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Half hour GCSE Computing taster, simple but needs impact

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by ictLad, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. ictLad

    ictLad New commenter


    Our year 9's are about to make their GCSE option choices and I am going to put on some taster sessions. However I only have 40mins to put something on and want to do a lesson on coding which is simple but has impact. I am quite happy to partially write some code which then has to be completed by the students, but being as I will have to impart some theory prior to them starting to code there probably won't be more than half an hour of coding at most to compelete the task.

    I am proficient in JavaScript, VB and PHP and competent in Python. However I am really struggling to come up with something which is simple and will allow pupils to have fun whilst being able to see the power of coding. I have asked a similar question on here before but aimed at A Level pupils and people were kind enough to impart some ideas. I am hoping therefore that once there will be some good ideas that people will be willing to share. I was thinking of making a simple maths based game in JavaScript but for some reason that seems quite boring to me.
  2. DEmsley

    DEmsley New commenter

  3. Hi
    Given that you only have 40 mins, maybe Javascript would be best. The students can then go and try out coding themselves at home. They are almost certain to have access to a text editor and a browser to try their code out. They're unlikely to have access to a PHP server or more complicated environments.
    If they've no experience at all, then you can spend the 40 mins just getting them to make input boxes and outputs to screen. Maybe some "if/else" on the strings. Lots of scope for them having a laugh and thus getting hooked.
  4. Or, have a look at this site: www.smallbasic.com
    For 40 mins, you can introduce them to SmallBasic (for free, I'd give them the program on memory sticks or DVDs if you have them) and use the fun but informative tutorials on this site:
  5. There's the codeacademy tutorials, although I wouldn't want to spend the whole 40 minutes on that. There's also this wonderful A Level taster which would introduce some of the topics in a straightforward manner: click here to go to the ridiculously long URL

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