A process of reducing complexity to formulate generalised fundamental ideas or concepts removed from specific details or situation. For example, the idea that a cricket ball is a sphere in the same way that a soccer ball is, or the concept that data can be organised in records made up of fields irrespective of whether the data are numbers, text, images or something else.


The extent to which a system, environment or object may be used irrespective of a user’s capabilities or disabilities. For example, the use of assistive technologies to allow people with physical disabilities to use computer systems, or the use of icons in place of words to allow young children to use a system.


A branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of art, beauty and taste. It is more scientifically defined as the study of sensory-emotional values, sometimes called judgements of sentiment and taste. Aesthetic judgement is concerned with the visual impact or appeal of a product or environment and is influenced by social, emotional and demographic factors.


A description of the steps and decisions required to solve a problem. For example, to find the largest number in a list of positive numbers:

  • Note the first number as the largest.
  • Look through the remaining numbers, in turn, and if a number is larger than the number found in 1, note it as the largest.
  • Repeat this process until complete. The last noted number is the largest in the list.

An algorithm may be described in many ways. Flowcharts are often useful in visualising an algorithm.

algorithmic logic

The logic behind breaking down computing problems and information systems into step-by-step processes in order to solve problems or achieve specified outcomes. It involves sequencing and abstraction and leads to algorithmic statements.


Identify components and the relationship between them; draw out and relate implications.


Make a judgement of value, quality, outcomes, results or size.

augmented reality (AR)

A technology that replicates, enhances or overlays extra information about the real-world environment, using computer-generated data such as global positioning systems (GPS), sound, videos and images. Examples include a car windshield with a heads-up display (HUD) that projects three-dimensional navigation information and virtual lanes; and a swimming telecast using a line to indicate the position of the record holder in relation to the actual swimmers in the race.


In Digital Technologies, any process of transforming and manipulating data that does not require user intervention. For example, through the use of formulas in a spreadsheet, new sets of data can be processed and the results recalculated automatically, or a webcam can be turned on as a result of movement sensor input.


A use of two states or permissible values to represent data, such as on and off positions of a light switch or the transistors in a computer silicon chip that can be in either the electrical state of ON or OFF.

Binary data are typically represented as a series of single digits referred to as binary digits (or bits) due to each taking on the value of either 0 or 1. The image below shows how a dashed line might be represented in binary.


An inspiration of functions found in nature for use and adaptation in the design of a product, service or environment or to solve human problems. For example, Velcro fastening was inspired by small hooks on the end of burr needles. Termite mounds that maintain a constant temperature through air vents inspired architects to design cooling for buildings.


Mapping something to bits (binary digits 0 and 1). It is most often used in reference to graphics or images (but can be other forms of media). For a bitmapped graphic, each ‘dot’, or pixel, of the graphic is represented by a number giving the colour of the pixel. .bmp, .gif or .jpeg files are graphics represented as bitmaps (as opposed to vector graphics). If a graphic were stored or displayed using only 1 bit per pixel, it would be purely black and white (1 for black and 0 for white). If it were 2 bits per pixel, it could represent four ‘colours’ (typically greyscale colours). Using 24 bits per pixel gives over 16 million (224) different colours.


Making a decision between one of two or more actions depending on sets of conditions and the data provided. For example, in testing whether a light works, the following algorithm uses branching:

Diagram illustrating branching


A written document for a design project developed for a need. The document is focused on the desired results of design.

carbon footprint

The environmental impact of an individual or organisation’s operation, measured in units of carbon dioxide. It includes primary emissions (the sum of the direct carbon dioxide emissions of fossil fuel burning and transportation such as cars and planes) and secondary, or indirect, emissions associated with the manufacture and breakdown of all products, services and food an individual or organisation consumes.


A set of distinguishing aspects (including attributes and behaviours) of an object, material, living thing, system or event.

In Design and Technologies, the qualities of a material or object usually detected and recognised by human senses such as its colour, taste, texture, sound (for example, crunch of bread) and smell. The term also may relate to the form of a material, for example, ‘corrugated’ cardboard. These qualities are used by humans to select suitable materials for specific uses, for example, because they are appealing or suitable for their purpose. The characteristics of materials usually determine the way people work with the materials. Also see properties.

