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OCR GCSE Computing 2012 - HELP!!

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by ie14, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. Hi,
    I am putting together a SOW for the new course.
    Does anyone have any SoWs/resources that they are willing to share?
    Need all the help that I can get - it's a hell of a task.
    If anyone can help, please email me on ie14@hotmail.co.uk
  2. Hi,
    I am putting together a SOW for the new course.
    Does anyone have any SoWs/resources that they are willing to share?
    Need all the help that I can get - it's a hell of a task.
    If anyone can help, please email me on ie14@hotmail.co.uk
  3. PurbeckMike

    PurbeckMike New commenter

    I am in much the same position. Going with the OCR GCSE.
    Any resources or SOW's would be hugely appreciated.
    Many thanks
  4. I have to say I am amazed at the amount of teachers on here pleading for resources and SOW for computing. I have a scary feeling there are a lot of teachers out there who have never coded or learned any CS before who are delivering the course. I know this probably isn't the right topic to post this in but it really surprises me. I also thought that as a teacher most people are good at developing resources or maybe we have all been "spoiled" with OCR nationals tasks and DIDA to think up stuff for ourselves.
    I'm afraid I can't offer any OCR specific guidance however having taught A level for ages I am happy to give you some ideas for topics you are stuck on - please let me know.
  5. colwynexile

    colwynexile Occasional commenter

    To be fair my first thought was similar in that I was going to ask if they want me to mark their homework as well.
    But to be fair, I also am delivering this for the first time and would at least look at someone else's idea for a scheme of work. However I do think it is a bit rich for people to expect to be given a whole course. if you don't find the idea of computing exciting enough to drive you to mke your own resources, my view is dont teach it. How can you inspire kids to get good grades if your not inspired by the subject?
  6. LinW2010

    LinW2010 New commenter

    A lot of us are in the same boat - if it helps, I intend to interleave the theory and programming units, then probably do the programming coursework at the end of year 10, further practice/theory then research coursework in year 11 followed by revision for exams.
    Although I'm still trying to work out if it would be ok to do the app inventor investigation in year 10 followed by using app inventor for a programming task in year 11 - guess I'll need to ask OCR for that one.
  7. Tosha

    Tosha New commenter

    Start with months programming, explaining thoretical concepts as they arise.
    Then programming controlled assessment.
    Year 2 recap theory and do a couple of case study controlled assesments after the relevant theoretical unit.
    My experience is that computing can't be taught in a linear tick box manner.

  8. Having taught this course I am surprised that everyone is so willing to start from scratch. There is a wealth of information out there. Here is what I did:
    I found this a great place for revision and games and it already has most of the theory. When I did not like what I saw I just improved it and completed the relevant bits of research to get in more modern technology. The starters and plenaries are great. I paid for my membership and I am really pleased that I did. At some point I should give back.
    The site helped me figure out my starting points and made lesson planning a breeze so that I could concentrate on making the programming resources which I did as I went along as I did not really know the abilities of the students. Some will get it and others will not.
    <u>Homeworks:</u> I used yacapaca for revision as it marks itself and is great for assessmest. Plus you can show tests scores to parents if your parents evening is ridulously early in the academic year (which mine is).
    I also set the extension programming tasks for homework (things they did not complete in class). (vb.net the express version is free)
    Every half-term I got mine to do a practice paper of the theory and each time obviously I included the previous topics. These I marked and went through with the kids, they created their own tracker spreadsheet. I made sure to tell them which questions were from what topic e.g. unit 01 or hardware etc. and then it meant that they could figure out which topics they were not performing as well at. I also had my own version that the faculty assistant mutilated when inputting the data that also showed the above, helping me talk about what areas of theory the group did not get and you can quickly show graphically where your group is at.
    The questions were mainly from past OCR computing papers, teach-ict.com and ones from AS papers and a few of my own.
    <u>Ideas for lessons:</u>
    The technicians have loads of old bits of computers. It is worth a couple of boxes of chocolates to get old motherboards, RAM etc and my personal favorite hard drives and memory sticks. Get yourself a few flower end screwdrivers. I got the students to take these things apart and research what every bit did and they loved it. They also had to present their findings and to improve their programming they were only allowed to use Visual Basic- therefore creating lots of buttons, msgboxes, scrolls etc. I had a couple of dead consoles, a few dead Macs as well as Windows machines and what was interesting was looking at the motherboards and guessing which one was which.
    When coding I looked at the different ways they all went about the same tasks and took over their screens and got them to present their solution to the rest of the group. What is lovely is that they come up with different ways to solve the same thing. I learnt (it might just be my group) only to show my solution to the brightest as they were figuring out how to make their code more efficient and the rest were figuring out how to make their code. Thus targeted group work was also good.
    Although I have not done this. One suggestion was to go to a university lab and look at the technology they use for anything and everything. It was also suggested about going to the computing museum however we looked at it and they did not really have anything targeted at school aged children. I do think that the university idea is a great one as they will potentially have games, medicine, robotics, film, mo-cap etc.
    I hope that helps and let me know if there is anything else I can do.
  9. When I use App Inventor at home, it's great. The last time I used App Inventor with a class though, it was very buggy and frustrating to use - crashing, freezing and the emulator didn't always work. Has this changed? How do you know? If you are going to use App Inventor for an assignment, and I'm stating the obvious here, do the assignment yourself first with the software and if you can, have a trial run of using it with a non GCSE class, so you can gauge for yourself if you are likely to have problems. I'm surprised it's being used for coursework.

  10. What an incredibly calm, constructive and positive contribution.

    Well done.
  11. Thanks alicia07, great response. I must admit, I am anxious about teaching computing next year, but actually very excited by it. Totally agree with some of the comments on here, it isn't a flat pack subject which can be just delivered - I feel like this is going to be a learning curve for me, even though my degree is in the subject!
    I'm giving this to students to use as an ongoing homework before I move into programming.
    Students are going to build PCs from scratch in small groups - we are lucky to have some old PCs kicking around. I have even screwed a motherboard to one of my displays (the old parts haven't been stolen yet!!)
    I have three questions
    • What programming language is best to use? I was considering using Visual Basic
    • I have had one book suggested to me in a previous forum; however are there any other suggestions? Although I don't really teach from the book, I see it as a great resource for me to come up with some more creative ways of teaching it.
    • Anyone considered how the Raspberry Pi could be used?
  12. LinW2010

    LinW2010 New commenter

    With Visual Basic, how about easing into it with smallbasic? Looks a good step between scratch (drag blocks) and visual basic (typing) - with a code completer.
    Otherwise Python - two or three free books around to teach it, including gaming approaches, scratch - great for focusing on principles without typing and syntax so much, greenfoot - proper coding with java but in an accessible game-oriented environment, with Michael Kolling's videos a brilliant way in.
    Raspberry pi - could be useful for demonstrating different operating systems,and providing a stand-alone area to experiment - wouldn't need to be so locked-down as the normal school system, and easier to recover from if bricked.
  13. Personally I used VB.net I realise that a lot of other posters try basic and other languages first which is great for finding out what works bests for the group however I decided that when it came to teaching, problem solving and marking I would rather only know one language really well.
    Visual Studio Express is free and as a language it is good for use in the real world, therefore transferrable skills. There is also a lot of support including MSDN, lots of tutorials on the interwebs and YouTube videos.
    Make sure that you look at all the controlled assessment papers and choose the one that you like the most and one in reserve. Each of the papers are different and some are suited more to one language than another. It could therefore change your language choice.

  14. For GCSE (and in fact anything in the real world) VB or actually vb.net is just not worth it. It still amazes me that it is used in schools as much.

    Small basic is fab and well worth looking at, avoid any of the VS stuff at GCSE. Check out python, I am a big fan. I'd also avoid anything Javascript. You could also always go pascal as it is a fantastic teaching language.
  15. Ouch! Who bumped you in the corridor recently?
    In the industry that I am involved in, VB.net is worth it. Just had a quick look at jobs and starting salaries are 25K for a junior. Also learning such a language means that if you move to any of the Cs then you stand to do well. Just like if you learn C++ (as an example) you can then program in most of the other languages.
    Surely any teacher can use any language they wish as long as they can problem solve for it and it is suitable for the controlled assessment they choose. My choice of VB.net was because it works at my school (no security issues unlike Javascript), students can gain results quickly, I know the language, more importantly I can problem solve for it and I am supported by programmers who work in industry if I so need it.
    OP enjoy whichever language you choose and I know that you will enjoy teaching Computing. I found it so refreshing to be teaching something other than...
    Learning Objective: Finding out where the printscreen button is.
    Right, back to my holiday. Current learning objective: choose computer game to play and complete over the Summer. Second learning objective: find alcohol, BBQ stuff and gamer chair, ready for a fabulous couple of months off.
  16. colwynexile

    colwynexile Occasional commenter

    All of the examination boards have said that they will not prescribe a set language so it is up to you to find the one you're most comfortable with teaching. We're going with Python (thanks to CAS down here in Chelmsford for running workshops, inc an upcomming one looking at A Level computing).
    Don't dismiss Java out of hand, as the one of the current CABs for the OCR board utilises a section of Javascript for Web form validation - be better to at least have an idea of what it contains.
    Still, can't wait - so much better than 'Now print that screen out to show you can open a file'
  17. Tosha

    Tosha New commenter

    I would dismiss Java. Java and JavaScript are very different.
    For the CAs a easy to generate GUI is useful, hence I am using VB. We could use Python or Small Basic, but I would rather use a more strongly typed language.
    Java is my preference for OO but at KS4 I feel to much time would be spent discussing syntax associatted with classes rather than tackling the programmng skills required by the spec. Swing is also not simple to use.

  18. No one, Just VB is dog s*** - I remember using VB 5 at school back in the 90s but really, if you propose that learning VB.net is a good grounding for learning C you are having a laugh! But then again in an earlier post you said that visual studio is a language so I am not entirely certain you know what a language is. You are right that we can choose our language unless of course the board stipulates a language but you need to remember you are a teacher, not a vocational skills trainer as you are teaching a GCSE. you are also right that really any language can prepare you for another language - a For is a For is a For but VB straight to C or C++. That is funny. I'd love to see a teacher explain to a GUI Forms taught numpty the concept of pointers, string functions, header files and so on. No other subject has our hangups to gear and languages and never fails to make me chuckle. Of course you need to know the language and you are right it is better than javascript although why anyone would choose to teach a browser based scripting language to teach programming is beyond me.
  19. MissComputing

    MissComputing New commenter

  20. catch222

    catch222 New commenter

    deiccide, would you be in a position to share a SOL/SOW with us? If you get such great results, even a skeleton SOW/SOL will be great!

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