Announcements: from the Desk of the President

Webinars and workshops: register for Professional Learning in Semester Two

Recent face-to-face PL: Williamstown and NGV

New tech review: new Jacdac expansion system for micro:bit

Australian Virtual Astronaut Challenge: a 9-week design sprint

Job Board: secondary Digital Technologies teacher in Wollert


From the desk of DLTV President Ben Gallagher

Hi all,

Today I’d like to write about DLTV’s work with other subject associations. As many of you know we have a saying at DLTV that "everyone is a DigiTech teacher" and, as I’ve been reviewing the revised Australian Curriculum, this seems to be a significant overarching theme. Digital Technologies is very relevant to all teachers in the near future, from early childhood to VCE and VCAL (and beyond). Using our Google grants, we are running targeted secondary and primary workshops on this very topic, so please read about our most recent events in this newsletter and consider attending a session in the future.

We are proud of our work with other subject associations to ensure that every teacher has the knowledge and skills to support their students being digitally-empowered citizens. Over the past two years we produced a series of articles DigiTech and ICT across the curriculum. These were produced with other subject associations and were focused on linking their areas of expertise to our own knowledge of digital pedagogies, digital literacy and the Digital Technologies curriculum. The intention is to do more of these, so if you have any ideas please let us know. You can view all our online teaching resources here.

If you look at our webinars, you’ll see that several of these have been done with other subject associations. Most recently we did a combined session with The Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (ACHPER), focussing on the links between Wellbeing and Digital Technologies. Our part was facilitated kindly by Dan Donahoo. The recording of this webinar will be available soon on our YouTube channel.

Recently Claire Andrewartha, one of our Vice Presidents, presented at the Geography Teachers' Association of Victoria (GTAV) conference highlighting the links between Geography and Digital Technologies and how these together can enhance learning outcomes and create efficiencies for students and teachers.

Catherine Newington our Secretary has done similar presentations in the past, and was the driver behind our articles on DigiTech and ICT across the curriculum. Matt Harrison, our other Vice President, has done innumerable presentations to teachers. His key interest is how DigiTech relates to including students with disabilities and neurological differences, as well as digital games-based learning. He will be presenting at the large gaming festival PAX in October.

Also, Careers Education Association Victoria (CEAV) and DLTV are combining to have a presence at PAX to help promote games development careers. DLTV has already worked closely with CEAV on our Connecting Learning To Work sites.

Nathan our PL coordinator is currently working with Mathematics Association Victoria (MAV) on the Victorian Coding Challenge, which has been a successful collaboration between DLTV and the MAV over the past few years.

In 2020 and 2021 our manager Kev was on the committee for the Council of Professional Teaching Associations of Victoria (CPTAV), the peak body for subject associations. He is still an active member but due to his work commitments has stepped down from the committee.

These are all examples of how Digital Technologies is in many ways the “glue” tying many learning areas together, and therefore highlights the important role played by DLTV in bringing subject associations together.

As always reach out if we can support you in any way.


Ben Gallagher

President DLTV and ACCE

(Australian Council for Computers in Education)

Semester Two is full of PL opportunities

While we are aware of the difficulties getting out for in-person professional learning, DLTV is continuing to offer face-to-face opportunities for those who can attend.


Digital Technologies in Contemporary Art

when:  1pm - 4pm, various dates

where:  venues around Victoria

cost:  free

A unique series of afternoon workshops rolling out across galleries throughout Victoria. Advancements in technology have profoundly impacted contemporary art, encouraging artists to incorporate technology as part of their art or enable them to manipulate materials in new ways.

Participants will learn basic block coding (visual programming language) then use it to interface with micro:bits to program artworks that move, light up in response to user input. By exploring these concepts contextually within galleries we hope to help demystify technology integrations and boost teacher confidence in using them in a visual art setting. The workshop will be largely hands-on learning with opportunities for reflection on classroom practice.

