Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Students explore the role of technology in developing solutions to real-world problems. They begin by thinking about what technology is, how and why we use it, and some of the problems associated with relying on technology. Students then think about how they could use technology when developing a solution to the problem presented in the Global Problem Solvers series. They then analyse this technology, focusing on the potential problems associated with using it and thinking about how these problems could be addressed. Finally, students work collaboratively to create annotated technical drawings that describe their technology and explain how associated problems could be addressed. Students share their work with the class through a gallery walk format.

These lessons have been developed in partnership with Cisco. Cisco believes that our future will be defined by global problem solvers – global citizens ready to thrive in a connected and digital future by thinking like entrepreneurs, innovating like technologists, and acting as agents of social change.

Learning intention:

  • Students understand what technology is and recognise different types of technology
  • Students understand that technology can play an important role in addressing real world problems
  • Students understand the opportunities and challenges associated with technology.

21st century skills: 

   CommunicatingCreative ThinkingCritical ThinkingProblem FindingProblem SolvingTeam Work

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 5 & 6 Design and Technology

  • Investigate how electrical energy can control movement, sound or light in a designed product or system (ACTDEK020)
  • Generate, develop and communicate design ideas and processes for audiences using appropriate technical terms and graphical representation techniques (ACTDEP025)
  • Negotiate criteria for success that include sustainability to evaluate design ideas, processes and solutions (ACTDEP027)

Syllabus outcomes: ST3-5WT, ST3-6PW, ST3-7PW, T4.4.1

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking.

Relevant parts of Years 5 & 6 Design and Technologies achievement standards: Students explain how social and technical considerations influence the design of solutions to meet a range of present and future needs. Students generate and record design ideas for specified audiences using appropriate technical terms, and graphical and non-graphical representation techniques. They negotiate criteria for success, and use these to judge the suitability of their ideas, solutions and processes.

Topic: Enterprise Learning. 

This lesson is part of the wider unit of work Cisco Global Problem Solvers – HASS – Years 5 & 6

Time required: 60 minutes.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate class discussion, oversee group activities

Resources required:

  • Device capable of presenting a website to the class.
  • Drawing paper and pencils/pens 
  • Student Worksheet – one copy per student.

Keywords: Cisco, Global Problem Solvers, technology, solution, problems, challenges.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Learning intentions: Students will…

  • … understand what technology is and recognise different types of technology
  • … understand that technology can play an important role in addressing real world problems
  • … understand the opportunities and challenges associated with technology.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • … work collaboratively
  • … participate in class and group discussion
  • … think critically about their own ideas and the ideas of others
  • … communicate design ideas through annotated technical drawings.

Teacher content information: The Global Problem Solvers are a team of teenage superheroes taking on our world's toughest problems. Developed by Cisco, this animated series supports your students through the steps of becoming problem solving superheroes. The series uses real world problems to support students in identifying and solving problems, in thinking about how technology can be used to solve seemingly intractable problems, and in recognis

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Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: "Technology presumes there’s just one right way to do things and there never is" – Robert M. Pirsig

Activating Prior Knowledge

Complete a THINK PAIR SHARE routine around the questions in the table below. Begin by working independently to record your own ideas in Column B. Once complete, you can share and discuss your ideas with a classmate and record any new thoughts in Column C of the table.

Column A - Question

Column B - My thoughts

Column C - New thoughts after sharing with a classmate

What are some examples of where technology has made life better (e.g. light bulbs)? 

What are some examples of challenges relating to these types of technology (e.g. sometimes we need to change light bulbs)? 

Thinking Critically About Using Technology 

Return to the groups you worked in when developing your kits. In your groups you need to conduct an analysis of your kit based on the potential problems associated with the kit. Y

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