Sunday, January 26, 2014

More computing resources

Did I mention the crowd-sourced computing document?! It's still there with some tech and non-tech ideas and resources to help you deliver the new computing curriculum.

Today I have been playing, albeit briefly, with a couple of new computing resources for the ipad. Lightbot is similar to Beebot and Alex as it gets you thinking logically whilst gaining an understanding of basic (and more complex) control. I haven't got very far with it, but it will help children learn to write algorithms with procedures and conditionals. You can also play on your PC by clicking here.

I also had a very quick play with Kinescript. I admit that I didn't get very far as time was limited and this was not as easy to drop in and play as Lightbot, so this is just a pointer so that you can have a play yourself. It is clearly inspired by Scratch with the use of sprites and built-in backgrounds and sounds. You can read more about it here and I will try to review it properly when I have had more time to play.

I realised last night when I looked back at my computing posts that I have shared lots of resources, but have said less about the 'why' of it. In a post from Feb last year I showed why computing/computational thinking is important with the 'What most schools don't teach' film. I am lazy, I do let the experts explain things - they are the experts. My posts are not intended to show deep thinking, but to signpost resources and views of those I consider to have expertise.

One expert - Miles Berry - has very kindly pointed me in the direction of his 1010 reasons for teaching computing and @worrydream's Reopening the debate: Should children program computers. They are both well worth a look!

I have also just come across Rising Stars 'Switched on computing with Microsoft', which you can download for free. It aims to guide teachers with creative ideas that draw on a range of computing/ICT skills. There are 6 units for you to try out in the classroom, with alternatives and assessment guidance to support teaching. I may try the 'We are cooking' unit with my year 2s, though I have very much enjoyed the digital literacy projects I have done before, so may just think about developing those further.

If you have any other resources to share, please let me know!

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