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National Coding Week: if I had a time machine…

On day 5 of #nationalcodingweek, expert computing teachers share the one piece of advice they would give to their former selves before teaching coding for the first time.Two Computing at School leaders agree on their key time-travel message. Lecturer Miles Berry suggests you should “Make more time for reading code” to improve understanding. ...

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National Coding Week: help! I don’t have the technology to teach programming!

Image courtesy of Bradley Dardis @BradleyDardisThe introduction of the computing curriculum has increased demand for scarce IT resources. What can you do if the kit isn’t sufficient? In the fourth of our #nationalcodeweek series, we ask if it’s possible to learn computer programming without computers.Many teachers are happy to teach algorithms...

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National Coding Week: when is the best time to move from blocks to text-based programming?

It’s day three of National Coding Week! Today focuses on when the best time is to move from blocks to text-based programming.The English curriculum for computing states that text-based programming should be tackled from age 11 but this isn’t a universal view. Ben Hall promotes early experiences with text-based languages, as Scratch doesn’t allow...

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National Coding Week: what are your go-to resources when teaching programming for the first time?

Welcome to the second in our series of #NationalCodingWeek blogs offering tips for teaching programming. Before launching into the ‘how’ of computer programming, it might be worth taking some time to explain ‘why’.Children are massive consumers of technology, rather than producers. This means they might miss the fact that everything a computer...

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What’s happening at UK Robotics Week 2017?

UK Robotics Week takes place between 24-30 June 2017 and is a week-long celebration of all things robotics.Now in its second year of running, the nationwide series of events demonstrates the latest technologies and research, and offers some fantastic competitions for schools to engage with robotics.We’ve been keeping an eye out for all the...

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Don’t crumble under the pressure: ideas for the Crumble microcontroller

I was after a microcontroller to allow me to make displays and projects come to life with light and movement.I needed one that would run itself after it’s unplugged from the laptop and above all else it had to be easy to use with no quirky jargon. The Crumble controller fitted the bill and, amazingly, it’s the most easy to use piece...

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Taming the Python

Python is the most popular ‘industrial strength’ programming language in UK schools. Beyond education it is widely used by data scientists and web application developers, and pops up everywhere as a scripting language.Its popularity has led to the development of lots of tools and add-ons, some of which are useful in schools. A couple of freebies...

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Five top games to make coding easier

By Steve Dale, Innovation Consultant, The Innovation Centre BradfordCoding or programming is the big new topic of the computing curriculum. Getting pupils to design and build computer games is a cool way to get pupils interested in programming!There are several free programs that can support your teaching and help to engage your pupils in coding.1...

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Hands-on programming with robots

In this, the first of a series on educational robot technologies, Computing and Technology Specialist Dave Gibbs discusses Lego systems for primary and secondary school learners.I have yet to find a child who doesn’t get excited upon hearing the word ‘Lego’, although I am told they do exist. For an educator, bringing out Lego often results in...

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Starting from scratch, a teacher’s musings on computing at primary school

At the weekend I Skyped a friend in Australia, listened to music on my phone and drove following the voice of a SatNav whilst my son played an interactive game on an iPad. My life, like the majority of people in the UK, is full of technology, yet why do I feel nervous when I think about planning computing lessons for a Year 4 class?With the...

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