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Next step after scratch?

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by apmcarthur, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. I've started introducing scratch to my year 7s... Has anyone any suggestions as to what they should move onto next? What would be a suitable programming language after scratch?
  2. howie1000

    howie1000 New commenter

    Surely there's plenty of scope in Scratch?

    You could spend weeks AS A MINIMUM exhausting what's on offer in that language and making the kids REALLY understand what they are doing with it.

    What's the hurry?
  3. You can progress to Alice, Game Maker, Kodu, Code Academy, Small Basic, Flash, VBA, HTML (essential!)... So many to choose from. Scratch is so highly complex behind the simple appearance so don't dismiss it too early.
  4. Have you considered BYOB? It's built on Scratch, so it might be a logical path to take with your more advanced KS4 students once they have mastered Scratch at KS3.

    Otherwise, another factor to consider would be what they will be learning at KS5, and which language would best bridge the gap between what they can do with Scratch, and what they will be expected to do at A Level/IBDP. In that context something like Greenfoot could be a useful introduction to Java.
  5. Are you teaching scratch or are you teaching programming, solving problems, logic and so on. This in my opinion is everything that is wrong with ICT - people teach the thing not the concepts.

    Scratch can work all the way up to A level. My year 12s were programming bubble sorts in scratch the other day to get it running quickly but I wasn't teaching them scratch, I was teaching sorting algorithms. Scratch ie even used at some ivy league colleges.

    Get them good at problem solving first then move on and my experience of most year 8s is they find this very very difficult. Take it slow!
  6. I've done ActionScript in Flash with students in Year 7+ and it's based on Java syntax so there is a real point to learning the constructs. Also you can start of programming it linearly with functions and move onto objects and classes later if you like.
    I've put up the first 3 tutorials in my resources section. 4 and 5 should be added today too!
  7. Hear, hear.
  8. djphillips1408

    djphillips1408 New commenter

    I guess the key question is really what have you done with scratch so far?
  9. This is exposing why ICT teaching is being slated. It seems 9/10 people teaching the subject don't understand it. ;~)

    As far as scratch goes we do a term of scratch in y7 and a term of HTML / dreamweaver and in year 8 a term of Gamemaker and a term of Flash action script / HTML/javascript /

    I do however feel that the topics divide the class into 2 halves.
  10. Sorry 9/10 was a bit harsh. Its just that I have run into so many "ICT" teachers, Ofsted inspectors and "advisors" who have little understanding of the subject. Most "advisors" I have met seem to be the career types who were desperate to get out of the class room and often seek to rise higher with disastrous consequences.

    After many years teaching I finally met a chap from the SSAT a few weeks ago who was a breath of fresh air and left me feeling like I actually left the meeting wiser and better equipped to do my job.

    Clearly some of the forum contributors are of a high calibre and hopefully these people have helped the thousands that read these pages. I wonder if Mr Gove ever read the TES?

    BTW . what happened to the "edit" button on these posts? It has disappeared!

    Oops , its back????
  11. dogpile

    dogpile New commenter

    There's a huge range of options to try something different each year. I'd echo the fact that programming isn't for everyone just as dtP leaves some kids wishing it would end. I suspect some of the evangelists are ignoring kids who don get it so having something different each year at least initially involves them. I have used scratch over ks3 but found even able kids bored second time around if they didn't click first time. We are in a golden age with so much to choose from and it's free.
  12. This is so true. However in my opinion the target programming languages, certainly at KS3/4, should be a subset of the programming languages used in industry - Java,VB, VB.Net ASP, ASP.Net, PHP, Html, C, C++, C#, Python, XML etc. There is absolutly no reason not to use these languages and there are lots of free programming tools available.
    Additionally, there should be greater emphasis on analysis and design than it seems is being considered. It certainly not foremost in the OCR GCSE specification. Again, there are many free modelling tools available - StarUML is one I quite like.
    Computing is not just about programming, there are a variety of roles in software development that do not require programming abilities to be foremost in the skill set; business and systems analysts, architects, software engineers, testers, programme manages, QA managers, technical authors. Focusing only on programming therefore is extremely short-sighted in my opinion.
  13. I'd like to but I doubt you have you tried to do this with a class of 30+ school children in a mixed comprehensive.

    I have dabbled with all of the above and you cannot get far with most groups below KS5.

  14. This highlights the grammar school / public school vs Comprehensive divide.

    I wish those on the grammar school / public school side would get that.
  15. That's another story.... I actually like the grammar school system but only if more money is pumped into making the secondary system truly vocational.
  16. I'm not criticising the system.

    I'm just pointing out that ones experience as a grammar school teacher is very different to that in a sink school.

    Maybe we should have different forums.

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