In Digital Technologies, for example, the characteristics of a stored digital graphic may be the colour depth (maximum number of colours represented), the resolution (number of pixels per area, or height and width) and the compression used.


A customer (sometimes known as a client, buyer, or purchaser) is the recipient of a good, service, product, or idea, obtained from a seller, vendor, or supplier, for a monetary or other valuable consideration.


A piece of software that encodes or decodes digital audio-visual material, usually to allow it to be stored or transmitted in a compressed format. For example, the MP3 format compresses audio data and requires an MP3 codec (usually available by default in audio programs) to be read and played by a computer. Codecs can be downloaded or purchased and installed as plug-ins to most applications to extend the media capabilities of software. Also see compression.

codes of conduct

A code of conduct is a set of rules outlining the social norms and rules and responsibilities of, or proper practices for, an individual, party or organisation.


Parts or elements that make up a system or whole object and perform specific functions. For example, the major components of a car include: a chassis (holds everything on it); an engine (to convert energy to make a car move); a transmission (including controlling the speed and output from the engine and to rotate the wheels); a steering system (to control the direction of movement); a brake system (to slow down or stop); a fuel delivery system (to supply fuel to the cylinders); an exhaust system (to get rid of gases) and an electrical system (for operating wipers, air conditioning, etc.).

Similarly, the components of a computer system may be a central processing unit (chips that follow instructions to control other components and move data); memory chips and a hard disk (for storing data and instructions); a keyboard, a mouse, a camera and a microphone (to input instructions and data for the central processing unit); a screen, a printer and speakers (to output data); USB and ethernet cards (to communicate with other systems or components). Also see digital systems.

diagram showing components of an electronic system.


Encoding information using fewer bits than the original representation to reduce file size. Common examples include:

  • .zip files, which can contain one or more files or folders that have been compressed
  • .jpg files in digital photography are produced by processing complete (lossless) data from a camera’s sensor through compressing (looking for redundant/unnecessary data) into a smaller file size
  • .mp3 files for audio, which compress an original audio source to reduce the file size significantly but still sound like an exact copy of the original.

computational thinking

A problem-solving method that involves various techniques and strategies that can be implemented by digital systems. Techniques and strategies may include organising data logically, breaking down problems into parts, defining abstract concepts and designing and using algorithms, patterns and models.


A constraint is something that plays the part of a physical, social or financial restriction.

constructed environment

An environment developed, built and/or made by people for human and animal activity, including buildings, streets, gardens, bridges and parks. It includes natural environments after they have been changed by people for a purpose.


The circumstances, or facts, that surround a particular situation or event.

contextual criteria

A descriptive list of essential features against which success can be measured, within a given context.


Techniques and methods that encourage creative actions, including techniques for idea generation and divergent thinking, methods of re-framing problems and changes in the affective environment, used as part of problem solving.


A descriptive list of essential features against which success can be measured.


In Digital Technologies data refers to, discrete representation of information using number codes. Data may include characters (e.g. alphabetic letters, numbers and symbols), images, sounds and/or instructions that, when represented by number codes, can be manipulated, stored and communicated by digital systems. For example, characters may be represented using ASCII code or images may be represented by a bitmap of numbers representing each ‘dot’ or pixel.


A collection of data organised by records and fields that can be easily stored, accessed, managed and updated. Each discrete piece of data to be stored is represented by a field (for example, song title, song artist or bank account number, date of transaction); and values in the fields that are associated with an entity (for example, a song, a bank transaction) are a record. Interaction with a database usually takes place through a user interface designed specifically for the structure and use of the data stored in it.


To separate a complex problem into parts to allow a problem to be more easily understood. For example, to create an interactive story, one can decompose the problem to a list of characters and their characteristics (for example, clothing), the actions of the characters, the backdrops and the sequence of scenes with reference to which characters, actions and backdrops are involved in each scene. Decomposition may be represented in diagrams.


