The NCSS challenge is in full swing now with so many students having a go! Teachers have been asking for advice on how to encourage their students to try for a level higher than the one they are very confident in… like maybe having a shot at the tournament?

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How can you help your students to ‘level-up’?

This post is about the kinds of attitudes we see and how to be the cheerleader to encourage your students to reach for the next stage in their learning and develop that “can-do” culture.

“I’m not good enough”

The tournament is a competition, so often students who are ready to take on a challenge find this aspect quite daunting. It’s important to know that it is impossible to write a bot that will win every game. We’re all just learning and some of us are further along the learning pathway than others, so students shouldn’t judge their bot against the very best bots but rather to judge their bot against the other ones they submit to the tournament. Tell students to “try and beat your own previous bot”. It’s a much less daunting task than trying to be on the top of the leaderboard! It’s important that students know that only their first name and state is viewable in the bot tournament so they can feel free to experiment without being identified. …


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Dr Nicky Ringland with students at our cyber security resource launch

The ACA have just launched the first two of the Schools Cyber Security Challenges. Through this project we have worked with cyber security experts and security outreach personnel at our fabulous partner organisations.

The first challenge is about Information Privacy and Security. It's really very different from every other course we've created, with a new interface and links to the ICT General Capabilities rather than the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies. The new interface emulates the appearance of a phone with simulated social media apps installed. The "friends" within the social media apps share their daily lives with some making more private information available than others. …


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A few students were brave enough to present at Pycon before we invited students

This year the Australian Computing Academy is helping to organise the Education specialist track at Pycon AU and for the first time at we are inviting high school students to apply to present at a Student Showcase for the afternoon session of the Education Specialist track. Do you have students who are excited by Python? Have you got a student with an interesting project in any year? Would your students like to share their learning and their expertise with other students and teachers? We want to hear from them!

Applications are now open through the PyconAU 2018 website. The showcase can be on anything Python related, whether a school assignment or passion project and chances are that if they are proud of it and you think it’s impressive then so will we so please encourage your students to apply. …


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A selection of some of the Champion rewards modelled by the team

Get the most out of being a Champion Teacher!

As a Champion Teacher, we’ll give you the low down on upcoming Challenges, resources and ways to get involved. We’ve got an assortment of goodies and bling (from stickers and lanyards to t-shirts and hoodies) for your help.

First on offer are stickers!

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The first 5 stickers

You’ll earn a different sticker for completing a DT Challenge, having your class complete one, giving us feedback, hosting a workshop, or attending one. In fact, you’ve already earned your first sticker by putting your hand up to be involved in our Champion Teachers Program. …

Amanda Hogan

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