Jan 29 2017
Click here for lots of ideas for classroom teachers to get better at Computer Science teaching.
Jan 21 2017
Click here to go to slides. Thank you to Oliver and the Raspberry Pi Foundation for the opportunity to start to develop this strand.
Only 20% of current 9_1 Computer Science GCSEs are Python… 50% theory means we should be focussed on how to teach theory well and keeping up-to-date with latest techniques to do this underpinned with theory and a shared understanding of what works well.
I hope to make a contribution to this discussion. Please feel free to join in on #caschat and CAS forum in the next few weeks.
Dec 20 2016
Here I outline how we have used a variety of resources to increase our Year 7 students’ understanding of sequencing and use of loops – as well as having fun and engaging with their learning.
Having reviewed our baseline test at the beginning of Year 7, our Year 7s showed better than expected eSafety, better Scratch understanding, but poorer computing programming and sequencing skills. I looked at several resources online and have used Phil Bagge’s Jam Sandwich making Robot, Stephen Howell’s Scratch Shape Drawing Activity for CoderDojo; Simon Haughton’s Etch-a-Sketch; and Barefoot Computing’s Crystal Flowers (pdf download) to create the following resources:
Dec 8 2016
However, we have just completed two lessons with Year 7s drawing polygons and (Barefoot Computing’s) crystal flowers. I therefore wanted a scratch version of snowflakes – and also code that did a 6 pointed snowflake too.
The basics of @MissPhilbin’s python example is the following:
These are the steps using scratch:
1. Choose Rudolph as your sprite:
You can find him in the fantasy animals section of the sprite library. You need to select him, make him smaller, then move the rotation cross so its still in his middle… More
Nov 9 2016
Women require work to have a clear social application.
Stress teams require both genders to function to solve real-life problems – adv to be female.
Need have a sense of belonging.
Men write more on competence and women more on warmth related – compassion and interpersonal skills.
Next step(s): stress advantage to be a woman in minority STEM subject as needed in a balanced team.
Oct 30 2016
(Chapter 3 of Women and Information Technology: Research on Underrepresentation – Joanne Cohoon and William Aspray)
Sue Sentance suggested several research papers to me, and this was by far the most useful.
“This chapter presents four themes that suggest some reasons why and how high school female students are — or are not — drawn into the field of computer science through their high school experiences. First, despite the national and local initiatives to “bring schools into the twenty-first century,” researchers discovered that few computer science learning opportunities actually exist at the high school level, especially in schools that serve communities of colour. Second, they found that notions of relevance play a key role in influencing females’ choices to enrol or not enrol in computer science classes. A limited and narrow presentation of what computer science is as well as what computer scientists actually do impacts students’ take on how computer science could further their academic and career endeavours. Third, for the female students who do take computer science, researchers observed an accumulation of negative experiences in classroom settings, where greater male technology experience/expertise and female social isolation and insecurity are part of the cultural landscape. Fourth, all of these experiences are then compounded by the way that computer science is motivated and “interpreted” for the students”.
Oct 1 2016
We are on track to *finally* get our BBC Micro:bits out to our Year 8s… this is how we are going to do it … and we are excited about the Grok Learning Quest challenges for after half term.
Jun 28 2016
“This session will provide an introduction to the Raspberry Pi and first-hand experience of setting up a Pi-Lab. Then some thoughts on how it fits in with the KS3 curriculum as well as Code Clubs. The second half of the session will be hands-on using a Raspberry Pi for an example KS3 lesson”.
“Digital Leaders can mean many things but this session will help you gain insights into how students can help you with implementing an effective computing curriculum. You will be shown stages of developing Digital Leaders and given time to discuss and plan how you might develop their use in your school including running Code Clubs”.
Jun 2 2016
Thanks you to everyone who has sponsored Matthew, Harry and I for our epic Way of the Roses ride this May.
We raised £625 pounds towards Stan’s wheelchair (needing a total of £7000 – already half way there).
It was a lot tougher than we thought and here is the story in pictures.
In August last year I decided to get fitter, and ordered a road bike on the cycle to work scheme. Needless to say, Matthew saw the bike in the garage a week before Christmas and decided that he would like to do some cycling too. Onto Gumtree, and a trip to Leeds led this photo:
Here’s the map of the Way of the Roses:
Morecambe Bay to Pateley Bridge = 62 miles. Pateley Bridge to York = 47 miles. York to Bridlington = 61 miles. 170 miles in total.
My favourite quote from the official site is “The route is best done from West to East (Morecambe to Bridlington) for the greater chance of having the wind at your back”. (Ha Ha for the Bridlington part… see later)
And here is the profile.
As you can see, we needed some practice on hills as they’re aren’t many in and around York . From January onwards I have managed a road every week, and Matthew and Harry built up their miles too in the weeks before. Helen’s friend Alison introduced us to the Wolds, and some fellow highwaymen from school showed that from Thixendale, the only way is up!
As well as hills, we also needed miles, so we did rides north of York too, and Skipton to Bolton Abbey, which involved reintroducing the towbar carrier:
Maintenance and Repair:
The ride from Thixendale presented our first puncture, and I spent the remaining training rides discovering what equipment was needed for punctures and maintaining bikes to make them as easy to ride as possible. The boys got involved – with varying degrees of success…
I also highly rate this youtube video “How to clean a bicycle in about 15 minutes”.
The day Matthew and I were due to ride the daffodil sportive, the weather was so bad that I spent the afternoon discovering how to create rides and transfer them to Google maps. See here.
Way of the Roses – Day 1
A huge thank you to Helen (and then John) for providing a support vehicle. We set off from Morecambe at 10.00am.
Dave waited for us at Settle as we knew the hill was going to be steep … and it was… Matthew suffering bad cramp halfway up…
Once at the top of that bit, it stretched on a while further, but the ride the other side was wonderful:
The ride through to Grassington and Burnsall was still tough at times and we were glad of Dave’s help and support:
The ride up the hill beyond Appletreewick was really hard, and the ride towards Stump Cross caverns was the hardest. We had almost run out of puff.
The boys really did not want to give up, and we finally made it down Greenhow Hill and into Pateley Bridge at 7.30pm.
Way of the Roses – Day 2
Angela joined us the next morning, with John providing car support, with us setting off and reaching Ripon… then pub lunch with the other Highwaymen and onto York. Matthew then played cricket at York…
Way of the Roses – Day 3
Actually, the evening before:
The Met Office had introduced a couple of extra colours for the radar of the rainfall for this storm, and the winds were from the North and an average of 25mph. The boys agreed to an early start the next morning:
We avoided the bad weather until 15 miles from Brid. Then the rain was on us and we battled gusting head winds and driving rain. At times the wind gusted at 47mph…
Click here for video:
This is where we knew we would finish, and when we did…
The others finished too…
And two new Highwayman rewarded for their hard work and their resilience:
Apr 29 2016
From the beginning, I never wanted to just give out 150 Micro:bits to Year 7s and hope good things would happen. Whether it’s staff or students, there has to be a strategy to engage people and build capacity. This is ours…
There were no Micro:bits after the official training. We bought 6 code bugs and Y8 Digital Leaders had their first taste of online coding and downloading hex files onto devices.
They did a tremendous job of showing Year 6s at the Opening Evening too.
We then brought in keen Year 7s through the Code Club, with peer training: