Posts Tagged ‘computing’

CAScade: Online CPD from CAS Computing at School.

Today’s hangout:

The draft PoS Computing: Computing

What is an algorithm: A formula or set of steps for solving a particular problem. To be an algorithm, a set of rules must be unambiguous and have a clear halting point. (www.webopedia.com) this is one answer, there are many others. More definitions listed below in the chat room comments section.

Key points discussed:
What will each primary school delivered and how that will impact Secondary.

Dept of Education wanting to step away from levels.

Schools will be responsible for creating their own curriculum. Share resources, crowd source curriculums.

Agiles testing: testing quadrants. Using this for assessment tool. Agile Testing Quandrants

ALL subject levels are going- not just for ICT aka Computing.

E- portfolios: as assessment.
Competitions.
End of year TechJams/ hackdays against certain criteria
.

A good scratch activity that covers: logic, variables, objects, algorithm: Scratch Quiz

Open badges: Open Badges

Chat room comments from CAScade hangout on Assessment.

Miles Berry
11:33 AM

.

Miles Berry
11:40 AM
Here’s what we put in the guidance notes

Ben Smith
11:40 AM
how to distinguish a ks2 algorithm from a ks4 algorithm
having a clear conceptual hierarchy would help ext/diff, assessment etc.

Miles Berry
11:40 AM
An algorithm is a precise method of solving a problem. Algorithms range from the simple (such as instructions for changing a wheel on a car) to the ingenious (such as route-finding), and cover many different application areas (for example, cookery, drawing three- dimensional graphics; solving systems of constraints, such as a school timetable; understanding images; numerical simulation, and so on).

An algorithm can be expressed as a program in many different programming languages.
There may be more than one algorithm to solve a single problem, differing in their simplicity, efficiency, or generality. For example, to find a path through a maze, one (simple, slow) algorithm might be to simply walk around at random until you find the exit. Another (more complicated) one would involve remembering where had been to avoid going down the same blind alley twice. Another might be to keep you left hand on the wall and walk till you find the exit (faster, but does not work on all mazes, and so less general).

me
11:41 AM
A formula or set of steps for solving a particular problem. To be an algorithm, a set of rules must be unambiguous and have a clear ‘stopping point’.
.

Miles Berry
11:42 AM
Hmm… clear stopping point… Hmm halting problem…

Ben Smith
11:47 AM
you can do boolean algebra on mine craft

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Next Up

Westminster Briefing.

The other Thursday I was invited to speak bout the content of the curriculum with a focus on Key stage 2. It might seem odd to ask an A level teacher to discuss what is happening in in primary; Not really if you know me. I do a lot of out reach with year 2.

This is what I said: (from the transcript)

Okay, you will be glad, I’ve only got four slides.

I teach software development and A-Level Computing, but I actually do lots of outreach work with Key Stage 1 and that’s at a request of a lot of the teachers in the Brighton area. So I’m just going to talk about some case studies that I’ve done in the last 18 months.

So I worked with three different primary schools working with Year 2, and again Scratch, mainly because it’s free open source, it’s easy to use. There are other ones that you can use, and these are very different infant schools with different cohorts and things like that.

So the first class was Stanford Infants, and this was mainly because my 7 year old son was coming home and his teacher said he was rubbish at ICT. Okay, I teach A-Level Computing, my husband works in IT, so does my brother and my dad, he can code and he can switch between all of our different devices quite easily, so he’s not exactly brilliant, but he’s certainly not rubbish either, and I was thinking, what are they learning in their school? Not, obviously, your school. So I thought well… and I spoke to some other schools and they said, well we’ve got a tight curriculum, like you are teaching dance, the next minute you are doing history, the next minute you are doing this, you’ve got very little time to learn to then deliver something really good. And I thought, well actually I want to go and do something, so I then went into the schools, delivered a programme of six 1 hour sessions and the teachers learnt alongside the students, and I gave them lesson plans and worksheets, so that they could have something that they could then change and do whatever they wanted with.

So we did animation, games and Lego Wedo and every single one of the teachers told me, bring in your resources that you currently use and don’t change any of the terminology. I used the word algorithm, they just explained it, we had the teacher using Makaton sign language, kids running round, being variables and things like that, and it was really fun, because I then took the stuff that I learnt from the infant class back into my Year 10 class and being silly and playing and messing around, they actually understood it a lot better, and that was quite useful for me as a teacher, it was really good to see that in terms of pedagogy.

So the questions to look at. Are they prepared for secondary school? A bit like what Ian was saying, it looks very, very programme heavy, just coding, there’s no art, there’s certainly no mention of collaboration as such, and there’s certainly no kind of creative aspect to it. One of my big things is that even in my A-Level Computing and my Software Development courses, it has to be creative, it has to have a purpose and an audience and it generally has to be a bit cool and a bit off the wall, a bit like what Miles was saying, I do lots of hacking in my lesson, I also take my students out. I did an 8 hour Unity3d Hack with a local art gallery and artist last Saturday. I didn’t really know much about Unity, we had some Unity staff there and the whole industry link. I learnt more in that 8 hours than I could have done in a whole year of doing Unity in a classroom.

