Digital fact sheets
Department of Education and Training produces fact sheets for state school teachers and other departmental staff interested in exploring innovative approaches to using technologies in teaching and learning. Each Digital Fact Sheet includes a brief introduction, price point guide, specifications, tips for getting started and helpful links, as well as ideas for the classroom which can be adapted for library use.
As you become more familiar with digital technologies and your confidence grows, you can develop activities to suit any target audience or your community’s needs, for example, certain age groups or girls only groups. Projects are limited only by your imagination.
Table of contents
Three-dimensional printing pens allow you to draw in three dimensions by heating up and emitting a plastic filament that quickly cools to form a solid, stable structure. The pen can be used with a variety of plastic materials such as ABS, PLA and FLEXY filaments.
3D printing materials are called filaments. The range of filaments available for use with 3D printers is continually expanding. The most common filaments used are polyactic acid (PLA) and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS).
The Arduino Starter Kit includes everything students need to get started with electronics and coding. Arduino is an open-source prototyping platform based on easy-to-use hardware and software. Arduino boards are able to read inputs – light on a sensor, a finger on a button, or a Twitter message – and turn it into an output – activating a motor, turning on an LED, publishing something online. You can tell your board what to do by sending a set of instructions to the microcontroller on the board.
A Bee-Bot is a colourful, simple-to-use programmable robot for young children. The robot is perfect for teaching simple programming concepts, controls, directional languages, sequencing, estimations and problem-solving.
Packed with sensors and numerous capabilities, the Dash robot can race, dance, light up, sing, navigate objects, and even respond to voice. Charged and ready to play right of out of the box, there are a numerous apps for a variety of age and ability groups.
GoldieBlox are kits that encourage girls to learn about building, although boys enjoy GoldieBlox too. Each kit includes an illustrated story that centres on a character who builds machines to solve real-life problems. The stories engage students in the building process by explaining why building is necessary, rather than focussing on building for building’s sake.
The GoPro Hero is the entry level waterproof camera from the GoPro range. It captures high-definition photo and video, and can be worn or mounted onto an object such as a bike, robot or drone
The Hummingbird Duo Base Robotics Kit aims to create engineering and robotics activities that appeal equally to boys and girls. Hummingbird robotics leverage popular visual programming environments such as Snap! and Scratch to teach engineering and robotics concepts. Using the kit and craft materials, students can create robots, kinetic sculptures and animatronics.
The Mindstorms EV3 robotics kit is the 3rd generation of Lego educational robotics. It is a fun way to teach programming and problem solving skills by creating robots that walk, talk and think using the included programmable brick and sensors. Students can be creative and design their own robot or follow instructions to create specific Lego Mindstorms EV3 robots.
littleBits allow anyone to build, prototype and learn about electronics. Users create circuits using only littleBits modules or as part of a larger project involving everyday materials such as art supplies or food.
MaKey MaKey is an invention kit that aims to ‘repurpose the world’ by bringing out the inventor in everyone. The kit encourages people to find creative ways to interact with their computers by replacing keyboards and mice with everyday objects.
MOSS Modular Robotics Kits allow students to build intuitive robots without any prior programming understanding or experience, or the need for a computer. The robotic modules connect to each other using metal ball bearings and magnets.
The MOSS Double Brain Block is an additional component to Moss Modular Robotics kits that allows students to program their MOSS creations. The Brain Block uses Bluetooth to connect your MOSS robot to your iOS or Android device.
The Oculus Rift Development Kit 2 is a head-mounted virtual reality headset used to view virtual experiences and create virtual environments. There is a rapidly growing library of virtual reality experiences for use on the development kit, allowing you to have experiences like never before.
Ollie [link] is a two-wheeled, cylindrical remote-control robot controlled in real time or pre-programmed by an app on a mobile device. Ollie can spin, drift, stall, flip and reach speeds of over six metres per second, making programming and learning robotics fun.
Ozobots are tiny robots that are ideal for teaching Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM), and computer science concepts. Ozobots can read and detect changes in colour, so they can be programmed to move, dance, navigate mazes and much more.
Pro-Bot is a programmable floor robot designed for more advanced control techniques than the popular Bee-Bot. Commands are entered via a set of arrow and number keys mounted on the back of the robot and are shown on the LCD screen. As the robot executes each move, the corresponding command is highlighted on the screen allowing students to recognise and de-bug errors as well as extend their code to successfully program the Pro-Bot.
Raspberry Pi is a low-cost credit-card sized computer that can be used to teach computer science. Raspberry Pi plugs into a computer monitor or television and uses a keyboard and mouse. Like a standard computer, you can use the device to play video, browse the internet, word-process and learn how to program in a variety of computer languages. When you connect it to sensors, you can use the device to create electronics projects.
Sphero SPRK is a spherical robot that can be controlled in real time or pre-programmed by an app on a mobile device. Its shell is made of tough, transparent polycarbonate, allowing students to see the relationship between their commands and the electric motor and LEDs inside. Sphero can reach speeds of more than two metres per second, making programming and learning robotics fun.