Programming

Mr Britland’s Open Source KS3 Computing Curriculum V3: 2014-2015

{UPDATED}

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.

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.

(New Projects Part 6) Visual Programming: Kodu Project – 2nd Year/Year 8

This project builds on a the 1st Kodu project (year 7/1st year) which will be posted soon. In the first project, students find their feet with Kodu. In this project they have to decide a genre for their game and fully plan it.

Project: Visual Programming: Kodu Project

Project Sheet (link)

Presentation (link)

 

(New Projects Part 3) Programming: Python – 3rd Year/Year 9 – Resources Included

The final project in the 3rd year/year 9 is a programming unit.

Students will use www.codecademy.com to learn how to program with Python. I really like codecademy and think it is a great way for student to learn. The digital badges and the ability to share progress online is great.

Thank to Dan Aldred for the use of his Python Workbook

(Work in Progress)

Project: Programming: Python

Project Sheet (link)

Presentation (link)

Film yourself in the classroom (Video)

I decided to do something today that I have not done since my training year. That was, filming myself in the classroom.

To give you a little background, I am away at the Guardian Computer Science Seminar and I wanted to set some cover my 1st year class. Instead of simply writing down a set of instructions I thought I would film the beginning of another 1st year lesson. I could then make this available to my class in my absence.

The students had already finished most of the Kodu programming and I wanted them to produce some documentation. The main learning objections had already met in previous lessons.

This is not the most exciting lesson you will see. I try to make the start of lessons more interactive, but because it was going to be used for another class (cover lesson) I had to try and make it a little more linear.

During this video, I do cover a few PowerPoint fundamentals. I wanted to cover all the bases to make sure my cover lesson went smoothly. This is also why it pans out like a seminar.

I was also very aware that I had a camera on me. It made me stutter a little, and act slightly differently. Very strange that a camera would make me respond like that as I am not a shy man.

So what did I think? Well, I noticed for starters that I do like repeating myself. I also have a habit of using the same words over and over again. In order to better evaluate my teaching I need to film myself when I do not intend to use it in another lesson. It would be more natural.

Any thoughts let me know.

Is it time to rebrand ICT?

This blog was originally published by The Guardian on 30th May 2012 and is an update of a previous post on this blog.

When I did my GTP several years ago I did next to no training in computing. As we all know the curriculum was very much ICT-based and that was fine with me. The skills I have very much fitted in with the curriculum I had to teach.

Things are now changing. Gove has told teachers that they don’t have to stick to the old curriculum. Over the past year and a half I have been able to teach my own curriculum anyway, as I have moved to an independent school. But it has been made very clear there is a need to teach computing in schools before KS4.

I agree this should happen, and it’s very exciting. However, it is also quite intimidating. I have spent almost seven years (including my training) teaching ICT with very little computing. Where do I go from here? Well, I have already started teaching visual programming usingKodu. I am also in the middle of writing a computer science scheme of work to be delivered next year. This will teach students how computers, smartphones and tablets work.

Is this enough? Like many ICT teachers I do not have a lot of curriculum time compared to other subjects. It would be a shame if state schools were forced to drop ICT and only deliver computing because of a lack of time. In fact, we would be doing our students a disservice.

Like many others I need guidance.

My biggest worry is programming. The reason I didn’t choose programming at university was because I find it very difficult. For me it is like learning a new language. I am very much of the opinion programming is not for everyone. Although, I understand it is very important.

I am sure there are other teachers like me who do not program. If the government want programming in schools they are going to need to stump up some money for training courses.

There is a danger that if teachers need retraining, courses will be supplied by large corporations like Microsoft or Google. Can we trust them to give teachers the training they need or will they simply take the money and create training that directly benefits them?

However, over the last few weeks I have been using Codecademy to learn Java Script and to become more proficient in HTML and CSS. This is free and has been fantastic. Hopefully, this will allow me to deliver more programming next year. Perhaps we do not need to pay for training and we can train ourselves?

If all students were taught to be programmers throughout their school lives would we find masses of them out of work? There are only so many jobs available. The people who will benefit the most will be those paid to write computing courses.

There has to be room for both ICT and computer science.

Students should able to choose between the two, certainly at KS4 or 5. After all students are able to choose which languages they learn or sciences they study.

We need both to be exciting and engaging. Teachers in different schools need to be sharing resources and schemes of work. Many are already, certainly the teachers I know. If we are to change the way ICT is perceived we need to be constantly evolving. If we want to incorporate computer science into schools we need innovative ways to teach it communicated to all.

Conferences like the Guardian Teacher Network’s Teaching Computer Science in Schools are important ways for people in education to get together and discuss what the future holds. These are great as long as teachers are allowed to get time out of school. I fear many may not.

I would also very much like to rebrand ICT, for me it is old fashioned. Perhaps “digital literacy” would be more appropriate?

There are several teachers who I follow on Twitter working on Digital Studies. Is that the rebrand we need? I don’t think there is one answer but I would certainly like to rebrand ICT at my school.

In conclusion, I am looking forward to including computer science into my curriculum. It is intimidating but a great opportunity for personal development. Now I must find the time to teach myself what I now must deliver. Finding the time in an already incredibly busy job may be toughest task of all.