DISPLAYING ITEMS BY TAG: COMPUTING

Although the new Computing curriculum was transformed to become more relevant to 21st century students, learning to code and create on the web is still generally perceived as being ‘difficult’ and ‘dull’. It’s considered to be more appealing to students who are better at Maths and Science, and not those with an interest in languages and the arts.

As technological advances are racing in what some believe to be the 4th industrial revolution, they open the door to the most innovative educational technology (edtech), and the Bett Show was an impressive demonstration of this.

Here at The Kindergarten Starters in Dubai, we recently ran a collaborative venture with Laurus International School of Science in Tokyo, leading to a change in the way our students learn. Over a period of one month, both schools created storyboards. We used the Lego story starters and Scratch Junior to help construct these stories they told. The written outcomes were quite alike, but the engagement of four and five year olds as they learned to code made us adopt an exciting new approach: to begin coding in kindergarten.

Coding has been around for a while now, yet how far have we really come in terms of teaching and learning? There still appears to be a certain nervousness among teachers when incorporating it into lessons, perhaps stemming from a lack of knowledge, skills or resources. Despite this, with a little time and practise, coding can be quite an easy task to weave into classroom activities. So let’s explore how teachers can get to grips with coding in the classroom, regardless of experience or the subjects that are taught.

E-safety is vital for pupils from the age of four. From this age the vast majority of children in our country are having regular access to the internet via tablets or smartphones. Everything and everyone has an ‘app’, and creating apps and games for children is big business. How do we protect our children in a developing, potentially unsafe, world? How do we future-proof our children in a digital world?

Being a Computing teacher means that I have to demonstrate and model concepts and topics through the computer regularly. Whether it is displaying to pupils how to open an app or access a program through to skills building knowledge of software tools and techniques, modelling is an essential part of any Computing teacher’s toolkit. In the past, I have found that pupils watching a live demonstration of, for example, changing the background colour of a leaflet they are making or inserting code into a computer program can result in them wanting to revisit the steps taken to achieve this in order for consolidation to happen. This is where Microsoft Stream has made me reconsider how to approach modelling in my lessons.

Government agency Innovate UK shines their ‘Game Changer’ spotlight on Bethany Koby, co-founder and CEO of Technology Will Save Us:

Coding now accounts for half of all Primary Computing, but delivering it can be daunting, even for the most tech-savvy teachers. Discovery Education Coding is a complete resource, helping teachers to meet every aspect of this challenging curriculum area. Over 2.5 million apps have been coded by pupils using the service. Let’s see how teachers use it to make an impact right across the curriculum.

Computing has received somewhat of a mixed reaction from schools – after all, just the word “code” exudes a sense of mystery. There’s a reason why detectives will use the term “cracking the code” to describe a puzzle that needs solving, or obstacles that need to be overcome.

After years of being frustrated that CPD events for schools very rarely featured how to use technology within the subject area covered, teacher Maggie Morrissey set up Technology To Teach. She and her colleague Wendy Gregory focus bringing primarily on delivering first-rate CPD on certain areas of the curriculum such as Maths and Science, but with a strong element of ICT incorporated throughout.

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