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Friday
Apr242015

Coming soon: a bumper edition of Digital Education

banda sheets detailedThe next edition of Digital Education is super-huge. To give you some idea of just how big, there are 16 guest contributors. This is what’s covered:

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Thursday
Apr232015

Book review: The Long Tail, by Chris Anderson

From the archives

"The Long Tail" has been lauded and quoted at length. But what does the book actually say, and how does it stand up to scrutiny. In this lengthy review I give it a cautious "thumbs up".

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Wednesday
Apr222015

Lovelace, Babbage and Me

Lovelace and Babbage Book Cover UKWhat’s the connection between Ada Lovelace, Charles Babbage, and me? Well, it’s a bit tenuous. Apart from the obvious, that we all liked computing (in effect), it is that they appear in a new graphic novel, and I love graphic novels.

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Tuesday
Apr212015

Articles you may have missed

Although I slowed down over the Easter break – at least in terms of writing blog posts – I did write a few articles. Here is a selection that you may find interesting and useful. While you’re reading those, I shall be working on the next edition of the newsletter Digital Education.

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Friday
Apr172015

Kettles and algorithms

KettleLike many Englishmen, the most important thing to me is having a decent cup of tea. So I was delighted when we bought a variable temperature kettle. This doesn’t just heat up the water to boiling point. It lets you select the right temperature for the kind of drink you have. But how does it work?

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Thursday
Apr162015

How can a programming language be boring?

HoloAppSomeone told me of a Twitter exchange that took place a few weeks ago in which teachers were saying that their kids found Scratch boring. Well (he says, arms akimbo), here are my views on that.

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Tuesday
Apr072015

Spreadsheets: vindicated at last!

I Love SpreadsheetsI’ve long been an ardent advocate of spreadsheets. They can be an invaluable tool in business, education or any other field in which planning, cost or both are paramount. As far as Computing and ICT is concerned, they can be used for teaching  modelling and computational thinking. However, they have been denigrated as being “just” an office tool, far removed from the exciting world of coding or robotics.

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Wednesday
Apr012015

How to organise a news section of your Computing lessons

blog readingI have suggested 5 reasons to have a Computing news section of your lessons. If you think that’s a good idea, here’s how to go about it.

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Tuesday
Mar312015

5 reasons to have a Computing news section of your lessons

el granma y las niñasOne of the ways in in which you can help enliven the Computing curriculum is to allocate some time in every lesson (yes, every lesson) to news. There are several reasons for this.

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Friday
Mar272015

6 Ideas for teaching the Computing curriculum

Aspirations in Computing StudentsI thought these posts from the archives might be interesting: 6 ideas for teaching the Computing curriculum. Unfortunately, being mathematically challenged, I originally inadvertently designated two of them as “#2”. That’s why I never became a maths teacher. However, I have since renumbered them, so they start at zero, which is, computationally speaking, a pretty good thing to do. Anyway, although the series refers to the “forthcoming Computing curriculum”, the ideas themselves are still useful I believe. I hope you agree.

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Thursday
Mar192015

The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage: The Book

Charles Babbage from 2D GogglesIf, like me, you enjoy reading comics and graphic novels, and are interested in Computing, you may already be familiar with the blog called 2D Goggles Or The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage. This relates the story of the development of the Difference Engine and other aspects of the lives of Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage. Their adventures are based on (mostly) real events and episodes, with a lot of poetic licence thrown in! I thoroughly recommend reading the adventures, and I suggest encouraging your students to do so too. It will help them learn about the development of computing and computer programming in an enjoyable way.

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Wednesday
Mar182015

More testimonials about my Assessing Computing course

TerryI don’t usually like to blow my own trumpet/toot my own horn, but I thought these comments were so nice that I’d share them. I’m one of those people who, if I see a delegate looking a bit fed up, I start to wonder if they are going to storm out and demand their money back or something. I mean, it could be that they are worried about their gas bill, or that that is just their normal expression, but I start to worry anyway. So nice comments are always a bonus. Look at this one, for example:

Handsome, debonair and erudite, the presenter dazzled us with his brilliance and –

Oh, wait a minute. That’s my own self-evaluation.

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Tuesday
Mar172015

Computational thinking and spreadsheets

In order to try to solve a problem using a spreadsheet, which is a tool for modelling or simulation, you have to do the following things:

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Sunday
Mar152015

A Self-publishing journey

Starting tomorrow, a new series of occasional posts about my research into self-publishing.

The first two articles are:

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Saturday
Mar142015

My funky new newsletter button

haircutI decided to change the sign-up button for my newsletter, Digital Education. Why? Why not? This is what it looks like now:

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