Unpack the Curriculum

Understand the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies

Band 3-4
Band Description

Learning in Digital Technologies focuses on further developing understanding and skills in computational thinking, such as categorising and outlining procedures; and developing an increasing awareness of how digital systems are used and could be used at home, in school and the local community.

By the end of Year 4, students will have had opportunities to create a range of digital solutions, such as interactive adventures that involve user choice, modelling simplified real world systems and simple guessing games.

In Year 3 and 4, students explore digital systems in terms of their components, and peripheral devices such as digital microscopes, cameras and interactive whiteboards. They collect, manipulate and interpret data, developing an understanding of the characteristics of data and their representation.

Using the concept of abstraction, students define simple problems using techniques such as summarising facts to deduce conclusions. They record simple solutions to problems through text and diagrams and develop their designing skills from initially following prepared algorithms to describing their own that support branching (choice of options) and user input. Their solutions are implemented using appropriate software including visual programming languages that use graphical elements rather than text instructions. They explain, in general terms, how their solutions meet specific needs and consider how society may use digital systems to meet needs in environmentally sustainable ways.

With teacher guidance, students identify and list the major steps needed to complete a task or project. When sharing ideas and communicating in online environments they develop an understanding of why it is important to consider the feelings of their audiences and apply safe practices and social protocols agreed by the class that demonstrate respectful behaviour.

Achievement Standard

By the end of Year 4, students describe how a range of digital systems (hardware and software) and their peripheral devices can be used for different purposes. They explain how the same data sets can be represented in different ways.

Students define simple problems, design and implement digital solutions using algorithms that involve decision-making and user input. They explain how the solutions meet their purposes. They collect and manipulate different data when creating information and digital solutions. They safely use and manage information systems for identified needs using agreed protocols and describe how information systems are used.

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Hiding details of an idea, problem or solution that are not relevant, to focus on a manageable number of aspects.

Abstraction does not appear explicitly in the content descriptions.

However, abstraction underpins the design and progression of content descriptions between band levels for each concept.

Digital systems
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Identify and explore a range of digital systems with peripheral devices for different purposes, and transmit different types of data (ACTDIK007)


Systems explores the composition of systems and their use in all aspects of our lives.


Networks describes how we connect systems together and use them to transmit data.


Security is concerned with how we protect the data stored in and transmitted by systems.

Explore digital systems with purpose

Use digital systems in multiple ways.

Students use systems differently depending on the demands of the task, and learn that many systems can perform multiple tasks (e.g. a tablet can take photos, record sound, find information, etc.).

Peripherals and components

Components are the parts included in a digital system. Peripherals connect to a digital system to extend its functionality.

Students understand that external devices can be connected to digital systems to expand their functionality (e.g. a USB drive adds portable storage; a laptop can only print when connected to a printer).

Transmit data

Send and receive data to and from digital systems.

Students understand that different types of data can be transferred between digital systems (e.g. streaming music from an online service to your computer, using a smartphone to video call a friend).

The content descriptions do not explicitly address Security in band 3-4.
Data representation
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Recognise different types of data and explore how the same data can be represented in different ways (ACTDIK008)


Representation explores how we model, construct and describe data.

Data types

Data types describe the internal representation of data in digital systems and the operations that can be performed on it.

Different representations

The same data is represented differently depending on its purpose.

Students explain how the same data can be represented in different ways (e.g. five vs 5 vs V vs |||| vs cinque) and why some are better than others in certain contexts (e.g. 5 is the best representation for calculation).

Data types

Data can be represented in many ways.

Students describe different types of data (e.g. numbers, letters, pictures) and how they can be used.

Data collection
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Collect, access and present different types of data using simple software to create information and solve problems (ACTDIP009)

Acquire data

Acquire data examines how we collect and access data from a variety of sources.

Manage data

Manage data is concerned with the processes we use to facilitate how we use data.

Collect data

Gather and record data by counting and measuring.

