Writing programming workshop resources

I write a lot of educational resources, so I thought it might be useful to share some tips for things I’ve learnt over the years. I’m hoping that these tips will be particularly helpful for those people in the wider community who volunteer to give up a lot of their time to run workshops forContinue reading “Writing programming workshop resources”

gui zero – making Python GUIs really simple

The code in this post has been updated to reflect the changes in guizero version 0.4. When I was a teacher, I found it frustrating that it was not at all easy for students to create GUIs using Python. I used tkinter a little bit with my GCSE class and they instantly loved creating GUIs,Continue reading “gui zero – making Python GUIs really simple”

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?”

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!”

Python Madlibs

Long time no blog! Things have been incredibly busy, especially as I’m also working on the #include hack day for 11-13 year old girls which will be held in June 2013! Anyhow, I thought I’d put up a little game I created as a revision task for my upper 6th who have their January modulesContinue reading “Python Madlibs”

10 Mini Programming Projects

Inspired by @mwclarkson asking for ideas yesterday on Twitter, I thought I’d put together a compilation of 10 mini programming projects I have used in the classroom. Each of them could be used with the language of your choice, although the resources I’ve linked to may contain information specific to the language I used andContinue reading “10 Mini Programming Projects”

Can you force someone to program?

I have to admit, I’ve been finding it hard to conjure up the enthusiasm to write about anything of late. When I thought about why this was, one of the reasons that has dampened my enthusiasm has been the yearly grind of the A-Level coursework. Although teaching is a very rewarding job at times, atContinue reading “Can you force someone to program?”

Thinking Task #2: Mastermind – you need to be!

I thought I’d go with my own recommendation from my first post, and write a piece of code for my A2 students who are currently revising for their programming AS module in January to analyse. A Lower 6th student had suggested that a task could be to implement the “Mastermind” game which I had playedContinue reading “Thinking Task #2: Mastermind – you need to be!”

Teaching students to think

The hardest thing I find as a Computing teacher is teaching students to think. They always seem to get totally hung up on the syntax of how you are supposed to write a particular statement (my students’ favourite being the “if loop” …Grrrrr…) or where the colons are meant to go. I’m teaching using PythonContinue reading “Teaching students to think”