Choose an option below:

25 Aug 2022 - Shepparton Art Museum
1 Sep 2022 - Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery
13 Oct 2022 - Incinerator Gallery Essendon

Breaking down the V9 Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies and Digital Literacy

when:  4pm each week, 17 Aug to 19 Sep 2022

where:  online webinar series

cost:  free

Co-hosted by DLTV and Grok Academy, this series of short, weekly webinars will discuss the way the Digital Technologies learning area has evolved with the introduction of Australian Curriculum V9 in 2022, and also explore the general capability: Digital Literacy.

Register once and attend as many sessions as you like for free.

More info and book

Gaming for social connection: lunch time gaming clubs to create inclusive school communities

when:  4pm - 5pm, 18 August 2022

where:  online webinar

cost:  free

Led by Dr Matthew Harrison, this session explores the fundamentals of starting an inclusive gaming group in your school. We can use carefully selected games and 'Gamer Culture' as a starting point for strength and interest-based support programs that will help all students to develop communication skills, find friends with common interests and develop a sense of belonging to their community.

This webinar will provide an introduction to 'digital games-based support programs' and is accessible to people with all levels of gaming knowledge.

More info and book

Physical tech hackathons

when:  9:30am - 3:30pm, various dates

where:  DLTV Training Centre, 61 Blyth Street, Brunswick

cost:  free

A series of hackathons for STEM and Digital Technologies teachers. At each hackathon, participants are invited to bring along tools and examples from their own schools to share. Each day includes a presentation, a team challenge and opportunities for networking. Participants will use a Design Thinking framework to make solutions.

So far, two events are available: The first focuses on student product prototyping with two of the most classroom-friendly tools: MakeDo cardboard building and micro:bit, for teachers of Years 5-10. The second focuses on robotics used in Primary classrooms.

Choose an option below:

26 Aug 2022 - Cardboard and code: Years 5-10
8 Sep 2022 - Primary years robotics

VCE Applied Computing Teachers' Conference

when:  9am - 3:30pm, 3 November 2022

where:  Melbourne Graduate School of Education, Parkville

cost:  $165 DLTV members, $210 non-members

This year, our November VCE conference returns to a face-to-face format, hosted at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education in Parkville.

This is a collaborative professional learning day for teachers of VCE Applied Computing, Data Analytics and Software Development. Join with your colleagues and share knowledge about course plans and resources; approaches to teaching and preparing assessment tasks.

More info and book

face-to-face in Williamstown...

On Tuesday the 2nd of August, DLTV were delighted to run a face-to-face workshop at one of our partner schools Bayside College (Williamstown campus). The college provided a great space and their canteen did a wonderful job on the catering. Thanks to Cliff Jennings and Andrew Hartnett for their support here. Hopefully we’ll run something else at Bayside in 2022.

This event was supported by one of our Google Educator PD Grants 2022, so was free to attendees. Two well-known presenters Catherine Newington (Australian Computer Society) and Daryl English did an interesting and thoughtful presentation on how everyone is a DigiTech teacher, helping teachers to understand and articulate the Digital Technologies curriculum, as well as Digital Literacy. There were 17 attendees from as far away as Queensland. It was fantastic to see people face-to-face, and you realise it’s about the networking and random connections as much as the content - something webinar formats aren’t always good at facilitating.

Two of DLTV's industry partners arrived at lunch time to show off some of their products - a special thanks to Sam from the Brainary and Pathik from Pakronics.

We will be running more of these workshops so keep an eye on our website and newsletter and a special thanks to Google for supporting these.


...and at the National Gallery of Victoria

At the NGV, Steve Marks facilitated the first of the series of workshops Digital Technologies in Contemporary Art, also funded from the Google Educator PD Grants.

A enthusiastic group of attendees explored the use of coded electronics, lights and motors in artworks, made their own creations with micro:bit and Hummingbird, and even got a tour of the relevant works in the gallery itself.

NEW TECH: Jacdac Starter Kit for micro:bit

PL Coordinator Nathan Alison got his hands on the recently-released Jacdac Starter Kit for micro:bit V2 (from KittenBot). Here's his initial thoughts:

Teachers using micro:bits in the classroom probably know there's a couple of ways to expand it for physical computing projects:

1. connect raw electronic components with alligator clips  or

2. use a set of expansion modules (such as GroveBoson or Hummingbird) by inserting the micro:bit into an expansion board.

