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Best way to teach coding, robotics and IT to ages 8-14? [Curriculum, tools]

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by matthew47, Jul 21, 2019.

?

What tools do you use?

  1. Scratch

    2 vote(s)
    40.0%
  2. Code.org

    3 vote(s)
    60.0%
  3. CodeHS

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Code Monkey

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Khan Academy

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. Code Combat

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. Tynker

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. Thimble

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  9. My own resource

    3 vote(s)
    60.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. matthew47

    matthew47 New commenter

    I'm looking to set up an entire 4 year curriculum for ages 8-14 years old, covering coding, robotics and IT.
    • I have been given 1 hour / week.
    • I am looking for curriculum documents (from any country / service) [i.e. Keystage 2, Grade 4-7]
    • I am looking for tools (paid and free)
    I am interested if anyone has done this, is there a map on how to teach? There are so so many tools, and resources, but there seems a lack of direction? Looking for direction.

    (Any suggestions to add to poll?)

    Many thanks in advance.
    Matthew
     
    annabelle35 likes this.
  2. moscowbore

    moscowbore Lead commenter

    Y8 I used Flowol to teach flowcharts, scratch as an introduction to algorithms, Small Basic as an intro to text based coding.
    Y9 Continued with Small Basic, students developed a simple guessing a number game then a simple version of Battleships. Introduced LEGO Mindstorms using the scratch-like Lego software. Eventually used Simple Basic plus a plugin to program the robots.
    Students love it.
     
    matthew47 likes this.
  3. madcat

    madcat Occasional commenter

    Would have to agree with moscowbore.
    For this age range the Flowol, Scratch, LOGO, Small BASIC, sprinkling of LEGO robots route covers more than enough ground. Providing a opportunities for lots of interesting and, dare I say it, fun lessons.

    Make good use of the resources that come with each. Supplemented if needs be by free (and only FREE) resources from here

    Forget about all of the Code.org, CodeHS. Code Monkey, Khan Academy etc stuff

    ...and before the usual suspects arrive. Leave Python in its little basket. It is a waste of time and energy at this stage
     
    annabelle35 and matthew47 like this.
  4. madcat

    madcat Occasional commenter

    Sorry , meant to add . If the LEGO is too expensive look at BBC microbit buggys and similar
     
    matthew47 likes this.
  5. matthew47

    matthew47 New commenter

    Thank you @moscowbore and @madcat - great feedback.

    As much as I want to go the Flowol, Scratch and Lego route I am concerned as I don't have a "curriculum" or much of a plan. What I like about something like CodeHS is that is eventual real coding which I want to give my students a taste of.

    Battling with the balance of fun/engaging vs. relevant/challenging.

    Yes agreed with the Python comment! Do you follow any blogs/newsletters besides Tes to keep up to date?
     
  6. madcat

    madcat Occasional commenter

    matthew47 likes this.
  7. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    I'll disagree and say that I think it's important to create your own scheme of work, otherwise you'll never really know where you're going with the individual lessons and how they fit together. I think the key steps are:

    1. Decide what you think Computing is, and what you think it would look like if you were good at it.

    2. Make a list of the topics that you need to learn to get to that point, and create some sort of critical path or logical flow through them. I started with the representation of data, for example.
     
    SarahStone7303 and matthew47 like this.
  8. moscowbore

    moscowbore Lead commenter

    Why not create your own scheme of work?
     
  9. matthew47

    matthew47 New commenter

    Yes, that is exactly what I am going to do thank you @moscowbore, I love the representation of data @JaquesJaquesLiverot !! Please let me know if you have any other recommendations in that regard. I love the way of thinking where you need to decide first what the ideal outcome is, and then work towards that.
     
  10. SarahStone7303

    SarahStone7303 New commenter

    Hi @JaquesJaquesLiverot I just wanted to say thank you for SUCH a useful answer!

    I'm just about to start my QTS and PGCE year, so a total newbie, and this is exactly what I needed to get my head round it all.
     
    matthew47 likes this.
  11. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    Where are you doing you PGCE?

    I've put a year of KS3 lessons on my website, if you're interested, along with a fuller set of unlinked resources.
     
    matthew47 likes this.
  12. SarahStone7303

    SarahStone7303 New commenter

    Hi thanks for getting back to me so quickly!

    I live in Hastings, East Sussex, but will be commuting, most likely, to New Romney and then Crowborough for my two placements, both about an hours drive away.

    I'm currently half way through my 8 week ske.

    Those resources are just amazing! That's so generous of you to share so much hard work! I've had a quick look through but will look in more depth at the end of the course.
     
  13. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    Thanks - there are also videos on programming, etc., on my YouTube channel (I only added the adverts this week as an experiment to see how much I'd generate - I'm going to remove them before September, once I've confirmed that they're not worth the irritation).

    I asked about your location in case I bump into you at Warwick - I occasionally do the odd thing with their PGCE students.
     
    matthew47 likes this.
  14. matthew47

    matthew47 New commenter

    Thank you for that @JaquesJaquesLiverot that is brilliant! Subbed!! You should keep them, deserve it, there's a lot of effort there!

    Do you do anything with making websites? I.e. Wordpress or HTML & CSS?
     
  15. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

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