Students collect different types of data in different ways (e.g. tallying to record the number of cars that drive past the school; measuring the growth of school plants).

Access data

Obtain existing data from an online data source.

Students access data from a file, website or online database as directed by the teacher (e.g. the list of convicts aboard the Charlotte in the First Fleet).

The content descriptions do not explicitly address Manage data in band 3-4.
Data interpretation
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Collect, access and present different types of data using simple software to create information and solve problems (ACTDIP009)

Organise data

Organise data explores the ways we order, sort and arrange data to assist us with interpretation in different contexts.

Visualise data

Visualise data describes the many ways we present data in its raw and summarised form for communication and further analysis.

Interpret data

Organise data to answer questions.

Students answer simple questions by classifying, grouping, and sorting data (e.g. what is the most common car colour? how many female convicts were in the First Fleet?)

Visualise data

Present data in various ways to summarise data.

Students present acquired data in different ways to answer questions (e.g. graph plant height to determine if sunlight increases growth).

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Define simple problems, and describe and follow a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve them (ACTDIP010)

Problem definition

Problem definition is the process we follow and considerations we make to determine and describe the problems we intend to solve.


Constraints describe the restricting factors we face when solving problems, and how we factor these into our planned solutions.


Decomposition is the process of breaking a problem into more manageable pieces so it can be understood and solved.

Familiar problems

Simple problems that are already familiar to students.

Students recognise a range of problems, and can define achievable solutions to their own problems (e.g. buying presents for family members within a budget)

Describe problems

Determining the nature and description of a problem to be solved.

Students answer guiding questions (e.g. which family members need presents? What is the budget?) and then write a problem statement (e.g. I need to buy presents for mum, dad and my sister for less than $30).

The content descriptions do not explicitly address Constraints in band 3-4.
The content descriptions do not explicitly address Decomposition in band 3-4.
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Define simple problems, and describe and follow a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve them (ACTDIP010)

Follow algorithms

Follow algorithms is the process of performing the steps required to solve a problem.

Design algorithms

Design algorithms captures the solution design we undertake to develop an automated solution to a problem.

Algorithm constructs

Algorithm constructs are the building blocks we use to define our algorithms in a form digital systems can execute.

Follow algorithms

Follow an ordered sequence of steps to solve a simple problem or complete a task.

Students follow the steps and decisions of algorithms (e.g. follow rules to form progressive verbs such as eat to eating, run to running, make to making), and know what step they are up to (e.g. checking off items on a list as they are completed).

Represent algorithms

Represent a clear, ordered sequence of steps and decisions using words and images.

Students describe algorithms using representations such as a list of steps or a diagram (e.g. drawing a diagram of a recipe involving decisions).

The content descriptions do not explicitly address Design algorithms in band 3-4.
Sequence of steps

An sequence of steps (instructions) where order might or might not matter.

Students understand there can be more than one sequence of steps to solve a problem, some are better than others, and the steps should be unambiguous (e.g. describing two different ways to get to the same location).

Branching (decisions)

Branching involves following different steps based on a yes/no decision.

Students determine the decisions required to solve a problem. Decisions should include numerical and text comparisons (e.g. if the UV index is above 3, put on sunscreen and a hat).

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Implement simple digital solutions as visual programs with algorithms involving branching (decisions) and user input (ACTDIP011)

Digital Solutions

Digital solutions are computer programs implemented with a programming language (code).

Programming constructs

Programming constructs are the fundamental principles of program control flow we use in programming languages.

Programming paradigms

Programming paradigms are the underlying philosophies and approaches that are used in the structure of computer programs.

Implement Digital Solutions

Translate an algorithm into a program (code) for a computer to run. Coding is a synonym for computer programming.

Students can write the code to solve a simple problem.

Test Digital Solutions

Define the expected (correct) behaviour for given input and check a program against it.

Students run a program and check it against a provided list of expected behaviour (e.g. the character: 1. moves forward, 2. turns left, 3. moves forward).

User Input

Receiving data from the user or environment to change program behaviour.

