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General Chat Thread, The Michael Gove BETT Speech in General; @ Garacesh Scratch does include loops and if statements in a nice graphical interface which children and even some of ...
  1. #61

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    @Garacesh Scratch does include loops and if statements in a nice graphical interface which children and even some of the teachers can understand. One of our year 3 classes (with some guidance) managed to create their own Ghost shooter games within a few ICT lessons. We have found this a very useful tool with our KS2 children.

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    Garacesh (23rd January 2014)

  3. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garacesh View Post
    I've not looked at Scratch, but realistically unless it employs IF/ELSEIF/ELSE and some form of conditional WHILE/LOOP then I can't see it being more than a glorified powerpoint. But like I say, I've not played with it. I know our IT suits have it, though.
    Yes, Scratch has this. It's like a drag-and-drop RDA, you can build blocks of code. It has if/then/else and while/loop commands, triggers, variables. Worth a look at their site if you're interested in programming for kids.

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    Garacesh (23rd January 2014)

  5. #63

    LosOjos's Avatar
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    Actually, the intro course to the degree I'm studying would make for an excellent KS4 curriculum I think:

    TU100 - My digital life - Open University Course

    BTW - Sense is a modified version of Scratch which adds functions for interacting with the SenseBoard, a simple Arduino-esque board with various sensors attached. It's also possible to interact with the board via serial *shameless-self-promotion* http://www.geekjosh.co.uk/blog/sense...g-talk-python/
    Last edited by LosOjos; 23rd January 2014 at 03:29 PM.

  6. #64

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    See, this is good, because while you've got this:

    "Sense – a completely new approach to computing deserves to be taught in a completely new manner. Almost from the very beginning, you’ll be running, designing and writing computer programs. You will be using the specially designed language – Sense – so called because it can be used to sense the world.

    Unlike other computer languages you may have seen or used, Sense doesn’t rely on cryptic text commands; instead you assemble Sense programs using graphical blocks. Creating a Sense program can be as simple as clicking two blocks together and pressing the Run button!

    You’ll begin your work in Sense by following the first of many guided activities accompanied by text and video instructions. Soon you’ll be modifying existing programs and writing completely new ones of your own."

    ... you've also got this:

    "My digital life isn’t just about reading. It’s about doing things and learning as you do them. Just some of the things you will do are:
    •use a wide range of online services to create and share documents, spreadsheets and web pages
    •create and combine images with a soundtrack to produce short audiovisual presentations
    •learn how the technologies underpinning these activities work as you use them
    •experience the benefits and limitations of a digital lifestyle and what the future might hold
    •see how the internet makes your physical location less relevant in performing many tasks
    •understand the significance of an increasing number of devices that know and respond to your location.

    During the course of learning about these things you will address topics as diverse as:
    •the ownership of data
    •how the World Wide Web works
    •the privacy and security of personal data
    •online identity in virtual worlds
    •how online businesses survive (or not)
    •and many more aspects of living in the digital world of today."

    Nice and balanced - unlike the potential skewing we're seeing reported on the topic at hand...
    Last edited by Ephelyon; 23rd January 2014 at 03:15 PM.

  7. #65

    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ephelyon View Post
    On a different note, considering this is a debate I've had over on TES as well, what do we think about languages? The general feeling over there from the teachers seemed to be that Python ought to be sufficient to satisfy the demands of the new curriculum, which I'd agree with.

    Anyone else? Should we need things like C++ for example?
    Isn't there some odd-ball requirement about being able to code in 2 languages before starting high school? Are Scratch or Logo (turtle graphics) considered "languages" by the DfE? (I do).

    Personally I'd say HTML with a bit of Javascript and maybe PHP on the side would be good. Pascal. Cobol. Basic. Whatever the teacher feels comfortable with (Scratch and Flowol then ).

  8. #66

    Ephelyon's Avatar
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    With the list you've given there, I guess it depends whether you want to open with web apps or not. I can see that going either way.

  9. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ephelyon View Post
    Nice and balanced - unlike the potential skewing we're seeing reported on the topic at hand...
    I totally agree but I am under the impression that the former is what will become the computing lessons, with the latter being absorbed in to other subjects so across the curriculum students do get to learn all these things, it's just that they're not going to try to teach it all in an hour a week!

    One of the major problems with this whole proposal is Gove - just like every other issue he sticks his nose in to, it's unclear, changes like the weather and nobody (himself included) seems to know what the hell he's getting at.

    I hope that those actually responsible for designing the curriculum, however, are going to do things properly.

  10. #68

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    Anyone else of my age learn to code on a BBC Micro?

    10 PRINT "You smell"
    20 GOTO 10


    Well, I was only 8

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    difinity (23rd January 2014)

  12. #69

    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ICTLady View Post
    10 PRINT "You smell"
    20 GOTO 10

    Oh please, add a little colour -

    Code:
     
    10 for x=1 to 15
    20 colour x
    30 print "you smell! ";
    40 next x
    50 goto 10
    If I remember rightly one of the "colours" flashes, which was a nice surprise as your messaged scrolled up the screen


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    difinity (23rd January 2014)

  14. #70


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    Quote Originally Posted by ICTLady View Post
    Anyone else of my age learn to code on a BBC Micro?

    10 PRINT "You smell"
    20 GOTO 10


    Well, I was only 8
    GOTO's.. Release the raptors!

  15. #71
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    I like Gove because he upsets teachers.

    But then he's the Education Secretary, they all have done. My ex used to moan about Blunkett, Ruth Kelly and all the others.

  16. #72

    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garacesh View Post
    GOTO's.. Release the raptors!
    Code:
    10 let x=1
    10 repeat
    20 gosub 100
    30 until x=0
    100 for x=1 to 15
    110 colour x
    120 print "you smell! ";
    130 next x
    140 return
    Better?

  17. #73

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    Quote Originally Posted by LosOjos View Post
    I hope that those actually responsible for designing the curriculum, however, are going to do things properly.
    @tmcd35, would what you've read on the new curriculum (linky?) seem to support that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tekins View Post
    Agreed, I find coding very boring, it used to be my job, but I couldn't see myself doing it for years and years. Forgotten most of it now, but know enough to work out someone elses code if required.
    When I first got into Operations (1970) I lusted after getting into Programming. Then I transferred from Ops where I worked to Programming and after 9 months, I was begging to go back to Ops. Amending, updating, someone else's COBOL code was so full of disillusionment, I think it was one of the first big disappointments of my life. I preferred Assembler but there were no system programming jobs going. The 9-5 work day instead of three-shift work was good, but the work was stultifyingly dull. I settled for Ops and Tech Support and never looked for another programming job.

  19. #75

    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ephelyon View Post
    @tmcd35, would what you've read on the new curriculum (linky?) seem to support that?
    I'm pretty sure this was it (haven't re-read): https://www.gov.uk/government/public...ammes-of-study

    And, no, as I said above, although it does mention other areas, it looks far too coding focused to my eyes. There seems to be a myth that teaching coding will teach how computer work, and this panders to that myth.

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