The MOOC has landed!

A few months ago, I published a post titled Proposal for a GCSE Computing MOOC in which I described an idea I was considering to support other teachers with the teaching of GCSE Computer Science. Well, the good news is it’s now ready for use at – http://courses.exa.foundation The problem: I taught GCSE Computing over a…

30+ Revision Resources & Strategies

This time of the year, as teachers complete marking their coursework, attention in lessons focuses on revision, exam technique and exam preparation. In the online communities, groups and forums I belong to, teachers have been discussing the different ways they approach revision with their classes. In this post, I’ll start by sharing three strategies that…

An Ace In The Hole

If you’re a subscriber to this blog you’ll know that after teaching in mainstream education for 21 years I recently joined Exa Education, a business providing internet connections to thousands of schools across the UK. Part of my role is to promote safe, secure and appropriate use of technology. As I gaze down into the…

Being in someone else’s shoes

On Tuesday this week, I made an unscheduled visit to a shoe museum in Northampton. Speaking as someone who prefers being unshod, shoes are low down my list of interests – you could say they’re at the foot. All the same, I was curious to see what stories a shoe museum might reveal. Until my…

Alan’s Most Exa – llent Adventure

Imagine you’ve been presented with a unique career development opportunity; you are offered the option of doing more of the aspects of your current role that you find most fulfilling, in place of those duties you value the least. At first, it might be difficult to refuse such an offer, especially if it represented a…

“I got a 1” , thanks to #JamPackedUK

2014 has certainly been an event-full (pun) year for me in many respects from the highs of winning awards and funding grants to the lows of losing cherished colleagues and friends in tragic circumstances. This November, we launched our Jam Packed UK tour with the aim of developing outstanding teachers of computing through a programme…

Little Man Computer (LMC) on the Raspberry Pi, #pyconuk

I remember a Sunday night, 11th May 2014, there was a discussion on Twitter started by Alex Bradbury questioning the extent to which the Little Man Computer was required for teaching computing in schools. I recorded a podcast episode in which I tried to explain my rationale for using the Little Man Computer. You can…

Raspberry Jamming

“Raspberry Jamming” is a blog post featuring an interview written up by Neil Brown of University of Kent.

Do girls prefer to code in groups?

I consider myself an active member of the Computing At School community, and regularly read and contribute to the forum discussions there. This morning, I had a bit of a rant in response to a post by one of the non-teaching members of CAS. If you’re a member you can go and read the discussion…

“How do we teach programming in schools?”

On a busy forum that I subscribe to, a forum member started a very active thread with the question “How do we teach programming in schools?”. Although the original poster of the thread asks “How?” can we teach programming in schools, there are many responses to “What?” we should teach. Maybe rephrasing the question might have…

Inspire and Engage Learners with “Play, Hack + Share”

Play Hack & Share In the 20+ years I’ve been teaching I’ve watched our UK education system become increasingly focussed on results. It’s clearly going to be difficult to persuade teachers to step out of their comfort zones to be more innovative and creative in their pedagogy, when their performance is subjected to high levels…