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ICT signposting needed for a noob

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by shavenhobo, May 4, 2019.

  1. shavenhobo

    shavenhobo New commenter

    Hi all,

    In a nutshell I have been a teacher for 11years with a focus on art, graphics,media and more recently DT. I will soon embark on an ICT/Computing role and I’m looking at the best way to approach this.

    I have an ICT diploma from many years ago and I’m pretty fluent in most of the Adobe suite so I’m feeling confident in most areas however for om what I can see the areas I will probably trip up on are:

    Teaching 2 programming languages to solve computational problems.

    Some of the theory.

    I am currently revisiting html and CSS whilst also working through some basic Python.

    I was just wondering how other teachers approached the 2 programming languages.

    What do you use?
    How difficult should the computational problem be?
    Is html sufficient as a text based languages in the eyes of the curriculum gods or should my problems be input/mathematical?

    Any help gratefully appreciated
  2. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    If you were asked to teach Mandarin would you give that a go too?
    binaryhex likes this.
  3. shavenhobo

    shavenhobo New commenter

    No because I have no experience of Mandarin. What a pointless comment, so helpful. I’ve built websites before. Wind your neck in.
    SundaeTrifle likes this.
  4. tjra

    tjra Occasional commenter

    Stick with the Python as it's the language most schools use and it's a good one to learn as there are lots of resources around to help.

    If you want a second language and are proficient in HTML/CSS, you could look at Javascript as it works well with those two. Alternatively Small Basic is a nice one to use to introduce students to text based programming.
    ICTgeek and shavenhobo like this.
  5. shavenhobo

    shavenhobo New commenter

    Thank you. Extremely helpful. I shall investigate small Basic .
  6. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    Yes, you are correct. Building websites is just the same as teaching programming.
  7. shavenhobo

    shavenhobo New commenter

    But that’s not what I was saying was it. Computer programming can be learned like anything apart from manners apparently. I hope you don’t treat students this way.
  8. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    I agree that anything can be learned. My point is that you should not be teaching the thing you are learning while you are learning it.
    I see this exact scenario on here almost weekly. People teaching a subject they have little or no knowledge of. This inevitably leads to disengaged students, poor results and CS being rapidly removed from schools.
    Schools will always go for the cheapest alternative which is usually to not employ someone who is actually qualified to teach CS.
    theworm123 likes this.
  9. shavenhobo

    shavenhobo New commenter

    But something you seemed to overlook straight away is the fact that I had done some programming as part of my Diploma many years ago. I’m a great teacher and have had great success in both My own subjects and more recently DT and Media more success in fact than those trained in those subjects. You seemed to also overlook that the Media course I delivered previously was interactive Media which covers a huge chunk of the ICT/Computing NC. I have very engaged students and when I show them how they can apply and program the graphic imagery they made in photoshop to functioning code in Scratch to make a functioning video game it blew their mind.

    All I simply asked for was a little direction as obviously I’m out of my comfort zone. Computing won’t be my whole timetable but part of it as schools seem to be short of ICT teachers. I can’t say I’m over the moon about taking it on and spend my summer learning and preparing for next year already but that’s what dedicated teachers do. It would seem when ICT turned into Computing/CS it left a bit of a skills/knowledge gap where many ICT Staff has very little programming experience many of those staff had to train or leave. Anything difficult is worth doing and their are enough resources out there to make this so.
  10. ICTgeek

    ICTgeek New commenter

    What level will you be teaching? If it's GCSE I'd recommend Craig and Dave videos on YouTube to help you start getting your head around the theory.
    Small Basic is fantastic for Key Stage 3 and Microsoft have provided a great scheme of work for teachers to get into it.
    For Python check out https://snakify.org/ it will give you a starting point.
    I think the key thing is talking to whoever is in charge or ICT/CS and seeing what they need from you. It's a bit of a rabbit hole to fall down.
    I've known lots of DT teachers take one or two lessons a week and then develop into very good GCSE teachers, with a lot of hard work their end.
    Don't worry about the gatekeepers, we've got a massive shortage of CS teachers so anyone willing to try and learn is welcome in my eyes. :)
    SundaeTrifle likes this.
  11. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    Most experienced people on here will be teaching things that they weww not trained in at university or teacher training. A good third of our A Level material was being discovered or had yet to be discovered when I was at university. Literature teachers teach new set books. Historians teach periods they haven't studied. I know one physics teacher, with no physics qualifications even at GCSE, who produced a stunning range of As at A Level by keeping a chapter ahead of the class. (To be fair, he had a Maths First from Cambridge)
    border_walker and ICTgeek like this.
  12. clickschool

    clickschool New commenter

    Khanacademy has a great intro course for HTML and another for JavaScript. Students generally find the latter more engaging owing to the code producing animated graphics. It also lends itself slightly better to GCSE courses where there is no requirement to learn HTML but to master foundation programming concepts. Students can make independent progress. Just check with your GDPR officer if you intend for students to use it.

    It sounds like you have a wealth of excellent knowledge you can incorporate into many varied activities. Students are fortunate to have you. Hope it goes well for you.
  13. dalersmith

    dalersmith Occasional commenter

    As for learning Python, anything from the Invent with Python range of books, my students loved linking Python programming to the subject of encryption and security issues such as brute force attacks. I also use "How to think like a computer Scientist: Learning with Python 3" as a classroom resource, there is an interactive version of the book where students can try out code, although I do not let my students use that. I have used How to think since I completed my computing degree it is a great resource and my students like it also. If you have HTML/CSS experience javascript shouldn't be a massive issue either.
  14. border_walker

    border_walker Lead commenter

    It is a good one to start students with - I liked the Logo type bits.
  15. madcat

    madcat Occasional commenter

    border_walker likes this.

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