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NSW frequently asked questions

The NSW Department email address alerts us to your jurisdiction. It allows the discovery of resources to be better targeted to NSW syllabuses, and includes a filter to easily see resources developed by DoE. The DoE email address also allows easy access through the staff portal via the "My websites" tab. This "single sign on" approach also offers easy access via links in portal and NSW DoE Scootle to NSW BOS Program Builder.

NSW public school staff are provided with access to NSW DoE Scootle through staff portal. If a teacher in your school does not have the AC - NSW Scootle link in their "My websites" tab, or is experiencing difficulty accessing AC - NSW Scootle, contact [email protected]

Three classes of resource are available through Scootle: resources shared nationally among jurisdictions, quality assured resources available freely on the Web, and resources produced by the NSW Department of Education.

For the most part, the NSW Department user view of Scootle is the same as the national view, except for some adjustments to the home page and search. For example, NSW names for learning areas are used instead of Australian Curriculum names, and the front page showcases some NSW Department resources and relevant 'Key links'.

Search results will tend to prioritise resources aligned to NSW syllabuses, and resources published by the NSW Department of Education. Two tabs on the search results page will offer search refinement options specific to NSW:

  1. a "NSW DoE" resource filter tab allows users to view only resources in the found set which have been sourced from NSW Department of Education
  2. a "NSW syllabus-aligned" filter tab allows users to view only resources in the found set which have been aligned to NSW syllabuses.

NSW DoE Logo NSW syllabus aligned Logo

The Board of Studies NSW syllabuses incorporate in full the Australian Curriculum, but differ in several ways:

  • The organisation of outcomes and content descriptions in BOS NSW syllabuses is presented differently to that of the Australian Curriculum. To explore the BOS syllabuses, go to the NSW syllabuses for the Australian Curriculum. Content descriptions in the BOS syllabuses are based on the Australian Curriculum content descriptions, but provide additional detail and clarification of depth and breadth of study. The national Scootle search tool is aligned directly to the national version of the content descriptions.
  • Outcomes are distinctive to the NSW BOS Syllabus and are a requirement for NSW teachers.

DoE implementation support at provides additional resources and professional learning.

Resources sourced from NSW Department of Education are identified in the "NSW DoE resource" filter tab at the top of search results. Other filter tabs used will identify resources sourced from "The Le@rning Federation" and from the Web. You can also search for resources sourced from NSW Department of Education through Advanced Search.

Resources sourced from NSW Department of Education are identified in the "NSW DoE resource" filter tab at the top of search results. These resources have also been aligned to NSW syllabuses. See the filter images in FAQ 4.

Other resources specifically aligned to NSW syllabuses are identified in the "NSW syllabus-aligned" filter tab at the top of search results.

Of course, teachers make judgments about resources that suit their purposes all the time, and use or adapt them accordingly in their programs to meet related outcomes.

Resources found through NSW DoE Scootle can be either viewed (used online) or downloaded (saved to your computer). Some are only available for viewing and some file types are only available for download. Some resources offer both options.

Choose View when:

  • you want to preview or evaluate the resource before use
  • you have a fast and reliable internet connection resource can be used by multiple users at same time
  • you have no means for storing or distributing the resource link to the resource can be saved as a Favourite or Bookmark, or emailed to yourself or others for later reference
  • you need to use the latest version of the resource
  • you are viewing web applications that are connected to remote databases or dynamic data sources
  • you are viewing resources that use streaming media services to present video and audio content.

Choose Download when:

  • you need to use resource offline when you are not connected to the Internet or network
  • you have a slow or intermittent internet connection resource can be downloaded before use
  • you need to distribute the resource physically resource can be copied to a CD-ROM, thumb drive or other portable media
  • you need to place a resource on your school intranet resource can be copied to a shared computer.
To save a resource to your computer, select the Download button and use the Save option to download the resource to a location of your choice.

To open a downloaded resource go to the location on your computer where the file was downloaded to and double-click on the file icon, or right-click and select 'Open' from the contextual menu. If the resource is a compressed zip file you will need to uncompress the file before you can open the resource.

Many learning resources are downloaded as compressed zip files to make them smaller. These files need to be extracted - unzipped - before you can use the resource. Most computers have software for unzipping files. The software you use will depend on which type of computer system you are using.

If using Windows:

  • To extract a single file or folder, double-click the compressed folder to open it.
  • To extract all files or folders, right-click the compressed folder, and then click Extract All. In the dialogue box that appears, specify where you want to store the extracted files.

If using a Mac:
You can decompress Zip files without extra software if you are using Macintosh OS 10.1 or later.

  1. When you download a Zip file using your Internet browser, the file will usually be unzipped automatically. The uncompressed files will be found in the same location as the downloaded Zip file. If not, you will need to locate the file in your downloads location. The Zip file may have the suffix .zip on the end of the file name.
  2. Double clicking the file should start the unzipping process. The uncompressed files will appear in the same location as the downloaded Zip file.
  3. The original Zip file can be deleted after extraction. For a Mac you can also use a program called Stuffit Expander to decompress zipped files.

Search options can include:

  • search by a specific syllabus outcome, for example when you are working on your program or using NSW BOS program builder
  • search by keywords or ,preferably, keyword strings reflecting syllabus concepts related to your planning and programming interests
  • use advanced search to ensure a more targeted search.

A learning path allows you to integrate selected digital curriculum resources with learning tasks for students, and then share them with students using a student PIN.

  1. Log in to Scootle.
  2. Search for a topic (for example, fractions or Shakespeare).
  3. Add relevant resources from your search to your learning path by ticking each box.
  4. Select the button labelled 'Add item(s) to my learning paths'.
  5. In the popup box, create a new learning path or add items to an existing one. A unique Student PIN will be created at the same time.
  6. At this point, you can also edit content and add a description. Default text will appear if you don't wish to add your own remarks. Alternatively, you can provide guidance of your own to your students.
    1. You can also add content from other sources such as YouTube. You cannot add external learning objects or movies directly into Scootle's learning paths. However, you can link to online content in your learning path by adding a URL in a comment or description.
    2. For further information about creating and using learning paths, refer to page 33 in the general Scootle user guide for teachers (PDF 5.6 MB).

Students access learning paths by using a student PIN. Each learning path that you create has a unique PIN associated with it. The PIN is located at the top of the page, under the name of the learning path that you've created.

You can copy this PIN and provide it to students. Students can enter the PIN at to get access to that specific learning path.

A collaborative activity in the Scootle environment is a secure online workspace for teaching and learning.

  1. A collaborative activity begins with a learning path. Create a new learning path (see What is a learning path and how do I make one? [embed hyperlink to the question]), or choose an existing one.
  2. In the learning path folder, select the 'Edit' link that appears beside the title of the relevant learning path.
  3. Next select 'Convert to collaborative activity' in the 'Actions' box.
  4. You will now see the range of options available for the collaborative activity you have set up, such as 'Preview activity' (what the students see) and 'Live workspace' (where the students work collaboratively).
    • i. You might like to share or use learning paths or collaborative activities that other teachers have created by searching for them. There are more than 100,000 to choose from in the national environment. Teachers may need to adapt them to meet the needs of NSW student.

If your question isn't covered here, check the general Scootle user guide for teachers (PDF, 5.6 MB). If you experience difficulties or wish to make suggestions for NSW DoE Scootle, contact [email protected] for further information.