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Computing at KS3

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by zoetopley, Jun 22, 2012.


  1. Myself and my
    department are in the process of moving completely away from traditional ICT
    and trying to base all our units of work on computing and digital media.
    In terms of the
    digital media side of it I am confident of the level to set the work at the
    correct level but what I was wondering is what sort of topics departments use
    for computing for years 7,8 and 9. For example are you teaching them
    programming languages and if so what and to what level?

    Also what sort of
    free programs are available? So far we are looking at scratch and kodu. I have
    also recently come across www.engine001.com but have yet to look further
    into it.


    Any help will be
    hugely appreciated!!

    [​IMG]

     

  2. Myself and my
    department are in the process of moving completely away from traditional ICT
    and trying to base all our units of work on computing and digital media.
    In terms of the
    digital media side of it I am confident of the level to set the work at the
    correct level but what I was wondering is what sort of topics departments use
    for computing for years 7,8 and 9. For example are you teaching them
    programming languages and if so what and to what level?

    Also what sort of
    free programs are available? So far we are looking at scratch and kodu. I have
    also recently come across www.engine001.com but have yet to look further
    into it.


    Any help will be
    hugely appreciated!!

    [​IMG]

     
  3. jweb2k

    jweb2k New commenter

    Why? Do all pupils know the skills taught in ICT or will they be handled elsewhere?
    Bit of ActionScript for us at Y9 (Scratch and Kodu Y7/Y8). It might fit well with your Digital Media side too
    Make games no coding sounds like the opposite of what you want to achieve!
     
  4. Computing isn't necessarily just programming - have you also thought about teaching them about components of a computer system and learn about processors etc? do you feel you could add in some logic and learn some basic binary and logic gates in Year 9? Also, you might want to look at the history of computers and see if that theme can be embedded anywhere. Don't completely get rid of ICT based skills. There is still a place for them alongside computing knowledge, I feel.
     
  5. BrianUK

    BrianUK New commenter

    What a sensible response. Totally agree. Those of us not working in grammar or independent schools must consider that ICT has some fantastic resources and lessons. Get rid of the **** and keep the good. Mix up the best of the IT and drop in the computing. We must keep the fun and fascination alive at KS3. It will work. This is the way forward IMO.
     
  6. I agree with all of this! At our school we try to have cross curricular ICT projects where possible. For example, representing data we included a Geography field trip. However ICT lessons should be taught by experts who can give them skills to transfer across their subjects.

    I would be interested to know project ideas for programming. So far we use Scratch in year 7 and there is a bit of a gap from there.
     
  7. Based upon introducing forms of programming over the last two years, I think the biggest lesson is spending a unit at least just on logic/sequencing. In order for the kids to be able to program and really understand what they are doing, you need to spend quite a bit of time just on computer logic and on sequencing instructions. When I have explained that beforehand, the kids have been more successful in programming.

    However, Computing isn't just programming. I have already mentioned logic, which is incredibly important. (Not just for computing, but it is something kids need to learn anyway.) I am introducing Web Design and Web Coding (so a bit more programming, but mainly the focus is on UI and on problem solving) and introducing cryptography, how a computer works and about the history of computer science.

    This is all along side the 'traditional' ICT topics that need to be covered as well as some multimedia topics. I have added the curriculum that I have planned to TES Resources.
     
  8. portandlemon

    portandlemon New commenter

    I heartily agree that Computing is not just programming and I am worried that some schools are just going to put in some token Scratch and Alice modules, for example, and think that can just tick some boxes. I firmly believe that there is a place for Computing knowledge and ICT based skills to work alongside each other at KS3 and then enable the pupils to decide which route they want to take at KS4.
    I do worry that groups like CAS are contributing to the "programming is the key" mentality. I have recently put together a 6 week unit of work to get pupils to learn about the inside of a computer and have lessons such as putting in the components back into a tower case and then lessons on what each components does. I asked the CAS group to help me with some attainment "I can" statements as their proposed Computing Curriculum mainly focused on programming ones... And not one person replied to me!
     
  9. CAS by no means is promoting computing as just programming. The vast majority of the discussion is talking about teaching computing theory, not teaching programming.
     
  10. portandlemon

    portandlemon New commenter

    Not the ones I've seen. If they are, why is it not more prominent in their proposed curriculum? Also, why didn't anyone reply to me as most emails get at least one or two replies.

    I don't want to bash CAS as I have been grateful for what they have achieved. It is just that I see Computing as more than just programming.
     
  11. I have no idea why no-one replied to you.

    I agree. Computing is more than programming. CAS agrees as well. This is taken from their proposed curriculum:

    4. Range and content: what a pupil should know ...................13

    4.1 Algorithms..........................................13

    4.2 Programs............................................14

    4.3 Data................................................16

    4.4 Computers...................................17

    4.5 Communication and the Internet .............................18

    4.6 Optional topics for advanced pupils ....................................19

    So that's 1 out of 5 clear topics.
     
  12. portandlemon

    portandlemon New commenter

    When I mean more than just programming, I also mean the theory associated with it; including algorithms, programs, communication (TCP/IP), Data (error checking) and simulation. When you scroll down to the section regarding what pupils should know, very little relates to the "computers" side of computing bar the "Computers" side which is very small. So when I asked about the additional topics (which directly relates to the new module I have put together, of which there is no guidance one what they should know) and received no reply, I was just worried that not much though had been put into that side of Computing, that's all.
     
  13. Did you post in the current Google Groups forum? Usually people respond, but there are times when there's a lot of stuff (noise) being posted and so it's easy to miss something relevant. It might be worth posting again. Incidentally, Teach-ICT has a 6-week unit looking at the internals of computers - link. Might be worth checking out.
     


  14. Personally, I would be happier if CAS did focus just on programming combined with the ICT I do now and more web-production stuff.



    There is a massive difference between the state school sector and the public school one which is made very obvious in this area. CAS's weltenschaun is a very grammar and public school based one.



    That means that it wants Computer Science as a SCIENCE with fascinating, relevant stuff like lots of binary arithmetic, Logic Gates, algorithms etc - the type of stuff that would get me killed in my crappy comprehensive school and would be seriously irrelevant to the kids.



    So they are promoting what you want - be happy



    Get yourself to one of their meetings to find out more - if Simon Humphreys is there, you'll get 'the speech' - perhaps that makes it more clear what they want than the proposed curriculum does.
     
  15. portandlemon

    portandlemon New commenter

    Thanks NJB!
    I did post to the current Google Groups forum AwakeDreamingUK so I could try again but have now already come up with my own attainment criteria but, thanks. I do know about the teach-ict.com unit but the content isn't what I needed help with-I've already devised my own unit with resources, homework etc: it was the form of assessment and attainment "I can" statements that I was interested in, as this sort of unit has not been done before as far as I know. I have already got a history of the working computer module much like the teach-ict unit, but i combine it with digitial media such as podcasting and always combine it with a trip to the computer museum at Bletchley. I am sorry as I didn't want this to be a CAS bashing and take over this worthwhile thread-my main original point was making sure that a lot of schools don't just think computing is about programming as most of the posts on here and CAS seem to be about how to use Scratch, Kodu, Gamemaker etc.
     
  16. I can see why some ICT departments are starting with that and they are a great free way of introducing concepts (as long as they do frame it around sequencing, loops, functions etc and not just making games), but I do agree that Computing is wider than that. For example, in my school looking at the insides of a computer and using a screw diver to take parts out has really interested some usually quite demanding classes. Combining this with useful ICT based skills such as creating a proper and meaningful presentation that a lot of careers will need (not the tripe I usually see) and I think you can get the best of both worlds.
     

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