Archive for the ‘Computer Science’ Category

As is always the way with the Internet and the discovery of resources and stimulus, the best are found by chance and this is a prime example of that. I find this infographic especially interesting as it both made me reflect on how young digital technologies really are, and it made me feel old as I can remember when much of these started. I can still remember signing up for a Hotmail account when it first started, not to mention using the Bulletin Board System. Anyway, reminiscing aside, this infographic will be a useful stimulus piece when exploring the emergence of technologies and studying their impact. I am sure that this will help most students to better understand the rate at which the technologies they use and mostly take for granted have developed.

Image Source: http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2013/12/an-amazing-timeline-chronicling-history.html

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Recently I have been shown examples of the amazing performances from this marching band.  Their performances alone are awe-inspiring, but it was the underlying research and use of technology that I was most impressed with.  To describe it in brief, some students from the band recognised financial and environmental impact that the constant development and use of paper-based was having.  From here they pursued a project to use digital technologies, iPad’s, to replace the paper elements of the band’s music, marching performances and choreography.  The clip below provides an outline of the process that was undertaken by the students, the band and other aspects of Ohio State University that were involved.

Where I find this particularly interesting is in how I could use this case scenario to promote and stimulate students in my classrooms.  The biggest use I can see here is in how I can get students to explore how they can find and utilise technologies (in time to make technologies) both existing, like Apps, pad-based technologies and smartphones, then on to emerging technologies, such as making solutions to identified problems that function on existing devices.  There are many more ways to examine this scenario in education, just be creative.

I am always amazed by the innovation that emerges from MIT and this one called ‘inFORM’ from the ‘Tangible Media Group’ is sure to promote imagination and questioning. To describe my thoughts is hard but to start I would say it is like a smaller interactive display device (IWB) on steroids. As a tool to promote learning and understanding I see that there are an endless number of uses. From modelling mathematical and scientific equations, to developing fluid artworks through augmented reality, and through to all aspects of computer science.  So back to the title of this post, imagine this amazing technology as learning desks in your classrooms.  The creative use of them would be limitless.

Here is a site, Computing ITT & CPD (https://sites.google.com/site/primaryictitt/),that has been developed to help teachers and schools better understand and implement the Computing strand of the new UK National Curriculum. It is full of content from all stages of the schooling curriculum and gives explanations of what the complex curriculum descriptions means.

I was recently at a conference where there were many excellent presentations about the new UK National Curriculum, what this means for the implementation of Computing and the impact it may have regarding Ofsted expectations and assessment. To have watched this presentation was interesting and humorous but with many vitally important messages and insight from experience.

Here in the UK many schools have started to create and implement curriculum that includes the specification of the Computing Programme of Study as created by the UK Department for Education.  In my school I have started this process by developing a whole new Key Stage 3 programme that includes elements of IT, ICT and Computing throughout the span of the three years 7, 8 and 9.  I have already started to map our new Sequences of Work (SoW) against the required outcomes.  As we develop this I have spend considerable time reading widely and engaging on professional conversation to ensure I am directing our developments along the right pathway.

How have others approached this topic?  What have they done and which Curriculum providers are they using or are going to use?  These are the questions that are perpetually in my mind.  The slide show below is one I have recently found that explores both the process of the redevelopment of the curriculum as well as what some ideas for the content of a new curriculum could be.

After many versions of this overview I am nearly there with where next year will look like for the lucky students of our Key Stage 3, Years 7-9. We are trying to take a project-based approach to the teaching of skills, concepts and practices, whilst embedding theoretical content. The new Sequences of work will be developed from the following key Drivers; Computer Science, Digital Literacy, Digital Citizenship and Project Development and Creativity. I have started to develop a project booklet that shows mapping against the newly released UK National Curriculum and brief overviews of each project area. I am happy to share the developments as they are completed. Any comments welcome.