Teaching and learning to code can be a daunting prospect for many, and transitioning from block coding to text-based coding can often be a barrier to learning coding languages like Python. Python in Pieces aims to bridge that gap and has been designed to seamlessly transition students from block code, commonly used at Primary school, to the text-based coding that is required at Secondary school level and beyond.
What educators and employers alike have learned from lockdown is that you can underestimate how productive people can be when working or studying from home. With a comfortable workspace, the right tools, and a clear goal in mind, people are capable of accomplishing just as much without a physical place of work. When things were normal, distractions were inevitable, whether it’s the sound of heavy traffic outside the window, or taking a tense daily commute to work. And I say that at home right now while listening to construction work outside my window. Although a little background noise can help to restore that sense of normality we’ve lost, right?
Teacher Emma Williams, Wyedean school’s Assistant Principal Academic, has seen female pupils embrace technology through computer projects that have included creative use of the BBC micro:bit. She explains why this has resulted in an impressive increase in the number of female pupils choosing GCSE computer science and considering tech as a future career.
If you’re not sure what E.a.R.L is, E.a.R.L is Hope Education’s very special, own-developed coding robot… and he’s landed on earth to support your computing curriculum. He knows his purpose and he wants to help! Oh, and he’s really cool to look at, which obviously means the children will love him!
Whilst we know that the skills associated with computational thinking are vital for today’s children to flourish in the 21st Century workplace, the practicalities of teaching coding during school hours can sometimes be perceived as a challenge. There is often a misconception that incorporating workshops and lessons that will instill the important skills associated with computational thinking will take a lot of work. But, with simple techniques, we know how easy this can actually be! Here are my top tips for breaking down barriers to coding and setting your pupils up with life-long skills.
During the course of the last few years, STEM fields have slowly moved towards the apex of academic desirability. Even employers not working directly within these areas highly value the skills associated with STEM, with 62% prizing programming skills and 71% valuing problem solving. This means that, for both today’s students and their teachers, there is a real onus when it comes to the acquisition of STEM. But how do you make these traditionally thorny subjects accessible to all pupils? How do you entice the reluctant scholar into the educational territory that they may once have been able to avoid?
Although the new Computing curriculum was transformed to become more relevant to 21st century students, learning to code and create on the web is still generally perceived as being ‘difficult’ and ‘dull’. It’s considered to be more appealing to students who are better at Maths and Science, and not those with an interest in languages and the arts.