State meaning and identify essential qualities.

design brief

A concise statement clarifying a project task and defining a need or opportunity to be resolved after some analysis, investigation and research. It usually identifies users, criteria for success, constraints, available resources and timeframe for a project and may include possible consequences and impacts.

design processes

A process that typically involves investigating and defining; generating and designing; producing and implementing; evaluating; and collaborating and managing to create a designed solution that considers social, cultural and environmental factors. In Design and Technologies, technologies processes include design processes and production processes.

design thinking

Use of strategies for understanding design problems and opportunities, visualising and generating creative and innovative ideas, and analysing and evaluating those ideas that best meet the criteria for success and planning.

designed solutions

In Design and Technologies, a product, service or environment that has been created for a specific purpose or intention as a result of design thinking, design processes and production processes.


In Design and Technologies, a process that typically involves investigating and defining; generating; producing and implementing; evaluating; and collaborating and managing to create a designed solution.

In Digital Technologies, one step in a four-stage process of defining,designing, implementing and evaluating to create a digital solution.

desk checking

A method used by a human to check the logic of a computer program's algorithm to reduce the likelihood of errors occurring. This may be done on paper, using a diagram, or mentally trying a sample of typical inputs to see what the outputs would be. For example, to desk check a branching statement {IF age >65 THEN ‘retire’ ELSE ‘keep working’}, the values for age of 64, 65 and 66 could be tried to show that 64 and 65 would result in ‘keep working’ and 66 in ‘retire’ so that it could be decided if the statement worked as intended.

digital citizenship

The acceptance and upholding of the norms of appropriate, responsible behaviour with regard to the use of digital technologies. This involves using digital technologies effectively and not misusing them to disadvantage others.Digital citizenship includes appropriate online etiquette, literacy in how digital technologies work and how to use them, an understanding of ethics and related law, knowing how to stay safe online, and advice on relatedhealthand safety issues such as predators and the permanence of data.

digital footprint

A total set of data left behind by a person using a digital system. A person’s digital foot print includes all information actively provided by that person such as interactions on social networks (for example, comments, photographs), online purchases, website logons, emails and instant messages. It also includes passive information such as logs of software installed and used on a computer, metadata associated with files, a user’s IP address, a device being used to access a web page, and a user’s browsing history stored as cookies or by internet service providers.

digital information

The nature and forms of information stored digitally, and processes that transform digital data into information for various purposes and meanings, including structures, properties, features and conventions of particular forms of digital information and appropriate methods of storage, transmission and presentation of each form.

digital solutions

A result (or output) of transforming data into information or action using digital systems, skills, techniques and processes to meet a need or opportunity.

digital system/s

Digital hardware and software components (internal and external) used to transform data into a digital solution. When digital systems are connected, they form a network. For example:

  • a smartphone is a digital system that has software (apps, an operating system), input components (for example, touch screen, keyboard, camera and microphone), output components (for example, screen and speakers), memory components (for example, silicon chips, solid state drives), communication components (for example, SIM card, wi-fi, bluetooth or mobile network antennas), and a processor made up of one or more silicon chips.
  • a desktop computer with specific software and hardware components for dairy farming. The computer is connected via cables to milking equipment and via wi-fi to sensors that read tags on the cows. Through these hardware components the software records how much milk each cow provides. Such systems can also algorithmically control attaching milking equipment to each cow, providing feed and opening gates.

Digital Technologies

Any technologies controlled using digital logic, including computer hardware and software, digital media and media devices, digital toys and accessories and contemporary and emerging communication technologies.

digital tools

A variety of hardware used to create a solution, e.g. desktop computers, laptop computers, ipads, smart phones, cameras.

drawing standards

Australian standards for engineering and technical drawing. Identified as Australian Standard AS 1100, the standards include a number of parts that describe the conventions for Australian engineers, designers, architects and associated tradespeople such as builders and plumbers to follow. AS 1100 incorporates general principles for technical drawing, including dimensioning, types of lines and layouts to use, scales, symbols, abbreviations and their meanings. It also includes mechanical engineering drawing, including information for surface texture, welding, centre holes, gears, etc.

economic sustainability

A set of practices that do not reduce economic opportunities of future economies, while recognising the finite nature of resources, and use resources optimally over a longer term without resulting in economic loss.


