Search this site

Get in touch

Contact Terry Freedman

Thought for the day

Each day a randomly-selected "law", observation or suggestion will appear here.

Last 100 articles
Free subscriptions

Free guide to using interactive whiteboards

IWB Guide Cover26+ suggestions and tips. Free to subscribers of Digital Education (please see the link below)

 Subscribe to our free newsletter, Digital Education!

 It's free. Signing up entitles you to various freebies. We use a double opt-in system, and we won't spam you.

Click the image above for a free sample edition.

Sign-up page.

The DfE Assessment Innovations series collated. This booklet is free to subscribers of Digital Education.

Be notified by email if you prefer:

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

The Amazing Computer Education Project Book

Remember this?

Amazing Web 2.0 Projects

It’s been downloaded over 35,000 times. I’m hoping to create a similar Computer Education Projects book, which will also be free. Find out how you can help by reading this article:

The Amazing Computer Education Projects Book

Digital Education

News, views and reviews. In-depth articles. Guest contributors. Competitions. Discount codes.

(Not necessarily all in the same issue, but each issue is full of good stuff nonetheless!)

Sign up for our free newsletter now!

Oh No!!If you can't find what you're looking for...

Assuming you’ve tried variations of your search term and checked the spelling without any luck, you may find the article Finding stuff on the ICT in Education website helpful.

Alternatively, if it’s not an article you’re looking for, try looking through the menus at the top of the screen.

E-Books for Sale

Want to make your ICT lessons more interesting?

Then Go on, bore ‘em: How to make your ICT lessons excruciatingly dull is just right for you.

Clustr Map
Terry Freedman's Social Profile
Powered by Squarespace

« To be an ed tech maverick, you need to be sensible | Main | The Barefoot Ed Tech Expert: TeachMeet Takeover 2014 »

My analogue program

When, on my teacher training course, I was told I had create a resource to be used in school, I thought it would be fun to devise a programmed learning guide to the economic concepts of absolute and comparative advantages. Unfortunately, that was in 1974. Word processors were not yet ubiquitous, and home computers had not yet been invented. That came a year or two later. In any case, when I finally did get my hands on a word processor, courtesy of a friend of mine on my MA course, it was slo-o-o-o-o-w. You had to run the program from a cassette tape (remember them?), and boy did it take time to  find the right bit.

So my programmed learning guide was hand-written, as you can see from the screenshot.

A couple of (hand-written!) pages from my programmed learning resource

It worked quite well, and it works still. It’s just a bit tedious having to constantly turn to a different page, but that’s nothing compared to the amount of effort and planning it took to create it in the first place.

It is, of course, analogous to the interactive adventure books, which came along some years later.

Creating an interactive resource on paper can be a useful activity, even now – or perhaps especially now. That is because it involves the following skills:

  • Planning. The resource does not work in a linear way. If it did, you could just whiz through it from start to finish without learning anything. I had to plan which pages would go where. You can see that some pages were upside down, because when writing it I used every other page. There were also two books, making over 200 pages in all. All this had to be planned.
  • Understanding and analysis. I had to break down the big picture concepts into lots of smaller ones. I also had to know enough about the subject to work out the best order of presenting the material, and knowing the mistakes people were likely to make – and why.
  • Computational thinking and pseudo-pseudo code. If you think about it, what this page is actually saying can be rendered as:
    • If you think the answer is “France” go to page 17
    • Else if you think the answer is “Britain” go to page 24

Why not get the kids to create a programmed learning guide? Unlike creating an interactive story, they don’t have to be creative in the fiction-writing sense. It need not be as comprehensive and as complex as my one, of course. It could be a simple guide to, say, how to create a picture using their favourite graphics program.

Planning and creating the resource is not only fun, but would also help the pupils see the importance of breaking down an operation into very discrete steps. It would also address an element of digital literacy, in that the “program” should be both accessible and foolproof.

Enhanced by Zemanta

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>