Digital & Data Literacy

Lesson materials

Digital capabilities and the growth mindset

This class will introduce learners to the growth mindset. This is followed by an engaging activity combining craft, circuitry and basic coding where participants will create an interactive artwork that produces sound effects using a Makey Makey.

Introduction to JavaScript

This activity is designed for people who have never programmed before. It aims to build confidence and develop a basic understanding / mental model of programming.

Introduction to Data Collection and Visualisation

This is an introductory session that provides an entry level look at robotics, coding, and data collection. Students will work collaboratively in groups through guided exploration, investigating their data collection tool and using basic skills in data visualisation using Excel. They will then present their learning and justify their decisions to develop communication and collaboration skills.

Creating Soundscapes with littleBits Synth Kits 

This lesson introduces students to digital music creation using circuitry and recording software. Students will create digital soundscapes using littleBits Synth Kits and then record them using Audacity. They are then asked to reflect on how they can use digital tools to solve creative challenges.

While the focus of the lesson is on creating a digital music artefact, students will also gain an understanding of learning and creativity as a process.

Power BI for Digital Humanities

This workshop demonstrates how to create visualisations in Power BI, with a focus on digital humanities.

Tinker Kits

Tinker kits help develop digital literacy and turn students into digital creators and problem solvers. Kits that can be borrowed include:

  • Makey Makey
  • Arduino
  • littleBits
  • Sphero
  • VR headsets
  • 360 degree camera
  • PocketLab Voyager

Tinker kits booking form

Makey Makey

Makey Makey can be used in class to teach students about circuitry, programming, electricity, and group work.

Lesson resources

  • Digital capabilities and growth mindset – lesson plan and handout: introduces students to the growth mindset and the ways it supports learning. Students use a digital dexterity exercise combining coding in Scratch with the Makey Makey kit to practice the growth mindset techniques

Tutorials and project ideas

  • Makey Makey Quick Start Guide: this guide introduces the world of Makey Makey, including what they do, how to set them up, and how to start having fun. The guide also includes information about using a Makey Makey with an Arduino and using it to control your computer.
  • Makey Makey Educator's Guide: contains project ideas and lesson plans to help develop your and your students' skills
  • Makey Makey Apps: a list of Makey Makey games made using Scratch free drag-and-drop game programming software.
  • GameFroot: make games and play them with Makey Makey

Requirements

A laptop or desktop computer with a USB port.

Arduino

Arduino is an open-source platform used for building electronics projects. Arduino consists of both a physical programmable circuit board (often referred to as a microcontroller) and a piece of software, or IDE (Integrated Development Environment) that runs on your computer, and is used to write and upload computer code to the physical board.

Lesson resources

  • 48610 Introduction to Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering: tutorial guide and tutorial exercises developed and used by Terry and Atlas, the lecturers of 48610.

Tutorials and project ideas

Requirements

A multimeter (not included in kit) is an option to use with the Arduino

littleBits

littleBits are click together circuitry that allow you to learn about electronics while building and prototyping. UTS Library has 6 kits currently available:

Tutorial and project ideas

Sphero

The Sphero SPRK+ is a simple robot that can be programmed with a smartphone or tablet. An excellent introduction to coding and computational thinking, the Sphero SPRK+ is used in schools and universities to teach these skills to students of all ages.

Tutorial and project ideas

Requirements

VR headsets

Requirements

Using the Google Cardboard platform, each virtual reality headset requires the user to insert their own smartphone into the headset. View a list of compatible devices.

360-degree camera

The Insta360 Air is a smartphone add-on that turns your Android device into a fully-fledged 360-degree VR camera. It's capable of capturing still images and video and comes with a live-streaming function.

The Insta360 One is a 360-degree camera that contains various camera mounts and can work via Bluetooth or lightning port with devices. It also contains a bullet time mode.

Tutorial and project ideas

Requirements

Insta360 Air: the Insta360Air app for Android and a compatible Android smartphone.

Insta360 One: the iPhone/iPad app and a compatible Apple smartphone

PocketLab Voyager

PocketLab Voyager is an all-in-one portable science lab that can measure motion, light, magnetic fields, weather and temperature. Stream real time data from multiple sensors to your device where you can view, graph, record, and save data as a spreadsheet. PocketLab Voyager works with both Android and Apple with PocketLab app and the innovative VelocityLab app.

Tutorial and project ideas

  • Scratch Getting Started Guide: will show you how to install the required programs and start programming with ScratchX and PocketLab.
  • Rollercoaster physics: Planning on Physics Day at your local amusement park? PocketLab on the Giant Dipper Roller Coaster in Santa Cruz, measuring g-forces and altitude on the Giant Dipper roller coaster to analyze the physics of the amusement park ride.
  • Hot Wheels racing: Totally tubular! We use the Hot wheels Super 6 lane raceway and a tube to make a crazy twisting loop taking the cars from lane 5 and 6 over to lanes 1 and 2. Let’s see which of these cars can loop the loop and make it to the finish line first

Requirements

Either the PocketLab or VelocityLab app – available through the Apple and Android app stores.

Get help

Request a consultation with a librarian to discuss how the kits can be incorporated into an interactive activity for your students.