Computer Science

newcurric

Mr Britland’s Open Source KS3 Computing Curriculum V3: 2014-2015: PDF Download (free booklet)

(UPDATE: 11th July 2014)

Over the last couple of months I have been working on updating my Computing curriculum ready for release this month. This is the 3rd version and I have tried to do something slightly different with it.

Several months ago Tristan Kirkpatrick, a newly qualified Computing teacher (@Tristan_ICTCS) got in touch with me and asked if I was interested in making the curriculum open source. I jumped at the chance. Tristan began building a new website to enable the curriculum to be shared. All his hard work has resulted in something really exciting.

So…how does it work?

  1. Head to www.ictcomputing.org
  2. Download the Computing curriculum / template (Google Template)
  3. Use it in anyway you like
  4. If you make any changes (remixes), send it back to us by sharing the document with ictcomputingsubmit@gmail.com. Your version of the curriculum will then be available for others to download
  5. Best of all is that it is free for everyone!

Head over to www.ictcomputing.org now!

A PDF version of the curriculum is available from the link below:

Mr Britland’s Open Source Computing Curriculum  

 


I have been working very hard over the last few months producing my new Computing curriculum and it is finally ready.

Details below:

Feel free to download and use this curriculum. If you use this booklet, its projects or ideas and would like to make a donation for its continuing development, please use the link provided. I would like to keep giving this document away for free so any donation would be amazing. Please click to be redirected to my donation page.

Thanks for your support.

Matt.

This is now version 2 – DOWNLOAD HERE

V2

I have added / amended the following:

  • Amended strand descriptors.
  • Added a new ‘How to use this Booklet’ section
  • New section on what software and websites are used, including free alternatives to paid software
  • Amended ‘Visual Programming: Kodu’ (Year 7)
  • ‘Computer Hardware/History’ project now called ‘How a computer works/computing history’ and now includes software. It is now taught in Year 7
  • Added ‘The Web: HTML5 and CSS3’ (Year 8)
  • Added ‘Networks’ (Year 8)
  • Added ‘Google and Algorithms’ (Year 9)

End products have changed for the following projects:

  • Stay Safe Online – Online guide using Snapguide
  • Visual Programming: Kodu – Screencast using Screenr
  • Your Digital World – Online presentation using slide.es

In Development

  • New creative projects
  • How to use an iPad to teach this curriculum

If you would like some help with creating your own resources or would like me to produce any educational publications, please visit www.realiselearning.co.uk.

the house magazinesml

Westminister Briefing: My Presentation on ICT/Computing and my Curriculum

Westminster Briefing

Westminster Briefing

On the 5th March I did a talk for Westminster Briefing for their ‘Computer Science in the Curriculum: Delivering Innovative Provision in Schools and Colleges‘ conference.

Unfortunately, I was only able to get there in the afternoon as I was teaching all morning. By all accounts, it was a great day and I certainly enjoyed the afternoon.

Below are the slides I used for my talk. They have lost some of their formatting when I uploaded to Google Drive, which is why some of the images look strange. Enjoy.

Raspberry Pi

There is room for both Computing and ICT in the schools

Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi

This article was originally published by The Guardian on 13th February 2013

After Michael Gove’s speech at BETT last year I wrote my first ever Guardian Teacher Network article, entitled Is Gove washing his hands of ICT. Just over a year later, it is clear that Gove has indeed washed his hands of the subject that myself and my students love. ICT has been rebranded as computing. Back in May, I asked the question ‘Is it time to rebrand ICT?’, changing it to computing was not what I had in mind. I was hoping for something more progressive. The change came as a surprise to me and many other ICT teachers. Especially, when you consider that the draft programme of study (POS) back in November was still called ICT.

So, why am I so upset about the announcement?

Firstly, I would like to say that I am completely in favour of teaching computing.

I have been actively adding more and more computing into my curriculum for several years. In my current curriculum I teach programming, internal computer components as well as computing history. This will be further developed next year. As is the case with all good teachers, my curriculum is evolving all the time. However, what you will notice is that it runs alongside ICT.

The current draft POS, is a real let down to ICT teachers and their students across the country. There needs to be room for both computing and ICT. In fact I firmly believe that we are robbing our students, if the current draft stays how it is. Obviously, computer scientists will most likely disagree with me. But isn’t it our job as educators to prepare all students for the digital world they are living in? I have taught students of all abilities in both comprehensive and independent schools. It is safe to say that I think it will help ‘some’ who eventually enter a career in computer science, but will hinder many more when they realise they are being taught things that are of little relevance to them. It is important to get the balance right. It is important not to restrict our student’s digital education. Let’s improve the ICT curriculum, but let’s think of the students and not pander to lobbying from outside interests.

There is also a worry that there will not be enough curriculum time to deliver the new KS3 POS. Will schools start taking time from maths, English and science? Of course not, how can they? Did those fighting for this change think of this? Did they even care about it? People who are not teachers or do not work in education rarely think about these things. Not when they have their own agenda to think about.

