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Australian Computing Academy

Helping teachers implement the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies

The Australian Computing Academy provides primary and secondary educators with the intellectual, technical and practical leadership skills required to fulfil the ambitious goals of the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies. 

About the Academy

Backed by $10 million funding from the Department of Education, the Australian Computing Academy was launched in August 2017 as a centre within the Faculty of Engineering. In partnership with Grok Learning, the academy will deliver National Digital Technologies Challenges to support the Australian Curriculum until early 2021.

By leading the Academy, the Faculty builds upon its long-term commitment to promoting computing education with the National Computer Science School (NCSS) and its innovative programs as listed below.

Our educators

The academy has an unparalleled expertise and track record for delivering scalable, online, structured and differentiated classroom-ready challenges to support the Digital Technologies curriculum in close collaboration with the department and educational stakeholders.

Our award-winning team has:

  • expertise in the Digital Technologies curriculum and its development, with Academic Director Associate Professor James Curran one of the co-authors of the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies.
  • roles across jurisdictions and systems at primary, secondary and tertiary levels
  • leadership in computer science and other STEM concepts and pedagogy
  • experience delivering professional development and fostering communities for teachers.

Our programs

The Digital Technologies Challenges program involves 18 challenges of 4–5 weeks (similar to the University’s NCSS Challenge) for the Years 5–6 and Years 7–8 bands of the Digital Technologies curriculum.

The challenges are multi-week, in-classroom activities co-designed with educators to build into their lesson plans. They provide learning resources (interactive notes and videos); engaging, authentic, real-world problems that require content from those resources; and online support for teachers and students. Assessment is integral to this learning, providing immediate, detailed feedback to students and learning analytics designed to assist teachers.

The academy provides support for teachers in several ways, including teacher professional development workshops delivered throughout the country; an online virtual community for teachers; and a messaging and phone help desk to ask for content, technical or pedagogical support and discuss how teachers are using the activities in the classroom.

More information on the challenges can be found on the academy’s website.

The National Computer Science School (NCSS) is a ten day summer school for students going into years 11 and 12. NCSS brings together talented young people from around Australia for an intensive course of computer programming and website development at university.

More information can be found at the National Computer Science School website.

The Girls' Programming Network (GPN) is an extra-curricular program run by girls and for girls. The tutors are a mix of University IT students (from the University of Sydney and others) as well as professional software engineers from companies like Google, Atlassian and WiseTech Global. GPN aims to inspire and support girls interested in computers and technology, and any high school girls are encouraged to attend.

More information can be found at the National Computer Science School website.

The NCSS Challenge is a programming competition open to all school students and teachers. The Grok Learning team have been running coding competitions like the challenge for over 12 years.

The NCSS Challenge is unlike any other programming competition. We’ll teach you how to program as we go along, rather than expecting you to be an expert already. If you’re a seasoned coder, we have something for you too – the problems range from relatively simple to mind-bendingly hard.

More information can be found at the Grok Learning website.

Get involved

If you would like to learn more about the academy and our activities, be informed about the release of the challenges, or find out more regarding the dates and locations of professional development workshops, please join our mailing list or contact the academy.