The medium of thought: @Scratch is bad for learning Programming and Computational Thinking? #coding #edtech #education

…Maybe. It depends. I’m increasingly frustrated by the various groups and media who seemingly want to shoot-down all the positive work we do with teaching good programming practice in textual programming languages. While tens of thousands of educators have been pushing ahead with the 21st century, teaching children not only to program, but more importantly

Read More

@yallsop @roehamptonedu Festival of Computing 2016 Computational Thinking thoughts

Friday was both the final day of this year’s PGCE, and the Festival of Education, both taking place in/around the lawns of Grove House. Sadly this meant I only got to see half of each of them. Teaching Computational Thinking through marble runs / Unplugged I was very unsure how my morning session would go.

Read More

SURVEY RESULTS: what programming languages are being taught in classroom? #edtech #ict #computing #education

I ran a survey of (mostly UK) Computing teachers, asking what we’re teaching in classrooms, and why. In the UK, we have a new curriculum which demands all teenagers learn programming, computer science/theory, and core computing/ICT skills. Headline results UK teachers recommend or choose to teach Python and/or Scratch Of all the languages teachers have

Read More

Teaching Regular Expressions / regexp in lessons

RegExp are great fun if you’re an Abstract Mathematician, or mildly masochistic. For the rest of us, it’s silly to work on them without using something like this: When we teach regexps, are we aiming for students to: Become experts in typing? Have 20/20 eyesight? Be non-dyslexic – dyslexia is for failures, who’ll never

Read More

What’s the point of Functions in #programming? (for primary/middle schoolers)

My common day-to-day use is “something that is used to generate individual parts of something, and that I might write alternative versions of in future”. Here the use of a function lets you replace a generator with a different generator. Such examples occur frequently in OOP, but are only truly dependent upon functions. For instance:

Why use #python when teaching #coding in school?

Much (most?) of the literature is gloriously one-sided and IMHO deceptive in pretending that Python is good at many things it sucks at. This doesn’t help those teachers trying to make a fair and balanced decision. Overall, I believe that if you learn programming primarily via Python you’ll be a weaker programmer than if you

Read More