choices online to create a better world.
Play Google’s interactive game, Interland, to gain digital literacy and citizenship skills – https://beinternetawesome.withgoogle.com/en_us/interland
Get insight into the kinds of opportunities computer science can give you –https://www.khanacademy.org/computing/computer-programming/meet-the-computing-professional
Mapping sections of neurons used to be a way-too-time-consuming task for neuroscientists – but then the process was gamified and members of the public are invited to learn to play the game start mapping! By joining this movement you will work together with AI to ‘help map the connectome’. Eyewire gameplay helps neuroscience by giving researchers data to help them find out how neurons connect and network to process information – https://eyewire.org/explore
Showcase your digital skills
Create your own portfolio of digital skills to show others what you did and what practical skills you gained.
- Save certificates you earn
- Record any new skills you learned
- Include graphics / drawings / photos – whatever brings your portfolio to life
- Find a cool way to describe an activity you did – e.g. Digital Citizenship – I volunteered as an active participate in ‘civic science’ medical research mapping a neuron using digital skills and AI
- Share a game or website you made yourself
This could be as simple as saving it all to a file or USB drive right through to creating your own password-protected website.
You’ll be able to show others what you learned in an impressive way at the same time as demonstrating your creativity and initiative – things that could come in pretty handy when thinking about future opportunities.