Jul 7 2017
Jul 3 2017
|This the outline for our using the BBC Micro:Bit at KS3 at LLS School.
I have sorted a variety of storage to enable easy classroom management:
Previously, we did this with our Year 7s and Digital Leaders.
I did the following research, and you can see that the UCL unit was exemplary for what I needed.
UCL’s TUTORIALS: Micro:bit – Getting Started / LED Display / Basic Functions / Advanced Functions / Projects with LED Display / Buttons / Accelerometer. CHALLENGES: Consonant or Vowel? / Catch the Eggs / Caesar Cipher – Part I / Caesar Cipher – Part II.
However, some of our lower ability students have struggled with text based programming and the Python IDLE IDE, so I was also keen to give them the option of using the blocks on the BBC Micro:Bit site. This gives them a simulator to use at home (we are not giving out Microbits to Year 9s, just using them in class).
So this is our Scheme of Learning, these are the slides, 9_3_01_Microbit_Introduction, (based on Alexander Hadwen-Bennett’s slides) and this is the List of Programs to try. This is Pete Dring’s Python Simulator (for testing home learning), and the BBC site’s Block programming editor and index here.
Update: following the success of the Microbits enthusing students, as a department, we have identified opportunities for the following:
Year 7 – we have added Microbits to the current Year 7 Graphics unit by using the various BBC Block programs to show 5×5 pixels working; different brightnesses; images and animations. This will build on Block programming in Unit 2 Scratch.
Year 8 will be the current Microbits 1 Unit development work of Python, but with an optional easier pathway using blocks.
Year 9 will be a Microbits 2 Unit with binary between Microbits and Bit:BotRobots. I have just ordered 18 from Rapid Electronics (Sept17). I can fit 6 in a box like the ones above.
*Please check out EduBlocks by @all_about_code – I will be looking at this in Year 7 too*
** I am presenting on microbits at #exabytes17 with @jonwits and @romillyc on Friday July 7th
*** I am running a 2 day course at York Stem Centre “Micro:bit in secondary computing CY224” with @PDDring and @CLCSimon on 20th and 21st November 2017.
Worth £13 each https://www.amazon.co.uk/BBC-BBC2546862-micro-bit-go/dp/B01G8WUGWU?th=1
Jun 25 2017
“Tweak to Transform” Sharing ideas for better learning of Computer Science – talk at York CAS Tech-Meet 22nd June 17
This 5 minute presentation was about why we should be concentrating on sharing ideas for good CS teaching (Teaching Theory and Computational Thinking) as well as NEAs and code.
Click here to go to slides.
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:
Nov 9 2016
Now what? Action items from social science research to bridge the gender gap in computing research – Stout-Camp-2015
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.