Digital Technologies Curriculum Version 9 – Years 9-10 Guide

Preparing kids for a future of technology is one of the most crucial focuses in recent years for schools. Though Australia has used the Digital Technologies Curriculum Version 8.4 to great success, Version 9 has just been released after a long review process by ACARA.

Though 8.4 won’t be retired just yet, Version 9 is expected to become the required standard by 2025 at the latest. However, as you can adopt this version now, it’s never too early as a teacher to prepare and start the next wave of content lesson planning.

Through this guide, we’re going to focus on the Digital Technologies Curriculum Version 9 as it relates to the critical years 9 and 10. We’ll cover not only what the new expected learning outcomes are for these years, but what are some of the differences from Version 8.4 you should be aware of.

If you’re ready to prep for version 9, let’s jump into it.

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What Is The V9 Digital Technologies Curriculum For Years 9-10?

Version 9 of the years 9 and 10 Digital Technologies Curriculum is a brand new curriculum standard for Digital Technologies students. Specifically, it updates the quality of the curriculum objectives and achievements and the teachings within them.

For years 9-10 students, this means more detail within their lessons so they can learn the teachings effectively and fulfil the curriculum objectives. Additionally, the new version of the curriculum makes the curriculum objectives and descriptions more concise and links the achievements closer to the curriculum objectives.

It also refines the content to ensure that year 9 and 10 students can access the highest quality information possible. 

There are two main curriculum strands (with several sub-strands each) that cover all bases for the Digital Technologies Curriculum for years 9 and 10 students; the Knowledge and Understanding strand and the Processes and Production Skills strand. Both these strands have refined teachings, so year 9 and 10 students get the best learning experience possible.

While Version 8.4 is expected to be active for a while, Version 9 is available now for early adopters. The full roll-out of version 9 to all schools is expected to happen by 2025 at the latest, though. As such, teachers should prepare accordingly for this inevitable change.

Digital Technologies Curriculum Version 9 - Years 9-10 Guide

What Are The Content Objectives And Descriptions Version 9 Of The Digital Technologies Curriculum For Years 9-10 Students?

The most critical thing to know about version 9 of the year 9-10 Australian Digital Technologies Curriculum is the content within it.

The content breaks down between various content descriptions and objectives. But, before we get into the years 9 and 10 content descriptions, here are the main goals for the years 9-10 version 9 digital technologies curriculum content.

  • If they still aren’t confident after year 8, years 9 and 10 students should know how to use computational thinking for resolving issues (and fully deconstruct them). Additionally, they will learn to create complex algorithms and implement them for these problems. The new teaching for years 9-10 students is showing them how to use object-oriented programming languages to implement algorithms.
  • Students should be able to perfect their data interpretation skills in years 9 and 10. Specifically, they should be able to know how to acquire specific data sets, interpret them, clean them (if they need it) and validate them. Additionally, students will deal with more challenging spreadsheets and data (multidimensional data, for example).
  • Years 9-10 students will use the design thinking skills they built in previous years to design more complicated elements for digital systems. An example includes complex ideas to improve user experiences (UI ideas, for example). For years 9 and 10, they will focus on workshopping these ideas and, eventually, prototyping them.
  • Students will build upon their systems thinking ideas by using them to understand how hardware and software products relate and interact to fulfil crucial functions within a digital system. Additionally, students will consistently use digital tools to make high-level interactive content. Additionally, they can learn more about cyber security, like learning how to build advanced threat models.

Now you know the curriculum goals for version 9 of the years 9-10 Digital Technologies Curriculum content, you need to know the exact teaching within all the significant sub-strands. Here is the most critical content that years 9-10 students can learn in version 9 of the Digital Technologies Curriculum.

Digital Technologies Curriculum Version 9 - Years 9-10 Guide

Digital Systems

While the curriculum description for younger students mainly focuses on hardware, the description for years 9 and 10 students split the focus between hardware and software.

Specifically, going into detail about how hardware and software manage data in a digital system (specifically a networked digital system). Moreover, they can learn how to gain access to vital data.

Data Representation

The data representation sub-strand for years 9 and 10 focuses on some complex data topics.

The first Data Representation year 9-10 curriculum description includes showing students how to represent an online document in various formats; some examples include online content (usually in text form), presentation content and more – additionally, the information details why all these data representations are essential and shows some real examples.