The new Jacdac expansion kits look a lot like Option 2, but actually represent a new way of expanding the micro:bit.

Moving away from fragile leads, voltage readings and the language of numbered pins, the experience is a lot more like USB. Plug a module into any expansion port with a hardy cable and the MakeCode environment detects it and provides the code blocks automatically. (In fact, the micro:bit itself can even be coded to detect what's being plugged into it!)

This kit comes with the expansion board itself (called the "Jacdapter"), several input modules (slider, button, magnetic sensor, light sensor) and a small RGB ring for output. It even has a small hub, as if to emphasise the plug-and-play experience. We can expect this to be just the first of many kits of this kind, from different manufacturers.

For everything to work smoothly, there's a few things to be aware of, and I'd recommend a test with a single kit before investing for a class:

  • This new system is for micro:bit V2, and does not work with the original micro:bit V1.

  • After an initial download of a Jacdac HEX file, you need to switch from the traditional technique of downloading the micro:bit HEX file, instead connecting the device in your browser with WebUSB. These days, the MakeCode environment encourages you to use this method, and it works with Chromium based browsers like Chrome and the current Edge. (My main laptop was uncooperative for some reason, but it worked without a hitch on my other one.)

Is this a good development?

Whether this direction is desirable depends on how you see the purpose of classroom electronics. These plug-and-play kits have the potential to be much more user friendly and take away an additional layer of complexity that gets in the way of realising students' designs for physical computing projects.

But this also lifts students even further away from the raw electronics of voltages and pins.

Where can I get it?

I was supplied this kit from one of DLTV's Industry Partners: Pakronics. We'll be doing a spotlight on Pakronics in our next fortnightly newsletter.


After the enormous success of the 2021 pilot program, the Australian Virtual Astronaut Challenge is back this year, better than ever!

Last year over 7,000 students participated in the AVA pilot program and in 2022 we have developed a 9-week design sprint based on challenges facing Artemis & the Australian space industry. AVA teams will choose from a set of scenarios and design a solution to pitch in the final week as either a 90 second video or a poster. Several teams will then be invited to pitch their ideas at the 2022 Youth Space Explorers event in Sydney.

How to get started

Be quick to register for the introductory zoom webinar to be held on Monday Aug 29, 2022 12:30 PM AEST and secure your young astronauts’ place in this exciting challenge.

Key challenge dates

The AVA schedule includes 2 x 45 minute live streamed webinars.

  • Monday Aug 29, 2022 12:30 PM AEST: Challenge begins with live introductory webinar
  • Wednesday Oct 12, 2022 12:30 PM AEST: Mid-challenge webinar
  • Friday Nov 11, 2022: Submission date for poster or video
  • Friday Dec 2, 2022: Australian Youth Space Forum

*Note: The challenge can be completed anytime between Monday Aug 29 and the submission date Friday Nov 11.

Weekly missions

AVA will produce weekly content uploaded to the website

Weekly missions will include, worksheets, resources lists, lesson suggestions and exciting video content released every Friday at 9:30am AEST, commencing Monday 29 August.

Note: The weekly missions follow the NSW Department of Education’s iSTEM Engineering Design ProcessHowever, AVA can be delivered in several ways, either within curricular or as an extracurricular activity.

Who is the challenge for?

The challenge is ideal for students in Years 5 – 10 and specifically suited to students studying iSTEM, Science, Mandatory Technology, or primary science and technology classes. There will be for different entry levels for the challenge:

  • Stage 3 – Years 5 and 6
  • Stage 4 – Years 7 and 8
  • Stage 5 – Years 9 and 10

The challenge is open to all students within Australia and overseas.

View the introductory video about AVA 2022.


Please email DLTV office if you wish to include a teaching job opportunity in our fortnightly newsletter.

Digital Technologies Teacher Required

The following position is currently being advertised by Edgars Creek Secondary College, Wollert.

Digital Technologies Teacher (7-12)
Job ID 1289452

Please note: This advertised job closes on August 16th 2022.

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