So, if the Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 teachers feel confident, then that’s where the creative and the art and the collaboration will take them from being the kind of whacky teacher or the scared teacher, to actually being able to do all of those other things. But again, like everyone is saying, without the CPD they won’t be able to do that.

I offered a CPD for primary educators in November and nobody wanted to come, Programme of Study came out, I’ve now offered two which are next week, which are full, and there’s 40 teachers at each one. So you can see from the difference in the fear factor, which there shouldn’t be, but I do feel for the actual primary teachers, their curriculum content is massive compared to what I have to teach at A-Level. You know, I know I have my subjects, they are in depth but they are not broad, and that is the difference, being able to feel secure, that’s where the CPD is required.

Should there be a test? Definitely not, under any circumstances. My 7 year old comes home with so much homework I can barely cope with it, let alone having a test, and he’s a boy and summer born, so obviously he wouldn’t do very well. So there is a big issue with that.

Does the technology changes keep up with the Programme of Study? No we are in education, nothing keeps up with the technology changes. Anyone read the AQA A-Level Computing, it’s a bit backward. So, no offense to any exam boards obviously, I’m just…

So it takes a while to change, so I would say no, but you can incorporate that in just sort of maybe exposing them to the technology changes, but obviously not focusing too much on that until you are secure as a teacher.

Does it encourage? It can do, but again only if when you come up from the Key Stage 1 all the way up to Key Stage 5, that each one of those levels work together, and unfortunately, one of the things I have found, even though Brighton is quite collaborative, we don’t work across the Key Stages, so all of Key Stage 1 kind of have theirs… Yes, I’m being told to shut up as well.

So basically, that’s what I say, we need to work more collaboratively together, there needs more CPD and yes there should be online training.

And that’s me done.

Community, collaborate and creativity

Anjin 1600

Posted: February 22, 2013 in computing, Digital, education, technology
Tags: , ,

#anjin1600

An 8 hour game jam 11-7pm Saturday 23rd February at the lighthouse in Brighton. Using artist, David Blandy‘s work.

ANJIN 1600: Episode 1 from David Blandy on Vimeo.

During the day we will be creating various parts of the story using Unity. It is a very powerful game engine used by experts and hobbyist alike. I personally use it in my grade 13 Games Design class. It allows the students to create their own game as well as improving the coding skills. We use javascript but Unity supports other scripting languages.

To bring the game to life I will be using Space for Unity which is an amazing space construction asset kit for Unity. The detail and usability are brilliant. Plus this only came available on Wednesday (3 days before the event). So not much time to play around with the asteroids, planets, nebulas plus many other features. Stefan, space for unity creator, will be online about 2pm (23/02/13)to talk about how he created Space for Unity and to give the gamers some tips.

If you are aged between 16-600 then come and join us for the game jam in Brighton. All you need is your laptop, Unity installed and £5

This is an article I was asked to write to by BETT show marketing

BETT show: App Development 101.

What is Appshed. Apart from being a fantastic mobile app development platform it is an amazing learning and creative tool for the classroom. I cannot praise enough the platform nor the support that I, and many other teachers, have received from the Appshed team. Especially when I have my crazy ideas “can I just do this….” generally something that requires a server farm or at least 4 developers a month to build. I am always met with a convivial “yes, it’s possible”.

A bit of history: AppShed began back in 2008 as a business need. Rob suggested that they build a CMS (content management system) for apps instead of building each app from scratch. Torsten (CEO) didn’t need any further encouragement. Immediately development began on a native iPhone app framework using XML files to create dynamically generated apps. From that initial framework AppShed.com was born.

I am such an advocate of the AppShed platform that I gave a workshop at #Mozfest November 2012. The workshop was attended by industry gurus and delivered by me… just a classroom teacher. The workshop was a great experience and we received really positive feedback. One of the “users”actually built their app using a smart phone during the workshop!. It does require some delicate touches to build an app on a smart phone.

At the BETT show Learn live lab myself and my A-level students will be delivering the workshop. Why my students.. because they are fantastic and this will enable them to experience something impossible in the class. Real World business interaction. Helping as well as designing the workshop. The students will be creating a template app for the event along with the resources to go with. What I like to call a #nanohack. As part of their course they have to develop systems for a particular “client”. I run hackdays/ hackjams for young and old alike so now my students get to join in too. They now get to enjoy the fun and excitement that goes along with creating and delivering new technology driven experiences for others.

A little explanation regarding hacks/ nanohacks:What is a hack day? A hack-day, my definition”a collaborative environment where designers, developers or anyone interested get together to create something based on a theme”. The theme is their to inspire, help and guide the creatives to the ultimate goal of building something “awesome”, as my students would put it.

During the workshop you will learn about the platform both from within and outside a classroom setting. This is important as some of the cool stuff such as twitter widgets are blocked at most schools. Though, as we are not in school – Cool Stuff here we come. You will be able to customise the app to you desired content. Galleries of images (check for copyright), Maps / Locations, links to Videos. Upload your own files directly into your profile so that you can use the documents for any other app that you might wish to create. Link to Flickr accounts, create interaction/ quizzes using google docs. The list is endless. By the end of the session you will have a fully functional app on your smart phone.

