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Coding Thread, Coding clubs in school in Coding and Web Development; I was wondering (just out of interest really) whether any of you hold coding clubs inside your school for kids ...
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    basicchannel's Avatar
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    Coding clubs in school

    I was wondering (just out of interest really) whether any of you hold coding clubs inside your school for kids to learn non-curriculum coding skills in a more relaxed environment.
    I thought it would be good to try and start up something at my school, perhaps as part of personal/professional development so I can take the time off usual work duties.
    I thought it would be great to focus on open source languages such as Arduino and Processing; languages that have a real creative element as well as an important introduction to the fundamentals of programming.

    Thanks for any feedback

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    At an easier level, we just started a Kodu club after school. Only in week 4 so couldn't give you a full report, but I would say that getting a teacher to help you with it will make a big difference over trying to run it on your own (or with another non-teacher). There is no substitute for having someone who actually knows how to teach and manage a class, even if they don't know how to program themselves.

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    basicchannel (22nd May 2012)

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    Quote Originally Posted by basicchannel View Post
    I thought it would be great to focus on open source languages such as Arduino and Processing; languages that have a real creative element as well as an important introduction to the fundamentals of programming.
    Processing is a great idea - it's very easy and quick to code up sketches with graphical output so students get an immediate feedback without having to write 100 lines of code just for window/canvass context handling. For Arduino, you will need additional hardware (it's not a language as such, it is a development environment for developing embedded applications - you download the code into a chip. I'd actually recommend PicAxe over Arduino for beginners in schools. It should work out cheaper and it's just a little bit easier to deal than Arduino.

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    basicchannel (22nd May 2012)

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    basicchannel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngryTechnician View Post
    At an easier level, we just started a Kodu club after school. Only in week 4 so couldn't give you a full report, but I would say that getting a teacher to help you with it will make a big difference over trying to run it on your own (or with another non-teacher). There is no substitute for having someone who actually knows how to teach and manage a class, even if they don't know how to program themselves.
    That's useful, thanks. I did consider doing it on my own as I couldn't think of a suitable teacher really. We have a great teacher of ICT here but he's leaving soon, and as for other teachers here that may be a tough one. I shall have to think long and hard about who might be suitable.


    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    Processing is a great idea - it's very easy and quick to code up sketches with graphical output so students get an immediate feedback without having to write 100 lines of code just for window/canvass context handling. For Arduino, you will need additional hardware (it's not a language as such, it is a development environment for developing embedded applications - you download the code into a chip. I'd actually recommend PicAxe over Arduino for beginners in schools. It should work out cheaper and it's just a little bit easier to deal than Arduino.
    Yeah, I messed around with Processing a while back and could see how it would be excellent for teaching, especially as you say with it's immediate feedback. Our school is also pretty arts and media focused, so it would tie in well with that too.
    I've heard of PicAxe so I'll have a look into that. Perhaps it's something I can get the D&T department involved with too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by basicchannel View Post
    We have a great teacher of ICT here but he's leaving soon, and as for other teachers here that may be a tough one. I shall have to think long and hard about who might be suitable.
    Our Geography teacher is helping with ours. Really you just need someone with a bit of interest and who can translate your explanation of a technical concept to the kids in a more engaging way. I've been told by staff I have a knack for explaining technical concepts, but watching this guy take what I say and almost immediately re-phrase it is actually quite impressive.

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