A mechanical device that is moved or controlled by electricity.

emerging technologies

A field of technology that broaches new territory, in some significant way, with new technological developments.


The practical application of scientific and mathematical understanding and principles as part of the process of developing and maintaining solutions for an identified need or opportunity.


An entity is something that exists in itself, actually or hypothetically.


One of the outputs of technologies processes and/or a place or space in which technologies processes operate. An environment may be natural, managed, constructed or digital.

environmental sustainability/environmental

Practices that have minimal impact on ecosystem's health, allow renewal of natural systems and value environmental qualities that support life.


Items needed for carrying out specific jobs, activities, functions or processes. For example, a bench hook is used to hold a piece of wood when making a straight cut across it; a tailor’s chalk is used to make marks on fabric to show details of the location and type of construction; a soldering iron is used to solder components to a printed circuit board; scales are used to accurately weigh ingredients for a cake or feed for domestic animals.


Understanding of the activity of humans within systems or in an environment to maximise the wellbeing of humans and their productive use of those systems or environments. In Digital Technologies, ergonomics is concerned with physical, mental and emotional impacts on users of the technologies. For example, it is understood that many people may get sore eyes if they look at screens for too long, and that if computer keyboard users do not sit up straight with arms at right angles to the body, they may get repetitive strain injury in their forearms.


Principles that govern a person's behaviour or the conducting of an activity.


Measuring performance against established criteria. Estimating nature, quality, ability, extent or significance to make a judgement determining a value.

exploded view

A drawing or photograph of an object with individual parts shown separately but arranged to show the relationship and position of the parts for assembly. For example, instructions that come with furniture sold in a flat pack that has parts and fittings, or a diagram of parts of a bicycle, to be assembled in a particular way and/or order by a purchaser.


Investigate, search for or evaluate.


In Design and Technologies, distinctive attributes, characteristics, properties and qualities of an object, material, living thing, system or event.


In food and fibre production, plant- or animal-based materials that can be used for clothing or construction. Fibre includes materials from forestry. Animal-based (protein) fibres include wool and silk. Plant-based (cellulosic) fibres include cotton, bamboo, hemp, timber and wood chip.

food guides

The National Health and Medical Research Council and Australian government departments of health and nutrition publish guides that provide information on food consumption patterns to promote maximum health. These include the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating poster, which visually represents the proportion of the five food groups recommended, in a circular plate format; the Australian Dietary Guidelines (2013 revision), which has five principal recommendations, and the Healthy Living Pyramid, which recommends food from the core food groups and encourages food variety balanced with physical activity.


Design of products, services or environments to ensure they are fit for purpose and meet the intended need or market opportunity and identified criteria for success. Criteria for success in relation to functionality are likely to include such things as operation, performance, safety, reliability and quality. That is, does the product, service or environment do what it was meant to do, or provide what it was meant to provide? (Fork example, does the torch provide light, is it easy to hold, and is it safe to use?)

futures thinking

Strategic thinking that envisages what can be, given existing knowledge, to propose scenarios for probable, possible and preferred futures. For example, making well-informed predictions or extrapolating using current economic, environmental, social and technological trends; using divergent thinking (‘What if …’ explorations) about a given futures scenario; hypothesis; or systems-driven thinking.

graphic organisers

A communication tool that uses visual symbols to represent structured thinking. Graphic organiser makes thinking processes visible by showing connections between ideas and data. Examples include concept maps, flowcharts and cause-and-effect patterns. The use of graphic organisers has become more popular with the availability of software to create, edit and display them.


The collection of physical elements that comprise a computer system.


Wood from broadleaved or angiosperm trees such as oak, ash, gum, jarrah.


A state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity (World Health Organization 1948).

healthy eating

Dietary patterns that aim to promote health and wellbeing including the types and amounts of foods and food groups which reduce the risk of diet-related conditions and chronic disease (National Health and Medical Research Council 2013).

hypertext markup language (HTML)

One of the first coding systems (or languages) designed to be used for web-page files so that an internet browser can efficiently display a page and elements for that page such as text, links and media in the intended position. There are newer versions of this language and alternative markup languages.

hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP)

A set of rules or standards for transferring files and messages on the World Wide Web, specifically to allow linking of files and text. It provides a standard for web browsers to render pages (that is, to present them in an intended form) and servers to communicate.


Recognise and name.


That which informs, i.e. an answer to a question, as well as that from which knowledge and data can be derived (as data represents values attributed to parameters, and knowledge signifies understanding of real things or abstract concepts).

information system

The combination of digital hardware and software components (digital systems), data, processes and people that interact to create, control and communicate information.


A new idea, more effective device or process.

intellectual property

A legal concept that refers to creations of a mind for which exclusive rights are recognised. Common types of intellectual property include copyright, trademarks, patents, designs and plant breeder’s rights.


Plan, inquire into and draw conclusions about.


Repetition of a process or set of instructions in computer programming.

joining processes

Methods of bringing together and permanently holding materials or components, for example, using joints such as a dowel joint to join legs and rails for a table frame; fasteners such as nails, rivets, bolts and screws; glues or adhesives; welding; sewing and binding; rubbing in or mixing food ingredients.


Support an argument or conclusion; give reasons for your statements or comments.

life cycle thinking

A strategy to identify possible improvements to products, services and environments to reduce environmental impact and resource consumption while considering social and economic impacts. The cycle goes from the acquisition of materials through to disposal or recycling. Life cycle thinking in food and fibre production would consider nutrition, health and wellbeing, cultural identity and lifestyle as well as environmental impacts.

managed environment

In Design and Technologies, those environments coordinated by humans, for example, farms, forests, marine parks, waterway, wetland and storage facility.


Natural (such as animals, food, fibre, timber) and fabricated materials (such as metals alloys plastics, textiles). Materials are used to create products or environments and their structure can be manipulated by applying knowledge of the origins, structure, characteristics, properties and uses.


A system that manages power to accomplish a task that involves forces and movement.

mobile networks

A system of connecting movable computer systems or peripheral devices, each one remote from the others.


A representation that describes, simplifies, clarifies or provides an explanation of the workings, structure or relationships within an object, system or idea.


To change somewhat the form or qualities of; alter somewhat.


The use of digital technologies to present text, graphics, video, animation and sound in an integrated way.


A set of social conventions that facilitate interaction over networks.


A system of connecting computer systems or peripheral devices, each one remote from the others.


The nutritional components in foods that an organism utilises to survive and grow.

nutrition panel

Under the food standards code, all manufactured packaged foods must carry a nutrition panel. The nutrition panel states the amount of energy (kilojoules), protein, fat (saturated and total), sodium and carbohydrate in a food.

online environment

Allows the connection of computers/mobile devices to one or more computers/mobile devices or networks, such as the internet.

orthogonal drawings

A scaled multiview drawing of a three-dimensional object to show each view separately, in a series of two-dimensional drawings, for example, top or bottom, front, back and sides. In Australia, orthogonal drawings use third-angle projection for layout of the views. Orthogonal drawings may also include measurements on each view and are used to develop lists of material requirements. In these drawings each edge is represented by a connected line, each segment of which is parallel to a coordinate axis. Also see production drawing.

peripheral devices

Digital component that can be connected to a digital system but are not essential to the system, for example, printer, scanner, digital camera.

personal protective equipment (PPE)

Equipment used or worn by a person to minimise risk to the person’s health or safety, for example, goggles, ear muffs, face shield, hard hat, apron, gloves.

perspective drawing

A drawing that represents the way objects appear to be smaller and closer together, the further away they are. Perspective drawings may be one-, two- or three-point perspective and have the corresponding number of vanishing points. A one-point perspective drawing has a single vanishing point (VP). Perspective drawings are often used in building, interior and architectural design.


Actively realising (making) designed solutions, using appropriate resources and means of production.


One of the outputs of technologies processes, the end result of processes and production. Products are the tangible end results of natural, human, mechanical, manufacturing, electronic or digital processes to meet a need or want.

production drawing

A working drawing that details the requirements for the manufacture and assembly of products and environments.

production processes

In Design and Technologies, a technologies context-specific process used to transform technologies into a product, service or environment, for example, the steps used for producing a product.

programming environment/s

Hardware and software the user interacts with while programming.


