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IT beyond the school

A collection of lessons exploring how IT is used in various non-school settings, a supermarket, a bank and a library.

Students role play what happens to tins of beans is a supermarket. How they are tracked using a list (database) and removed from the list when they are bought. How when the list is empty tins...

Lego building algorithm activity

In this adaptable lesson plan children create a simple model (out of Lego or similar) and then take photos to create instructions (an algorithm) for other children to recreate their model. By removing one block at a time they are decomposing the problem into manageable steps. Teachers may wish to split this lesson...

Guess the algorithm

A simple and easily adaptable idea to introduce how algorithms work by allowing students to work out algorithms by a guessing game without the use of a computer. The activity is based on function machines that are used in mathematics at primary school but the level of difficulty can be amplified depending on what...

Are computers clever?

This activity is designed to assess whether or not children understand that although computers can sometimes look clever, they do not actually display any intelligence. They are asked to compare a computer with a human and then describe how both the computer and the human cope with the unexpected.

Theresa...

Introduction to Algorithms

The algorithm song, sung to the tune of Frere Jacques, can be used to introduce the words algorithms and debug to key stage 1 children.

The ‘algorithm or advice’ PowerPoint is a mock quiz whereby children use their understanding of algorithms to state whether an image is an algorithm or just advice. Children...

Databases Unplugged

This series of activities is aimed at upper-primary school children and above, and is intended as an introduction to organising and storing data.

Kinaesthetic activities, paper-based and online tasks are used to support teaching of:

*Branching databases

*Fields and records

*Searching...

Designing and Building Software at Key Stage One

From the Nuffield Foundation, these activities allow children to work in teams to design and build a piece of interactive, multimedia presentation software for other children to enjoy and learn from. The teams produce one final product and test their design ideas on the target audience, which may be another class...

Let's Doodle

This workshop or lesson activity makes use of a 3-D printing pen, and covers many computational thinking concepts as well as practical and evaluative skills applicable to design and technology.

The teacher guide includes a range of ‘unplugged’ computing activities – no programming is involved. The...

Crazy Graphics

This workshop investigates how images are stored as data, and shows the difference that ‘bit depth’ makes to the quality of images and number of colours.

It begins by looking at paintings and how, using only paint, images were difficult to edit – however digital images are much easier. Pupils with access to...

Cryptography Workshop

This set of activities introduces children to cryptography techniques, showing how the use of computers can make encryption quicker and more effective. Some notable examples of the use of encryption in history are mentioned, leading to the use of calculation machines for code-making and code-breaking.

A...

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