The second Data Representation year 9-10 curriculum description introduces students to basic techniques to compress data. For example, using algorithms to present data as compressed data.

Acquiring, Managing and Analysing Data

The first years 9-10 Acquiring, Managing and Analysing Data curriculum description involves developing the data skills they learn in the curriculum content for years 7 and 8. For example, they can develop data acquisition, storage, validation and more. Additionally, they continue to improve using spreadsheets and databases to achieve these data goals.

The second year 9-10 Acquiring, Managing and Analysing Data curriculum description focuses on taking the teachings on data visualisation and implementing them more interactively. Additionally, they can learn how databases and spreadsheets can help to make data visualisation more interactive (motion charts, for example) and use them to identify outliers.

The third year 9-10 Acquiring, Managing and Analysing Data curriculum description focuses on modelling and querying but shifts the focus from object attributes to entities (and the relationships with entities). For example, an entity could be an employee and the department they are in, and the relationship could be a department containing many employees.

Investigating And Defining

The Investigating and Defining sub-strand for years 9 and 10 continues the teachings from previous years but adds to them; it still focuses on defining problems using design criteria, but it adds on a more complex way to create user stories.

The advanced way students can learn how to create user stories is to interview stakeholders; they can learn how to use the interviews to fill in expert templates to create user stories.

Generating And Designing

The main focus of the Generating and Designing sub-strand for years 9-10 is to develop their design thinking skills to make high-level algorithms and prototypes.

The first years 9-10 Generating and Designing curriculum description focuses on teaching students how to create complex algorithms using logical operators (an operator that combines true and false functions). When students design these algorithms, they can learn how to represent them in various ways ( pseudocode and flowcharts).

The second year 9-10 Generating and Designing curriculum description focuses on teaching students how to validate algorithms effectively. 

The curriculum description provides information so students can compare output against several different test cases to validate data.

The third year 9-10 Generating and Designing curriculum description focuses on a new topic that students need to learn at this stage: prototyping a user experience so that it is ready for a digital system. Additionally, they can learn to consider multiple variables when creating a fantastic user experience, including user feel, aesthetics and more.

The fourth years 9-10 Generating and Designing curriculum description builds upon the alternative designs content description for years 7-8 (generating, modifying, communicating and evaluating them). 

However, the main difference for years 9 and 10 students is that the evaluating stage is much more critical, intensely evaluating them against user stories and design frameworks, for example.

Producing And Implementing

For years 9 and 10, the Producing and implementing sub-strand focuses on modular programs instead of basic ones; it teaches them how to implement modular programs, as well as modify and debug them. 

It also shows years 9-10 students how to apply data structures and algorithms to a modular program. It will give information on how to do this using an object-oriented programming language.

Digital Technologies Curriculum Version 9 - Years 9-10 Guide


The Evaluating sub-strand for years 9 and 10 builds upon the curriculum teachings for years 7-8; it focuses on developing students’ ability to evaluate solutions for problems against user stories, potential future impact and design criteria.

However, it also includes information on how students can evaluate solutions for complex issues against potential opportunities for enterprise; this gets them to curve their thinking, so they solve problems with growth and enterprise in mind.

Collaborating And Managing

The Collaborating and Managing sub-strand for years 9 and 10 mainly focuses on introducing more complex tools for increasing collaboration and creating communicative content.

The first years 9-10 Collaborating and Managing curriculum description focuses on teaching students how to use emerging digital tools to create more interactive communicative content. Additionally, it will focus on teaching students how to make content that is more accessible by using various features (ALT tags in images, for example).

The second year 9-10 Generating and Designing curriculum description focuses on explaining how to use various project management tools to students. Additionally, it details how to use these project management tools to manage projects for individuals and teams (collaborative assignments).

It also covers the importance of risk awareness and the responsibility of managing a team.

Privacy And Security

Because years 9 and 10 students are closer to their professional careers, privacy and security teachings are incredibly important. Therefore, the Privacy and Security sub-strand has two detailed curriculum descriptions on how to maintain security for a digital system.

The first years 9-10 Privacy and Security curriculum description has information on how to create an effective threat detection model to detect a potential cyber threat.  Additionally, it teaches students how to find vulnerabilities within the software, supply chains and user accounts.

The second year 9-10 Privacy and Security curriculum description focuses on teaching students about the Australian Privacy Principles and what they include. It also teaches them how to apply these principles to critically analyse the digital footprint of an existing solution to a problem.

