The real Computing in an Hour

OK, so the week before half term I had another of those moments where I found my mouth saying “ooh, let me volunteer to do all the things” while my head was screaming “IDIOT! You’ve already got too much to do!”. I’m pretty sure I have shoulder angels and demons. (And maybe a theme tune.)Continue reading “The real Computing in an Hour”

I’m a Excelebrity, get me out of here!

Yes, I actually did it.  Twas the night before Year 10 IT class and all through the house, All the teachers* were starting to whine and to grouse. “It’s spreadsheets”, I grumbled – I taught them with care But the knowledge and recall, it just isn’t there! The students were nestled all snug in theirContinue reading “I’m a Excelebrity, get me out of here!”

Who’s teaching our kids to code?

So I just saw this article tweeted by @ukiekim and written by @calflyn. Admittedly having been written in October 2012 it’s a little bit old but still relevant. The first picture caption I spotted was: Computer programming: It has fallen to the industry itself to step into the breach, and provide support for those keenContinue reading “Who’s teaching our kids to code?”

The most valuable resource of all

So we all know that at the moment there’s a problem with a lack of availability of qualified Computing teachers. There is a huge push going on to train people up to take on this role and improve their skills, and this training is in large part coming from teachers who already know what theyContinue reading “The most valuable resource of all”

Four ways to kick start zombie coders

So… you’ve gone through if statements, for loops, recursion or whatever else you happen to be covering and everyone has completed the exercises, written the notes and smiled and nodded in all the right places. “Great!” you think, “I’ll set a programming task involving the thing I’ve just taught to consolidate this work”. You handContinue reading “Four ways to kick start zombie coders”

Arduino binary counting machine

I’ve been using the Arduino with my groups of Year 11 enthusiasts and we’ve been exploring together some of the tutorials and demo set ups, which is all reasonably exciting, but doesn’t really offer much of a progression. You wire up a circuit according to the diagrams, you download the code, you run it, itContinue reading “Arduino binary counting machine”

How do I program a microcontroller? Arduino!

It’s been a long time since I last wrote a blog post! In that time lots has happened: Computer Science was added to the EBacc, the EBacc certificate was scrapped, ICT was renamed to Computing and a draft spec was published which cheesed off a lot of people and #include finally got a new website.Continue reading “How do I program a microcontroller? Arduino!”

Codeboom’s unsung heroes of ICT and CS education 2012

As a teacher, I always receive a lot of promotional flyers through the post and I also encounter a lot of advertising on Twitter, some of which is for education conferences. However, despite the topic of the conference being “education”, there is sometimes a glaring omission – where are the teachers?! How is it evenContinue reading “Codeboom’s unsung heroes of ICT and CS education 2012”

PHP and MySQL for A2 Computing projects

In the past, many of my students have made successful project using a combination of PHP and MySQL. This year, all three of my students are using it in some capacity and one has combined it with jQuery. I have been meaning to write a full workbook for a long time and I have finallyContinue reading “PHP and MySQL for A2 Computing projects”

Snakes in the Grass – Learn From My Python Fails

As the January exams approach I have found myself becoming increasingly reflective about my teaching using Python. I have taught the OCR AS Level Computing course for two years now and when we first began the course Python was my immediate language of choice for its simplicity and ease of use. I did not haveContinue reading “Snakes in the Grass – Learn From My Python Fails”