Scratch is the new Powerpoint

I keep hearing the phrase “Scratch is becoming the new Powerpoint” – teachers all over the country (nay, the world) are using the same programming teaching tool to teach with. So why is it that in a world with so many free tools for teaching kids to code, everyone seems to be using the same one? I have a reason.Continue reading “Scratch is the new Powerpoint”

How do you actually teach programming?

This is a question which has been bugging me for some time now – how do you actually teach someone to program? I don’t mean which language, or what resources should I use, or what time of the day is optimal. I mean what is it in your teaching which switches on the little lightbulbContinue reading “How do you actually teach programming?”

Computing – A beautiful dream

I didn’t believe the hype on the news about bad teachers. I mean, nobody I worked with was rubbish at their job so I put it down to teacher bashing media nonsense and got on with my life. I was happy to share my resources here and on CAS and to help people who asked for my help,Continue reading “Computing – A beautiful dream”

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”

Keeping women out of Computer Science

Whilst browsing idly through my Twitter feed the other day, I came across the following re-tweet: I almost mindlessly re-tweeted it myself, but then I stopped to think. By singling out “being female” as the reason for some unspecified poor treatment, it would imply that the people dishing out this treatment are men. This isContinue reading “Keeping women out of Computer Science”

Why CS graduates don’t teach

I read an interesting article on the BBC website this morning which quotes many recommendations from MP’s on the Commons Education Select Committee. Although this is a general article about all subjects, it explains precisely why the top Computer Science graduates are not taking up teaching jobs – or more colloquially, why geeks don’t teach! OfContinue reading “Why CS graduates don’t teach”

Computer Science – no one knows what it is

A short conversation with a Year 10 girl this week made me realise something sad – most students have no idea what Computer Science actually is. The girl referred to a colleague from my department who does not have a PhD as “Dr _X_”. (Well not literally Dr X, that makes him sound like aContinue reading “Computer Science – no one knows what it is”