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IT News Thread, Coding - The new Latin in Other News; Originally Posted by sonofsanta The government response, as promised in the original article: Government focus on skills development EDIT: I ...
  1. #46


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    Quote Originally Posted by sonofsanta View Post
    The government response, as promised in the original article: Government focus on skills development


    EDIT: I do love how easy it is pointing out government hypocrisy.

    This being the same Ed Vaizey that shot down tax breaks for the UK videogame industry not so many months ago, despite the clear and obvious benefits it would bring economically and culturally.
    Interesting - basically govt says IT (computing) is very important, but not important enough to make it a national curriculum subject, or part of the EBac......

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    I'm supportive of the Raspberry Pi, and our HoD already wants a classload to teach some form of programming. I don't think it's necessarily the solution though, we've enough computers in school that we could easily run java/python/chosen language for programming. I'm not really sure what extra the Pi is going to give schools? To teach programming you only need a terminal, a text editor and a teacher.
    I think part of it is abstracting the subject slightly from the usual 'this is a computer' world they're used to. Presenting a kid with a board like the Raspberry Pi will not be like sitting them at a desktop computer in a suite. Also, the board has a bunch of GPIO pins, which could be used for external peripheral control (eg. switching lights on and off etc...), meaning it could be tied in with subjects like electronics or pneumatics (is that even taught in schools any more?).

    To me, it'd be about breaking down the artificially constructed walls of 'IT'.

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    X-13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    electronics or pneumatics (is that even taught in schools any more?).
    Electronics, yes. Pneumatics, no.

    Source: I did Electronics at GCSE. [And missed out on an easy A* because I'm lazy...]

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by X-13 View Post
    Electronics, yes. Pneumatics, no.

    Source: I did Electronics at GCSE. [And missed out on an easy A* because I'm lazy...]
    Ah, I was referring just to pneumatics... My dad is an electronics teacher.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Also, the board has a bunch of GPIO pins, which could be used for external peripheral control (eg. switching lights on and off etc...),
    ... like a serial/USB


    I do see your point though. I'm working with some students on an after school project building a RepRap which uses an Arduino. It's not finished yet, but I know some of them don't get the concept that the Arduino is a computer.

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    X-13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Ah, I was referring just to pneumatics... My dad is an electronics teacher.
    Woops... Time for more coffee, I think.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    we've enough computers in school that we could easily run java/python/chosen language for programming. I'm not really sure what extra the Pi is going to give schools?
    I think the Raspberry Pi has the potential to provide a kick-start to the development of new curriculum materials and a supporting development toolset. You're right, though, there's no real reason such a toolset should be limited just to the Raspberry Pi. The Raspberry Pi itself might be suited for in-school robotics and other physical interfacing projects, and at 25 or so if your fry one it's not a disaster. Lots of schools (the ones who's IT staff aren't on EduGeek, obviously) have rather limited outlooks on what can be done on / plugged in to their network machines, with the fear that something will "break" if you try and run an executable program you've compiled. Raspberry Pis are separate machines, and can be used as doesn't-matter-if-it-breaks programming environments for the nervous.

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    I see that the govt have backed calls for the recent modernisation of It teaching in schools: BBC News - Government backs call for classroom coding

    The teaching of computer science must become more relevant to modern needs, said the government.
    The government said the current teaching of IT was "insufficiently rigorous and in need of reform".
    The call for change came in a response to an industry report which looked at technology teaching in the UK.
    Without reform future UK workers would lack key skills and the nation would lose its standing as a video games and visual arts hub, said the report.
    Looks like things are about to get interesting again

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    You can find the areas being addressed by the UK govt on this document here: http://www.dcms.gov.uk/images/public...en_Cm-8226.pdf
    Lots of interesting points
    Last edited by Dos_Box; 29th November 2011 at 02:14 PM.

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    There is only one contender as starter language and that is Scratch

    You might only be learning it for a short time (depending on what age its introduced at) but you won't get any syntax errors

    I would then move onto any language that doesn't need a void main() line in order to work

    And then you can start doing your OO,metamorethick etc thingies

    Si

    PS Really looking forward to the Rasberry PI comign out

  11. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by SimpleSi View Post
    There is only one contender as starter language and that is Scratch
    I like Scratch - in fact as part of an OU course I'm on at the moment I'm using a version of it coupled with a version of an Arduino board; Sense and the SenseBaord respectively, AFAIK only people currently on the course have access right now; that could actually be a very good way to teach kids basic programming...

  12. #57

    sonofsanta's Avatar
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    Been talking with my head of IT here again and he's found out that Scratch has a grown up older brother - Squeak

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    when i did my o level in computer science, i had to learn basic, i could also hold my own in pascal and fortran. they should bring in an IT course that isnt a web page creation course. There should be a course for the more technical minded students that want to know how to code, and know why and how a pc works.

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