A is for Assessing Computing: 16 criteria and 5 considerations

A student writes a program. What are you going to assess it on? There are at least 16 criteria you could take into account. Not all of these will be apposite – it depends on what you’re teaching and who you’re teaching. Also, I’ve framed the list below in teacher language; it’s up to you to adapt it into language that is more appropriate for your students.
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T is for … Tablets

538Assyrian_tabletI think all sweeping generalisations are bad, including the one I am about to make. But you know what? I think I’ll make it anyway, and here it is:

A school that says they are implementing a tablet programme is doomed to failure.

You can substitute “ipad”, “Bring your own device” or some other similar kind of term for “tablet”, the result is the same.

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R is for … Reviewing

Thumbs downFor a long time I have tried to refrain from writing negative reviews. My thinking has been that it’s nicer to be nice than to be nasty. I don’t like to hurt anyone’s feelings, and rather than send some poor author or software developer into a tailspin of depression, I’ve often decided to simply not give the product any publicity.
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O is for … Old Technology

1963 - "The Outer Limits" The Galaxy BeingMy beloved netbook is in a sorry state. It has been languishing for quite a while, becoming more and more depressed as it realised it could not compete with my iPad in terms of cool-ness. In the end, it was too lethargic to fire up at all, and attempts to run it direct from the mains were met with a cold snub.

Well, I bought it a new battery, and a new mains charger. I thought it would be pleased, and to an extent, it was. It actually works now, which is a novelty. However, depression or resentment runs deep, and it refuses to work for any longer than two hours on a full charge, instead of its original seven or eight.

What to do?

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N is for … New Technology: 5 Reasons You Should Buy It

Watching home moviesI suffer from an unfortunate form of doublethink. In my personal life, I tend not to be an early early adopter. That’s because I rarely have an urgent need for whatever it is the new technology has to offer. However, when I was head of department in a school, and then when I ran a team of advisors and technical support staff in a local authority, I was very keen to spend money on brand new stuff.


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L is for lesson observation

I watched an episode of that seminal contribution to English culture, Waterloo Road last week, for the first time in ages. I wrote about Waterloo Road in What makes a good ICT role model? if you’re interested, but basically it’s a soap set in a school which has to be the most dysfunctional school anyone has ever come across. The kids are alright (as some pop song said once), on the whole – but the adults…..
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