GCSE Computer Science(9-1): NEA Preparations

If you are currently teaching the ‘new’ GCSE Computer Science (9-1), it’s possible that you are in the middle of preparing your classes and ‘Resource Bank’ for your students to use in the Autumn Term when the NEAs are released by the examination and awarding bodies. I’d like to share what I believe is a…

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…

Challenges of Teaching GCSE Computer Science

Since I joined Exa in October 2015, I believe I’ve supported as many teachers as in the previous 5 years with the development of GCSE Computer Science. Through my work with exa.foundation I’ve been able to visit teachers in their schools as well as leading CPD events in regions around the country. One of the…

Proposal for a GCSE Computing MOOC

About one third of my work since joining Exa Education has been supporting the teaching of Computing in UK schools. I’m constantly looking for new solutions to help me scale-up my support to other teachers and I’d like to share a proposal for a MOOC to support the teaching of GCSE Computing and enlist a…

#31WaysInMay

I know from my own experiences that it’s challenging to build a compelling case to be released from school to attend any event taking place on a school day, whether that’s an important meeting, vital in-service training or an inspiring conference. ‘Rarely Cover’ policy and diminishing staff development budgets make it even more difficult for…

How much should a conference cost?

“So, what’s the best resource you have available?” – It’s a question I’ve asked teachers on more than one occasion. Yes, it’s a trick question that I throw out occasionally to catch out those who might reply “iPads. Raspberry Pi computers. Google. The Internet.” and so on. While these are all extremely useful tools, the…

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…

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…

Raspberry Jamming

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