Students can write programs that accept input from the user, which is entered after the program has been executed. For example this could be in the form of a button press on a device, or a key press triggering an event in Scratch.


Branching involves making a decision in a program to choose which block of code is run.

Students can create programs that include some form of decision, such as writing simple if-statements.

Visual programming

A computer program represented graphically in a block-based environment.

Students can write code in a visual language such as Scratch or Blockly.

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Explain how student solutions and existing information systems meet common personal, school or community needs (ACTDIP012)

Information systems

Information systems describe the solutions developed by people that make use of data and systems.


Users are the people who benefit from or control information systems.

Evaluation considerations

Evaluation considerations is concerned with how we factor the intended and unintended impacts of our solutions into our designs and implementation strategies.

Student solutions

The answers and products students develop themselves as solutions to problems.

Students can reflect upon the effectiveness of their own digital assets to address a problem they have identified, or how it helps them live their life.

Information systems

A combination of digital systems, data, processes, and people that interact to create, control, and communicate information.

Students can describe familiar information systems that people in their community engage with to perform typical tasks.


Individual people (the students and their family members and friends).

Students can apply their knowledge and understanding of information systems to hypothesise about the impact of systems on other individuals.


A lot of the things that happen in a school are facilitated by digital systems.

Students can reflect on how the systems at school help it run. This includes things like storing information about their family (so the school can contact parents) and which class they are in (so they can be found at different times in the day).


Digital systems play a pivotal role in many of the problems our communities face.

Students can reflect on the many systems that are used in the wider community to address a range of problems, from timetables to manage transport and other services, through to details like storing license information so that police can enforce driving laws


The impact digital systems have had on our ability to solve a range of problems that enrich and enhance our lives.

Students can discuss the many different needs information systems address. The purposes of these systems are ultimately what determine their usefulness and viability, so students need to be cognisant of this to fully understand their larger impact.

Human–Human Interactions
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Plan, create and communicate ideas and information independently and with others, applying agreed ethical and social protocols (ACTDIP013)

Create information

Creating information involves using digital systems to present ideas and information.

Communicate and collaborate

Communicate and collaborate involves using digital systems to share information and work with others.

Plan and manage

Plan and manage involves organising and controlling processes, people and resources in the development of solutions.

Create ideas and information

Using digital technologies to manipulate data and present a product.

Students can describe how executing their plan effectively will allow them to gather data and inform their next steps. This should lead to them being able to conclude the process with an answer, or at least a new question that needs to be answered.


Completing a structured task or activity in small groups with defined roles.

Students can confidently share their knowledge and skills with others when working on common problems, especially when the solution will affect multiple people. They should be encouraged to share what they know with others and to use these interactions to consolidate their own understanding.

Cyber safety

Choosing what personal information about yourself and others should be shared online and with whom.

Students share their work online after discussing what information about themselves and others is safe to share, and with whom (e.g. blogging about their home without revealing its specific location or other personal information).

Social and ethical protocols

Agreed behaviours enabling all participants to feel included, respected, and valued when interacting with each other.

Students interact with each other online, after discussing respectful and considerate communication for the context (e.g. commenting on a blog, mindful of the impact on the author, using appropriate language for a public forum).


Developing an approach, strategy or identifying sources useful to investigate a problem and/or develop a solution.

Students can appreciate the value of identifying the steps they should follow to solve a problem before they start their investigations. This includes things like knowing where to look for data and who they might ask for help. At this stage, it is about developing a simple strategy that they can follow confidently, and scaffolding from the teacher is likely required.

Human–Computer Interactions
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The content descriptions do not explicitly address Human–Computer Interactions in band 3-4.
User experience

User experience goes beyond user interfaces to encompass a user's perceptions and responses when interacting with a digital system.

Evaluate designs

Evaluate designs describes the considerations and design decisions we make when designing digital systems.

The content descriptions do not explicitly address User experience in band 3-4.
The content descriptions do not explicitly address Evaluate designs in band 3-4.