The best way to teach text-based programming?

If you had been challenged to develop a rock, paper, scissors game using a text-based programming language in less than 10 minutes starting from a blank screen – how far would you succeed? Next question – what would be the best way to teach the necessary concepts to a class of 15 year olds? If…

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.

“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…

Sabotage: Teach Debugging By Stealth

The majority of my work at the moment is supporting ICT teachers who want to introduce and develop Computing within their own curriculum ahead of the changes planned for September 2014. Throughout my work with other teachers, I’ve been sharing some of the pedagogic devices and strategies I’ve been using with the aim of ensuring…

Tech Fest Dubai, Teaching With Raspberry Pi

This week I’ve been teaching/training in Dubai as a guest of Dubai English Speaking College. While I was there I led a series of Raspberry Pi workshops for teachers, children & families to discover the potential of the Raspberry Pi On the first day I led a day long workshop for 20 computing teachers from…

Hack Jam 1 #MakerParty

Last summer, as part of Young Rewired State (YRS), we ran a summer coding camp at our school. I wrote a blog post (here) about it at the time. The YRS 2012 Festival Of Code really opened my eyes to what children can achieve with just a few small coded ingredients and oodles of imagination…

Programming for GCSE Computing

I’ve mentioned quite a few times before that people often ask me which particular GCSE Computing specification I would recommend. Having only ever taught one of them (OCR GCSE Computing), I find myself in the position of a mortgage advisor in that I can only really offer advice on one product. As the availability of…

Some More Random Stuff in Python

I’ve always found the topic of random number generation more than just a little fascinating. Those who know me well, might not find that so much of a revelation. I’ve been writing some programming materials this week which allowed me to further indulge my interest in random number generation in Python just a little more….

Using Raspberry Pi in class

A practical guide for using Raspberry Pi in class – This is a modified version of an article I was asked to write for The Guardian Teacher Network. What exactly is the Raspberry Pi? Computer Science pioneer, Seymour Papert wrote, “The role of the teacher is to create the conditions for invention rather than provide…