Our autumn staff training events are underway with very positive feedback so far. Moving forward we are going to extend the teaching and learning activities to include deliberate mistakes in code and Google Hangout one-to-one surgery sessions.
Python teaching includes quick thinking in a two to three tier classroom with lots of explaining, breakouts, and plenty of ranging the room for formative assessment opportunities. Self-study sits alongside intensive support and students who just want to be left alone with challenges. It's all happening at Cardinal Pole School in Hackney and we are loving every minute of it.
With the help of the DFE and Hackney Learning Trust we have created an online resource for teaching some of the basics at KS3.
Touch the light sensor to activate the LED
Before the summer break I spent Monday evenings with my mentors at Hackspace learning about the Arduino system. I think it is a great way to teach C derived programming languages and illustrate input-process-output in a concrete context.
The benefit of Arduino is that you can make real stuff like a system to activate a LED when someone is standing on your doorstep, or to get a text when someone presses your doorbell. Arduino can be used to solve problems, the key focus in the new computing programme of study.
Increasingly cool Arduino has a rapidly expanding following of hackers and tinkerers.
So what's on offer here?
Part of the work Beautiful Education has been doing has involved Google Hangouts and now we'd like to run a distance learning test with a willing partner.
Would you like to get an Arduino demonstration of about 15 minutes to half an hour on Google Hangouts? Would you like us to organise an expert tutor to deliver an Arduino training course in Hackney or at your place?
Just get in touch.
With the help of the DfE, Teach London Computing (teachinglondoncomputing.org) and Hackney Learning Trust, we organised the delivery of three of Professor Paul Curzon's renowned 'Unplugged' Workshops at Cardinal Pole School, Hackney. The workshops are superb in our opinion because learning programming and computational thinking can be such an abstract affair which leaves many cold. However, in Professor Paul Curzon's fun focused workshops he inspires by making abstract concepts understandable using a variety of often surprising methods including magic tricks, mind reading and visualisation tasks.
The third session in the series of four covered:
- Inspiring ways to introduce programming away from computers.
- What is a variable?
- How does assignment work?
- Programming simple objects
- Introducing flow of control and if statements
Overview of the third workshop
It’s easy to assume that programming is something you have to learn at a computer but if you want your students to deeply understand programming concepts, rather than blindly getting programs to work then unplugged techniques can work really well to get students started. A large group of primary and secondary teachers took an evening out to learn how to program a robot face that is made of ... students.
We also looked at simple ways to give a deep understanding of how variables work by making them physical.
And see how to compile programs onto your class instead of onto a computer.
Teaching London Computing is funded by the DfE/Mayor of London's London School's Excellence Fund with additional support from Google.