What Are The Ultimate Outcomes For Years 9-10 Students Using The V9 Digital Technologies Curriculum?

Because of the complex teachings within V9 of the Digital Technologies Curriculum for years 9 and 10 students, there are multiple outcomes that students must achieve by the end of year 10, such as:

  • Creating and editing intelligent and innovative solutions to digital problems. They also need to critically analyse problems and existing solutions against stakeholder user stories.
  • Obtaining, interpreting a modelling complex data using spreadsheets and representing data as content, presentations and more.
  • Creating and validating complex algorithms and implementing them with object-oriented programming languages.
  • Explaining how a digital system manages, controls and secures data; also learning about model cyber security threats.
  • Using the features of an advanced digital tool to create completely interactive content, collaborate with others on it and manage it.
  • Managing digital footprints with privacy principles.

What Are The Main Differences For Years 9-10 Students Between V9 and V8.4?

Along with the content itself in version 9 of the years 9-10 Digital Technologies curriculum being very different to version 8.4, many other changes improve the quality of the curriculum for students.

Here are the most significant changes to the Digital Technologies Curriculum V9 for years 9-10 students.

  • The curriculum content descriptions are more concise and easier to understand for years 9-10 students. In the old version (8.4) of the curriculum, the descriptions were too long and overcomplicated; the central teachings in them are often confusing, and it was unclear what they could teach students. The new version doesn’t have this issue because it makes the descriptions more concise.
  • Years 9-10 students won’t have to worry about duplicated teaching content in the curriculum; duplicated content in version 8.4 meant that students were more likely to read the information they already learned in another subject. In version 9, there is no duplicate content, so the curriculum teachings remain new and exciting for students.
  • The curriculum achievements link closely to the content descriptions for years 9-10. In the old curriculum version, the achievements section was vague and didn’t clearly link to the content descriptions, making it feel more redundant. In contrast, the achievements in the new version are more concise and connect directly with the descriptions (they often use similar or the exact wording).
  • The Curriculum sub-strand descriptions and objectives will provide a more cohesive experience for years 9-10 students. In version 8.4, the sub-strand content descriptions felt more like individual segments rather than a complete curriculum. Version 9 changes this by making clear links between the strands, which makes them feel more cohesive.
Digital Technologies Curriculum Version 9 - Years 9-10 Guide

Where Can You Find Years 9-10 Version 9 Digital Technologies Teaching Content?

First off – don’t panic. Most of the teaching resources you gathered for Version 8.4 will still be good for Version 9. However, with the release of this new version, now is a great time to reevaluate and see if there are more resources out there.

Zenva Schools is a fantastic option to consider during this endeavor as the content is perfectly matched to Australian Curriculum standards.

Content-wise, Zenva Schools offers full, online courses on subjects related to STEAM, data analysis, coding, digital literacy, and even game development. The courses themselves come feature-packed, consisting of video lessons from industry experts, text-based lesson summaries, pre-made quizzes & interactive activities, and full access to any project source code.

The courses are also made so teachers can use them for their own professional development and improve their knowledge of digital technologies subjects.

As mentioned, Zenva Schools is also matched to curriculum standards. As part of the platform’s offerings, teachers receive access to pre-mapped lesson plans that includes mapping to both Version 8.4 and Version 9 of the Digital Technologies Curriculum.

It’s also worth mentioning Zenva Schools offers other great tools. This includes classroom management features to assign courses and organize students, and analytics to help you track student progress.

Overall, the platform has everything you could need for teaching Digital Technologies and can save you a ton of time!

Conclusion: What Does The Australian Curriculum Review Mean For Years 9-10 Digital Technologies Students And Teachers?

Version 9 of the Digital Technologies Curriculum promises to be a vast improvement for both teachers and students alike.

The curriculum aims to be more transparent and clear about what students should be learning. As such, for the critical years of 9 and 10, you can better achieve the aims of getting students prepped for their future careers (which are just over the horizon).

With platforms like Zenva Schools already prepping for Version 9, you can also relax – as teaching resources are already available for this transition and will make sure you’re ready for these new standards.

We hope this information helps you with Version 9, but be sure to follow up with the main Version 9 website to learn a lot more!

If you’re from a K12 school and want to try out our platform, fill out the form below.

We’ll organize a free trial so you can test it out with your students in class!