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…

CPD Events Calendar

“You don’t need glossy textbooks, iPads or a class set of Raspberry Pi computers to be an effective teacher. The best resource you have available is you. Invest as much as you can in your own development and your pupils will reap the rewards.” Alan O’Donohoe Attending a high quality professional development course has the…

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…

Computer Science CPD Training Opportunities

This week I ventured into some new territory as I led two training events in Birmingham for teachers new to Computer Science. My school has entered into an arrangement with Dragonfly Training for both Vikki Dodd and myself to deliver Computing training to teachers at venues in Birmingham and London. This academic year, both Vikki…

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…

From ‘Blonde’ to ‘Geeky & Proud’

Since Michael Gove’s announcements regarding the curriculum changes for ICT & Computing in the UK, each week I receive email and telephone enquiries from schools wishing to convert from ICT to Computing in their curriculum. The first response to support other teachers was to introduce a range of training courses which have been hugely popular,…

Shortlisted for NAACE Secondary Impact Award

Of course, I was thrilled and delighted to learn that I was first nominated and then later shortlisted for the NAACE Secondary Impact Award. Although I curl-up cringing at the whole notion of “blowing my own trumpet” – I hope that just the shortlisting alone might raise the profile of some of my activities (not…