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General Chat Thread, Question regarding the new Computing curriculum. in General; I've been tasked since I'm the schools IT Technician at looking at what we are going to need in regards ...
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    Anothername's Avatar
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    Question regarding the new Computing curriculum.

    I've been tasked since I'm the schools IT Technician at looking at what we are going to need in regards to software and hardware to meet the new computing curriculum. So far as this is a KS1/KS2 school, I've been looking at Scratch, and Kodu, along with Bee-Bots, and Pro-bots for some of the basic programming, which seems fine, but am curious as to what everyone else is going to be using....Also in Year 6 the new curriculum seems to have the pupils creating programs, or Apps. This is where I'm really stuck trying to find what to use for the pupils to create programs with. Most PC programming programs like Microsoft Visual Basic I look at are not really child friendly for the child to be able to create there own program. We basically only have workstations running XP/7, and not Macs. We have about 7 iPads, but from my understanding, you need Macs in order to create apps for them, and a developer licence from Apple to be able to install the app on the iPad(forgive my ignorance if I'm wrong). I was wondering if Android might be more the way to go as you can build the App on the PC, and then just install it to the Android tablet? It seems this new curriculum see's tablets as the future, and our ICT Coordinator is unsure of Android (I have my own android tablet) as it may not last or be a passing fad unlike Apple.....I suppose I remember the good old days of 'BASIC' for programming, and the early days of DOS.

    So I'm just really wondering what everyone else is going to be using for the Year 6 pupils creating there own programs?

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    Quackers's Avatar
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    Game salad seems to be able to make games for both Android and iOS and it runs on both Windows and Mac OS. Game Design Engine, Make Games for iPhone & Android - GameSalad

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    Project Spark seems to be making itself apparent recently, might be worth looking into that?

    True, you need a Mac for iOS development ... mainly to test/distribute apps to devices.

    I think Android development might be too much for 'kids' (I've only had a short play with making Android apps), although there used to be a interactive WYSIWYG drag'n'drop interface produced by Google, where you could drop code 'blocks' together to produce an app. It could also distribute to the device.
    Android is probably the only platform that doesn't require a developer licence (paid) to distribute app, but I could be wrong there.

    I wouldn't say Android is a passing fad, it appears to be the most activated smartphone OS in the world (could be wrong :P), and it seems that Android is getting more and more into everyday devices ... Android Wear having just been announced for wearables.

    Teaching the ways of BASIC would probably help a lot with understanding how apps work, but I think its the lure of pretty graphics and making games that has stopped/slowed that way of teaching

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    Small Basic is the way to go. It's a simplified version of Microsoft's programming language Visual Basic, suitable for kids and beginners. It can be downloaded from here: Microsoft Small Basic as an exe or an msi for free. It requires .NET Framework 3 to be installed before it will run but apart from that it installs very quickly and runs like a dream.

    We have used it extensively with Y6 pupils as a way of introducing them to programming, and while it is more challenging than software with a drag and drop interface such as Scratch the pupils enjoy using it

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    I think a lot of the ks1 & ks2 programming stuff can be covered with beebots, scratch (a browser based version also exists - snap) and possibly python.

    The 'make an app' stuff ignores the fact that creating a graphical touch based program, cross compiling it and getting it onto a device is non-trivial to say the least. Doing it in a way that staff can teach & kids understand even more so - I'd be surprised to see a solution which a) works b) deploys easily on a windows network to run-of-the-mill hardware and c) doesn't cost £££.

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    I've been running a tech club for a few months now. I've been using code.org as an introduction, then moving to scratch to allow them to be more creative. I plan todo a bit of web technologies html/css/javascript (w3schools) and then probably move on to greenfoot or bluej. Im also considering a step of something like codeacademy, as the jump from GUI programing to writing code may be too difficult.

    I'll also be looking into Alice.
    Last edited by mikeyd101; 15th May 2014 at 05:07 PM.

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    We have been looking at espresso coding. It costs but it does cover most of the new stuff required. Only thing i can see as a problem is that it is web based. It also has lesson plans for teachers and now has a debugging lesson were they have to see the error in the code. Each lesson has a video for them to watch also to show what needs doing in the lesson. I think it is still free to sign up until october so you can give it a trial.

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    Galway's Avatar
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    While this idea seams fine, im wondering if you have an ICT department, Head of ICT or any ICT teachers? Are you going to be telling them what you have decided they are to use or what?. Seams strange you have been tasked with this... unless this was told to you by the people mentioned, in which case it all makes perfect sense.

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    Take a look at Front Page | Explore MIT App Inventor for android app development with a user friendly GUI and android emulator (bit outdated tho) we use it with out KS3 along with scratch. Beyond that its moving onto python

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