Perhaps the most potent and universally recognised issue with the change to computing is training. There are thousands of ICT teachers who will require CPD if they are to deliver the new programme of study. The government is going to have to supply free training to current teachers and schools will need to free up time to allow this to happen. Then there are our future ‘computing’ teachers. Will the government be able to recruit enough teachers to be able to actually teach this new curriculum? As the UK is currently facing a shortfall in computer science teachers, where will this leave the subject over the next few years? I suspect, in limbo. Maybe all those non-teachers, pushing for the change, should give up their jobs to become computing teachers.

I suspect, if the draft stays as it is, we will see a fallout in several years time. My prediction would be that the majority of students leaving schools will not be equipped for most workplaces. How many employers will care if their employees can:

“…explain how data of various types can be represented and manipulated in the form of binary digits including numbers, text, sounds and pictures, and be able to carry out such manipulation by hand.” – Extract from the new KS3 POS.

So what would I like to see?

I would like to see a new POS that gives students a rounded digital education.

At the moment there is only a tip of the hat to ICT. This is not right. It should include equal parts of digital literacy, digital citizenship, digital creativity and computing. Lets not forget who are the most important people in this educational conundrum. A curriculum at KS3 that is too heavily weighted to computing is doing our children a disservice and perhaps may even put them off pursuing it at KS4 and 5.

There are a lot of ICT teachers doing exciting and innovative things. I attended the RethinkingICT conference last year and it was inspiring for all who attended. So many ideas, so much to look forward to.

What has transpired recently is that students and teachers have been overlooked, in favour of what I believe, to be private interest. I feel personally betrayed by this change, remember this comes from someone who sees the value of computing and believes it is an important part of ICT. In my opinion the changes are myopic and done for the wrong reasons.

I hope that Mr Gove thinks again. I hope that the final version of the POS takes my article and the swathe of dissenting voices into account. I hope it does the right thing for the young people of this country.

Raspberry Pi

Students setting up their Raspberry Pi (Video)

This is a quick video showing some of my students setting up the Raspberry Pi at our lunchtime club.

They have really enjoyed coming in and putting everything together. Once they are good to go, I have given them an iPad with Readdledocs (now called Documents) installed. In the App I have supplied them with PDFs of some Python resources, that they are using for programming. The students can then annotate the PDF and make notes.

Today was excellent and there was some real collaberation, problem solving and fun going on.

Mattsml

Mr Britland’s Open Source KS3 Computing Curriculum V3: 2014-2015 – (Free PDF)

I have been working very hard over the last few months producing my new Computing curriculum and it is finally ready.

Details below:

Feel free to download and use this curriculum. If you use this booklet, its projects or ideas and would like to make a donation for its continuing development, please use the link provided. I would like to keep giving this document away for free so any donation would be amazing. Please click to be redirected to my donation page.

Thanks for your support.

Matt

This is now version 2 – DOWNLOAD HERE

V2

I have added / amended the following:

  • Amended strand descriptors.
  • Added a new ‘How to use this Booklet’ section
  • New section on what software and websites are used, including free alternatives to paid software
  • Amended ‘Visual Programming: Kodu’ (Year 7)
  • ‘Computer Hardware/History’ project now called ‘How a computer works/computing history’ and now includes software. It is now taught in Year 7
  • Added ‘The Web: HTML5 and CSS3’ (Year 8)
  • Added ‘Networks’ (Year 8)
  • Added ‘Google and Algorithms’ (Year 9)

End products have changed for the following projects:

  • Stay Safe Online – Online guide using Snapguide
  • Visual Programming: Kodu – Screencast using Screenr
  • Your Digital World – Online presentation using slide.es

In Development

  • New creative projects
  • How to use an iPad to teach this curriculum

If you would like some help with creating your own resources or would like me to produce any educational publications, please visit www.realiselearning.co.uk.

rasppiclub

Our new Raspberry Pi and Python Club (Links to the resources I am using included)

Hello World

Hello World

Over the past two Wednesdays we have finally been able to start up our programming club.

We only have enough room for a few students at the moment, but we will review at Easter.

The Raspberry Pi’s have been fantastic, they have really made difference. Our students have really enjoyed setting them up and connecting everything together. It has a old school feel about it. Its exciting and really engaging.

We have been using projectors, but I finally have some monitors. In the club we will use a combination of the both.

This week was the first time we got down and did some programming. Hence the photo at the top of this post! We are going to be using Python (of course!) as the language of choice.

The resources I am using are:

Python Resources

I also plan to teach Python to Year 8 and 9 after Easter . 

ICT/Computing Projects 2012-2013 – Initial Thoughts Pt 1

Keyboard

It is only January and I am already thinking about next year.  The job of a Head of ICT is never done! ;-)

However, before I think about new projects for next year I want to release version 1.1 of Mr Britland’s ICT Curriculum. I am aim to have this done by February. The plan is to add the following:

  • Curriculum Strands

Digital Literacy
Digital Citizenship
Digital Creativity
Computer (Digital) Science

  • Aims

Keep an eye on my blog for the new update.

So? What about next year? Well…at the moment as an initial thought I would like to add a new project. This will be on Computer Networks.

At the moment I teach my year 8 students about computer hardware, key British Computer Scientists and touch upon the four generations of computers. Next year I would like to deliver this to Year 7 and teach Computer Networks to Year 8.

Next blog post coming soon with some more ideas for next year.