Thursday, 25 September 2014

When to teach what in Primary Computer Science

There are a lot of concepts in Computer Science and it is important to teach them in a sensible sequence. This post is for primary children, for Secondary the planning is well defined in the Compute IT series. (I am one of the authors)  So here are some of the tools that I use and when I use them.
UK Year group Age What I use
1 5-6 Beebots & iPad Apps
2 6-7
3 7-8 Lego WeDo / Scratch & Scratch Jnr
4 8-9
5 9-10 Scratch, html (via & Blue Griffon
6 10-11

This is really just an idea of the tools I use and I also ensure children have a good grounding in core ICT skills. In the 21st century, ideally we should cover all angles. We don't want Computing students at University who can't write an essay in Word or explain a project with appropriate slides!  Below is a much more thorough presentation taking you through most of the tools available that I gave at the 21st century learning conference.

If you are looking for a ready made curriculum, check out my Ready Made Curriculum post.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

An Internet Minute

In every minute of every day, loads of data are being generated. Just how much, you ask?
On average in a minute...
  • YouTube users upload 48 hours of new video
  • Instagram users share 3,600 new photos
  • Brands and organizations on Facebook receive 34,722 "likes"
  • Over 100,000 tweets are sent


Saturday, 6 September 2014

Taking Your first steps in Programming

Taking your first steps in programming can be a little scary! However don't worry, there are lots of great tutorials to get you started. You can buy a book, watch a video or follow some simple tutorials.  I am going to start by suggesting Scratch. It's a friendly, visual language and a great place to start to learn to code. I can get most students to make their first game in less than 30 minutes, so I promise it doesn't take long to get started!

When my son was 9, he made this Screencast to help other children get started and I think it's probably the best way to see how simple coding can be!

Once you have seen that, probably the best place to start is the help Section of the Scratch Website.  It includes lots of help and some lovely tutorials. After that, on this blog, have a go at the Making Your First Game tutorials.  Once beyond that, Shaun The Sheep is happy to help.

If you have an iPad and a computer together, then David Phillips has made a nice app to help.  There are also some excellent books to buy on Amazon. Super Scratch Programming Adventure and Learn To Program With Scratch