A set of activities undertaken by students to address specified content, involving understanding the nature of a problem, situation or need; creating, designing and producing a solution to the project task; and documenting the process. Project work has a benefit, purpose and use; a user or audience, which can provide feedback on the success of the solution; limitations to work within; and a real-world technologies context influenced by social, ethical and environmental issues. Criteria for success are used to judge a project’s success.

project management

The responsibility for planning, organising, controlling resources, monitoring timelines and activities and completing a project to achieve a goal that meets identified criteria for judging success.


The distinctive qualities of a material that can be tested and used to help people select the most suitable one for a particular use. Mechanical properties are determined when a force is applied to a material, for example, to test its strength, hardness, wear resistance, machinability/workability, stretch and elasticity. Thermal properties are determined when varying temperatures (for example, cold or heat) are applied to test whether it expands, melts, conducts or absorbs heat (warms up), find its boiling point, and whether its colour changes. Chemical properties relate to the chemicals a material is made up of (its composition) and how it may change because of its surrounding environment, for example, how it ages or taints; develops an odour; deteriorates; resists stains, corrosion or cracks due to heat; or is flammable. Electrical properties relate to the way a material responds if a current is passed through it or if it is placed in an electrical field, for example, whether the material conducts or resists electricity or acts as an insulator. Optical properties relate to how light reacts with a material, for example, opaqueness, transparency and reflectiveness.


A set of generally accepted standards or 'rules' that govern relationships and interactions between and within information systems. Also see hypertext transfer protocol.


A trial or model built to test an idea or process to inform further design development.

qualitative data/qualitative

Qualitative data can be arranged into categories that are not numerical. These categories can be physical traits, gender, colours or anything that does not have a number associated to it.

quantitative data/quantitative

Quantitative data that can be quantified and verified, and is amenable to statistical manipulation.

rendered drawing

A drawing that shows a relative relationship of elements or a form of objects using texture, colour, light, shade and tone (lightness or darkness of a colour). Rendered drawings are used, for example, in architecture to show what a building will look like or to show the form and shape of the body of a proposed car design. Rendering can be done by hand, or using computer software such as computer-aided drawing.


Products or objects that assist learning. In Design and Technologies, this includes technologies, energy, time and human input.

risk management

A practice of identifying potential risks in advance, analysing them and taking precautionary steps to reduce/curb the risk. Risk management involves risk identification, analysis, response planning, monitoring, controlling and reporting.

sensory properties

Properties that can be identified by organs of sense. Used to evaluate and describe foods in terms of the senses. The taste (sweet, sour, salty); texture or mouth feel (smooth, moist, lumpy); aroma (spicy, sweet, pungent); appearance (light, dark, golden, glossy); and noise (crunchy, fizzy, crackly) are parts of this analysis.

service design

The design of the service and the service concept. The service concept aims to meet the needs of the end user, client or customer. The service design includes the physical, organisational, aesthetic and psychological benefits of the service and required systems thinking.


One of the outputs of technologies processes, the end result of processes and production. Services are the less tangible outcome (compared to products) of technologies processes to meet a need or want. They may involve development or maintenance of a system and include, for example catering, cloud computing (software as a service), communication, transportation and water management. Services can be communicated by charts, diagrams, models, posters and procedures.

social network

A structure that describes the relationships that exist between individuals and/or organisations. Social networking services and tools provide a mechanism for people who share common interests or personal ties to communicate, share and interact using a range of media such as text, images and video.

social protocols

Generally accepted 'rules' or behaviours when people interact in online environments, for example, using language that is not rude or offensive to particular cultures, and not divulging personal details about people without their permission.

social sustainability

Practices that maintain quality of life for people, societies and cultures in a changing world for a long period of time, ensuring health and wellbeing without disproportionate costs or side-effects.


Any set of machine-readable instructions that directs a computer's processor to perform specific operations.


Wood from gymnosperm trees such as conifers. Examples of softwood include pine, spruce and cedar.


A person or organisation with an interest or concern in something.


