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Computer Science Unplugged in the Classroom

Participate and share

Participate and share : Poster

Toni Falusi  
Are you limited by the lack of technology equipment in your classroom? This interactive workshop will allow you to explore a variety of computer science concepts through unplugged activities. Learn about classroom activities that are currently being implemented in Australian primary schools.

Audience: Teachers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices not needed
Topic: Computer science & computational thinking
Grade level: PK-5
Subject area: STEM/STEAM, Computer science
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Create learning opportunities that challenge students to use a design process and computational thinking to innovate and solve problems.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Participants will be encouraged to engage with various unplugged activities to explore computer science concepts such as collection and representation of data, constructing algorithms, applying computational thinking using LEGO bricks and decoding a Caesar Cipher. Participants will have the option to download and print resources prior to the the session, or interact with the online manipulatives provided.

NB the workshop has been adapted for remote delivery


Collection & representation of data activity 5mins
Responding to conditional statements using the data collected 5 mins
Using LEGO bricks to explore algorithms and simulate data movement in networks 15mins
Computational thinking Activity- activity designed to highlight the various individuality participants bring to an activity - 10 mins
Extension to write an algorithm to build their object, swap, and test with other participants.
Flowcharts to represent algorithmic thinking, sequencing and procedural texts - 15 mins
Coding and secret messages using binary and Ceasar Ciphers - 10 mins

Time for activities can be adapted depending on the knowledge level of participants which can be determined from data collected in the first activity. Slides will be made available for participants with additional resources.

Supporting research

K. Falkner, R. Vivian, & N. Falkner, Teaching Computational Thinking in K-6: The CSER Digital Technologies MOOC, Seventeenth Australasian Computing Education Conference, Sydney, Australia, 27th-30th January, 2015

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Toni Falusi, Computer Science Education Reseach Team

Toni Falusi, is the ACT Project Officer for the Adelaide University’s Computer Science Education Research (CSER) MOOCs program, facilitating Professional Learning for educators, President of InTEACT and Head STEM Coach, Australian Science Innovations Curious Minds Program. Toni has spent over 18 years as a teacher across both primary and secondary schools as well as in a teacher-librarian role. Throughout her career, Toni has had a focus on implementing ICT and Digital Technologies education and also in a coaching role as part of the school executive team. She is currently working part-time as a sessional lecturer at Australian Catholic University, Canberra.

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