Where we came from and how we got here.

In The Beginning

Grok Learning and the Australian Computing Academy (ACA) were two separate organisations with the same mission: to improve computing education by supporting teachers with classroom resources, professional development, and expert curriculum and pedagogy advice.

After many years working together to achieve this mission, it was an obvious next step to join together and become one unified organisation.

There are lots of overlap in what we do and we work closely together on many things, such as the NCSS Challenge and DT Challenges. Many ACA activities are hosted in the Grok Learning platform. Some people (like me!) …


Me, second from the left, working with students at the NCSS 2020 in Melbourne

The NCSS Challenge is an online programming competition with a unique model: students learn to program while competing. The success of the NCSS Challenge is what inspired (or forced?!) us to found Grok Learning; led to the opportunity to write the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies; and ultimately, convince our Federal Department of Education to fund the Australian Computing Academy.

For the last 15 years, the NCSS Challenge has run in early (Australian) Term 3, from the end of July until early September. …


A message from A/Prof. James Curran, CEO of Grok Learning

Whether you are returning to in-person teaching or are still teaching remotely, teachers around the world are working tirelessly to make sure no student gets left behind. At Grok Learning, we’ve been working on how we can continue to support you and your students as you return to this ‘new normal’. This support through to December 2020 is described below.

During the COVID-19 lockdown, we introduced several features to support remote learning that will continue to assist your in-person teaching, including:


This article first appeared in Teacher, published by ACER. Reproduced with kind permission. Visit www.teachermagazine.com.au for more.

Examples of different programming languages.

Since 1954, when IBM’s John Backus invented the first widely-used programming language, FORTRAN (FORmula TRANslation) for scientific and engineering calculations, many weird and wonderful programming languages have been developed for coding.

As a teacher, how do you choose which programming language is right for you and your students? In this article, we’ll discuss which programming languages are suitable for each band of the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies and for extra-curricular computing activities.

But first, what is a programming language?

A programming language is a language for describing instructions that a…

James R. Curran

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