Guide for beginners 

Image of robot on a laptop

The Commissioner’s robot Cody Buttons​ likes to help human beings so has prepared this guide setting out recommended activities for beginners to complete the Challenge. Choose any four.

The Story of Cody Buttons

The Commissioner’s robot, Cody Buttons, was given their name by Yasser aged 9 in the ‘Name the Commissioner’s Robot’ competition in October 2018.

Cody Buttons likes their name very much so sent Yasser $100 worth of gift cards to thank him for coming up with it.

 

The name’s Buttons.
Cody Buttons.

Thanks for my name Yasser!

Coding with Minecraft®

Learn the basics of programming in familiar territory

Find out more

Get started with this beginner’s coding with a Minecraft lesson from Code.org’s Hour of Code™.

Watch a 2-minute intro video followed by a step-by-step introduction to coding using a Minecraft character.

Learn about algorithms

Australian Digital Technologies Curriculum approved lesson
Find out more
Have a go at introducing algorithms to beginners by simply describing everyday actions like brushing teeth, or making a sandwich with this activity from the Digital Technologies Hub. The only equipment you’ll need will be sticky notes / paper and your digital thinking brain!

Make cute monsters

Australian Digital Technologies Curriculum approved lesson

Find out more

Sign in as a teacher to get free access to all the notes and support you need to run Grok Learning tutorials as a classroom activity and no software installation is required. All activities also contain extension suggestions for students who blast through.

FREE MICRO:BIT SIMULATOR

Code a flashing heart with no special equipment

Find out more

Don’t have a budget for physical robots or microchips? Microsoft have an entire, online based micro:bit simulator you can use for free.  Simply click on the picture of the chip to make it do what it would in real life. 

BINARY SECRET CODES

Unplugged lesson requiring no devices
Find out more
It sounds complicated but fits in beautifully with Mathematics. It’s just counting in Base 2.

Explore this CS Unplugged activity to find out how numbers can become something else:  a necklace made out of beads that secretly spells your name or a code for writing secret messages.

If you have no idea what binary is spend 5 minutes getting up to speed with Math is Fun by Rod Pierce.

Code a dance party

Get creative with music, characters and dance moves
Find out more

Use your creativity to code a choreographed dance performance with this Hour of Code™ activity from Code.org.
Take part with digital devices or try the unplugged version (no devices needed) as a class.

Photo of Selena Woodward

Selena Woodward

Educator and lecturer in digital technologies in the classroom, Flinders University.

Today’s children need to be prepared to be the problem solvers of tomorrow

In an increasingly digital age, in order to solve problems, children will need to understand and harness all of the skills required for digital thinking.
Not sure where to start?

I’ll let you into a secret.

Teaching your students to ‘speak robot’ is actually teaching them how to think and solve problems. 

The goal will be to do that using digital technology.

But there’s no need to feel daunted. There are many skills you are already using in your day-to-day work with students that relate to ‘systems’ and ‘syntax’. It is part of everything we do.

Partners

Proudly Supported By

Microsoft logo
Australian Information Industry Association logo
EWS - Education Web Solutions logo
Grok Learning logo
Public Libraries Service of South Australia
Scouts logo
Girl Guides logo
Children’s University logo
Thinkfun Games logo
Wade’s World
EDTechSA
Digital Technologies Hub
CS Unplugged logo
MakeCode logo
Computer Science Education Research Group logo
Code Club Australia logo
Code Like a Girl logo
Advanced Technology Program
Australian Computing Academy logo
National Computer Science School logo
Onkaparinga Libraries logo
The Hartley Institute logo
Acknowledgement of Country

We respectfully acknowledge and celebrate the Traditional Owners of the lands throughout South Australia and we pay our respects to their Elders – and to past, present and future generations of their children and young people.

Digital Thinking Schools Beginner’s Guide for Schools