A graphic organiser in the form of illustrations or images displayed in sequence for the purpose of pre-visualising an idea or concept.

structured data

A data model that organises data elements and standardises how the data elements relate to one another.

structured English

The use of the English language to describe the steps of an algorithm in clear, unambiguous statements that can be read from start to finish. The use of keywords such as START, END, IF and UNTIL provides a syntax similar to that of a programming language to assist with identifying logical steps necessary to properly describe the algorithm.

An example of the use of structured language can be demonstrated using the following problem:

Description of the problem: Describing the decision a person makes about how to get to a destination based on the weather and the distance from their current location to their destination.

Structured English example:


IF it is raining outside THEN

Catch the bus


IF it is less than 2km to the destination THEN


ELSE IF it is less than 10km to the destination THEN

Ride a bicycle


Catch the bus



END The Structured English description can easily be translated into code using a programming language and accurately captures logical elements that must be followed to answer the question posed.

student developed criteria

Established rules or principles for testing anything developed individually or collaboratively by students.


The capacity for development that can be sustained into the future without destroying the environment in the process.

sustainability factors

Economic, environmental and social sustainability issues that impact on design decisions.


The structure, properties, behaviour and interactivity of people and components (inputs, processes and outputs) within and between natural, managed, constructed and digital environments.

systems thinking

A holistic approach to the identification and solving of problems where parts and components of a system, their interactions and interrelationships are analysed individually to see how they influence the functioning of the whole system. This approach enables students to understand systems and work with complexity, uncertainty and risk.

technical protocols

A set of rules governing the format in which messages are sent from one computer to another, as in a network, using agreed terminology.


Method of performance; way of accomplishing.


The materials, data, systems, components, tools and equipment used to create solutions for identified needs and opportunities, and the knowledge, understanding and skills used by people involved in the selection and use of these.

technologies contexts

The focus and opportunities for students in Design and Technologies to use processes and production skills to design and produce products, services and environments. The technologies contexts for Pre-primary to Year 10 are: engineering principles and systems; food and fibre production; food specialisations; and materials and technologies specialisations.

technologies processes

The processes that allow the creation of a solution for an audience (end user, client or consumer). The processes involve the purposeful use of technologies and other resources and appropriate consideration of impact when creating and using solutions. The processes typically require one or more of the following types of thinking: computational, critical, design or systems.


An implement and machines to carry out specific processes when working with materials. For example, a saw is an example of a tool used to cut timber; scissors are used to cut fabric, paper and cardboard; a tape measure is used to measure lengths and widths of wood and fabric; a blender is used to mix and blend food ingredients; secateurs are used to prune plants. Also see equipment.

transmission control protocol / internet protocol (TCP/IP)

A set of rules or standards for organising how messages are transmitted over the internet.


The ease of use and learnability of a human-made object. The object of use can be a software application, website, book, tool, machine, process, or anything a human interacts with.

user interface

Characteristics of the boundary between users and a computer system, or the manner in which users interact with computer hardware or software. In software, this usually comprises of fields for text and number entry, mouse pointers, buttons and other graphical elements. In hardware, switches, dials and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) provide information about the interactions between the user and machine.

visual programming

A programming language or environment where a program is represented and manipulated graphically rather than as text. A common visual metaphor represents statements and control structures as graphic blocks that can be composed to form programs, allowing programming without having to deal with textual syntax. Examples of visual programming languages include: Alice, GameMaker, Kodu, Lego Mindstorms, MIT App Inventor, Scratch (Build Your Own Blocks and Snap). Note: A visual programming language should not be confused with programming languages for creating visualisations or programs with user interfaces, for example, Processing or Visual Basic.

visualisation software tools

Software to help in the recording of ideas as visual representations. Examples in are computer-aided drawing (or computer-assisted design – CAD) and computer simulation. Graphic organisers are visualisation tools as are software that display graphs of data.

wired networks/wired

Connected to a wire or system of wires, as an electronic device connecting computer systems or peripheral devices.

wireless networks/wireless

Any type of computer network that uses wireless data connections for connecting networks.

working model

Engineering simulation software product that, when run, can be used to test how virtual components interact. A program can simulate various interactions of the parts (components) and graph the movement and force on any element in a system. These working models are also known as prototypes and can be used to evaluate performance, and make alterations and improvements if necessary.