I have created an app for my GCSE Computing class and their parents/ guardians. that has links to the exam board, online homework using socrative.com, uploaded files and other websites that are helpful for the course. Any modification that I make to app is then pushed out to the user next time they launch the app.

At the time of writing this AppShed are in their final stages of testing their new learning/ development environment. This new environment has been beautifully designed to enable and engage the “user” to produce the best possible app. It allows the “user” much more freedom and independence from the instructor. AppShed will soon be launching this entirely new interface, AppShed “K2” has been re-designed from the ground up to maximise the user experience to make app-building even simpler for the novice user, while at the same time increasing the flexibility for advanced users. AppShed “K2” has a simple column layout: the simulator on the left, and dynamic toolbars on the right. Apologies for the Tron “user” reference I couldn’t help myself. 🙂

“AppShed Academy is a versatile and comprehensive online tool to facilitate student development of apps in education. Intuitive, step-by-step learning allows teachers to include app development in the ICT curriculum without the need for an in-depth understanding of the app creation.” Their own words which I could not have written any better.

We all are really excited about being at the Bett Show and the opportunity to let other experience the joy and excitement of using and building your own beautifully designed app in under an hour. You can’t beat that at the BETT Show. Come and join in the fun Friday 1st Feb 12:15-13:00, Gallery Room 6. Any questions send me a tweet @pegleggen.

I was speaking to my lovely colleague, Russ, today about taking the Stanford/Coursera online courses. Oh the fun we both had. I remember the first course I did last year, AI Advance route….. why oh why did I do that. I remember the pressure of trying to complete assignments/homework and to study the required 8-10hrs.

This and others are not designed for Teachers. We (teachers) are already overloaded and have very little time to carry out personal study. You may disagree, which is fine, but no bashing teachers as that is already done very well at present.

I am not disregarding those online courses, they are amazing and I have learnt so much from them. It is just the format does lend itself well to those of us who are teachers. The MOOC (mass online open classroom) has, in general, a very small completion rate of anywhere between 3-7%. This is not to say those courses aren’t successful but for teachers we need a different approach. This is something that I have been hoping to develop further and it looks like I will be able to do just that after the new year.

Wish me luck on this new adventure.

What and how would you like to learn online?

Welcome to Westminster briefing

Where do I start. Twitter! I was contacted via twitter by The House to see if I was interested in speaking at a policy and practice briefing relating to the “new” ICT curriculum. Well, one can’t say no to that.

There were four main speakers Prof Steve Furber, Royal Society report. An excellent talk on the current state of ICT in schools and ideas about the [insert slide image] future. It was an honour to be able to speak to him after the event. This is THE Steve Furber who was instrumental in the creation of the BBC Micro. My inner geek was extremely happy. I was too nervous to ask for a photo. Incredibly intelligent and very humble. As you can read I was a very happy bunny.

rachel ager NAACE, Karen price E-SKILLS: they both offered information regarding where they see the curriculum developing and the reasons for them. Though I was a little concerned by the term digital wisdom that is at the Heart of the Naace curriculum- what does that mean. To me it didn’t mean a lot- how could I explain that to a student or parent when I don’t really know what digital wisdom is. They were both interesting talks. [ insert slide image ]

steve milner Facebook: interesting to hear what fb has to say about the IT curriculum. He gave a very detailed talk, without a presentation, about FB being a platform and not a content provider. You, us are the content providers. The fact that there are only 300 staff.

At the end of the keynote talks there was a Q&A. This is when some of the questions seemed a little hostile regarding the representation of certain data and how people felt about that. The fact that only 35% of ICT teachers have a subject related degree seems to upset a lot of people. I am in the other 75%. As my friend put it, if they do have a computer science degree it is unlikely that they willbe wanting to be a teacher it is more likely that they want to work for google or face book. I totally agree.

I was speaking alongside another TeacherMark Dorling from the Digital schoolhouse project (insert link) Mark spoke about the changes that are happening because of gove’s speech at BETT. He does a lot work enabling computer science to be embedded in the curriculum.

I am self taught and continue to learn new skills and languages. We IT (ICT) teachers have a fantastic subject area to continue our own learning as well as (hopefully) inspire the young. It is hardwork and we are rewriting schemes of work every term, or it feels like that sometimes. But that is why I enjoy the subject so much.

I digress. My turn. I was the last speaker of the day. For those of you who have the unfortunate experience of me at teach meet Brighton, my timings were better. I was very good and didn’t speak for more that my allotted 15mins. Mainly because everyone looked exhausted and wanted to get home.

The theme of my talk was about sharing, yes I know I go on about sharing but it is the best way to succeed. The creative global classroom was the title of my talk. I spoke about the successful use of google hangouts in teaching and sharing practice with schools around the UK. Tools like socrative for recording assessment and adding a bit of competition into the classroom. Finally, about the projects I am working on why I do them. I didn’t even list allthe extra work that I do… It looked too much on one slide.