Everyone goes on about “boys and their toys”, but according to research carried out by a revision app company, more girls than boys are using the app to help them revise.
Mel Thompson discusses a certain type of determinism found in the area of Philosophy these days. Some time I ago I discussed this phenomenon in the field of educational technology  and later discovered that Mel and I shared certain views and frustrations! Read Mel's article: do you detect any similarities between our two disciplines?
The use of worksheets is often derided. You hear expressions like “death by a thousand worksheets”, and even a Government Education minister (now ex-Minister for Education) has weighed in, saying that teachers should use textbooks instead of worksheets .
Leaving aside the observation that how teachers teach is, in my opinion, none of the Government’s business – it’s the equivalent of telling doctors to use electronic blood pressure monitors rather than the manual kind – there are perfectly compelling reasons to use worksheets in the Computing classroom.
Updated on Tuesday, August 12, 2014 at 9:23AM by Terry Freedman, Educational ICT Consultant
Updated on Tuesday, August 12, 2014 at 3:10PM by Terry Freedman, Educational ICT Consultant
If you’re concerned that young children won’t be able to grasp computing concepts, or are worried about how you’re going to teach it, have a look around the Literacy from Scratch website.
Managed – and, I think, written by – Lawrence Williams, the website contains examples of pupils’ work in Scratch, cross-curricular ideas and examples, and notes on pedagogy.
Updated on Tuesday, August 12, 2014 at 6:43PM by Terry Freedman, Educational ICT Consultant
What struck me immediately on using it is the amount of guidance available, both in verbal form and videos. There is quite a large range of modules to choose from, including “Starter” ones which take you through the basics and, where appropriate, recapitulate what has already been learnt.
An advantage of J2Code as a whole over 2Code is that it covers the age range from Key Stage 1 (5-6 year olds) to Key Stage 3 (13-14 year olds).
Strangely enough, the most popular blog post on this website is 13 reasons to use educational technology in lessons. Why strange? Because I wrote it over three years ago. I re-read it recently, and (thank goodness!) I still agree with what I wrote all that time ago. I’d like to add more to it, but rather than do that I thought I would contribute to Mark Anderson’s series on this subject.
This free book by Paul Curzon (yes, the one who wrote The Magic of Human-Computer Communication), attempts to explain programming in non-technical language. I’ve looked at similar books designed for students, and they were not as good as this one. So what makes this one so great?
I remember clearly looking at the first draft of the new curriculum and just being totally shocked by the degree of change. It had been clearly signalled that the new draft would be a step-change, but I didn’t appreciate the shift which was about to take place. Almost nothing remained from the previous programme, save a few references to digital resources and, in a later draft, safe use of technology. So it was clear that some serious work was going to be needed to make sure our school adapted.
I've been giving talks on preparing for the new Computing curriculum, and as well as waxing lyrical that also involves listening to others' concerns. It also means hearing about some innovative approaches that colleagues have adopted.
At the same time, I have been conducting a survey of what people have been doing to prepare for the new curriculum. I'll be publishing the results in due course. In fact, some of the resources mentioned in the collection of coding resources in the early July 2014 edition of Digital Education came to my attention from that survey.
So, given that at the time of writing there's about 2 or 3 days to go till the end of term, what can you realistically do at this stage to prepare for September?
For the final edition of this free newsletter, we have a great line-up of experts and articles:
I’m reading a short story by Ian Creasey called “The Edge of the Map”. In the world depicted by Creasey, automated cameras called “nanocams” take photos and newspapers (and other media, presumably) source their illustrations from the pool created by them. In other words, there is no need for specialist photographers.
This raises a number of interesting questions.
It’s all very well coming up with weird and wonderful ways of acknowledging students’ achievement, but at some point somebody, unfortunately, is going to ask you for a number. The number is important to them because they can enter it into spreadsheet and show, hopefully, that the numbers go up over time.