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OCR GCSE Computing - Which language?

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by grgeorge, Jul 14, 2009.

  1. Thank you ... you actually answered my question which in itself is a novelty, i agree VB then JAVA, just been looking at the VB Express edition and seems an excellent way to introduce programming (free is good for a start). I agree with what you say about Scratch / Alice seems a little to basic.

    Anyay thanks
  2. autismuk

    autismuk New commenter

    actually, sunning himself in the Ardeche.
    obviously you've never met me.
  3. fio. Java has an excellent ide in netbeans. That does not mean I would advocate a rde/ide for teaching languages because students get obsessed with look and feel and don't focus on coding.[quote

    no Wow factor!
  4. and another thing.

    OO is NOT a progression from structured programming and the awful programs that result from event based programs using IDEs in windows require the student to un-learn their programming paradigm later on.
  5. Why not just use Visual Studio 2008 (Visual Basic).

    You can get it for free as a school.

    We are a sixth form college and under Microsoft's DreamSpark agreement, you can obtain programming software for students to use.

    Check it out at www.dreamspark.com

    Some useful resources for AS Computing (that can go down to GCSE Computing in Sep 2010), www.gr82bgeeky.co.uk/ks5.htm
  6. I have thought about using Visual Basic but I am already doing VB for the AS Computing course. I Do people think it would be worth using the same language for both which has pros or showing them another language which spreads their knowledge of languages. I prefer not to move VB down to GCSE and find another language for A level as I am the sole teacher in the department.
  7. clickschool

    clickschool New commenter

    I'm fortunate enough to have worked in the industry and have experienced using several programming languages.
    I'd recommend for GCSE level to consider using Flash & Actionscript. Actionscript is not too difficult to learn (relative to others) - start with AS2. It can be extended to teach simple OO concepts and strict definitions too if you wanted. It includes the 'wow' factor and there's lots of help on the web. Definitely keep it simple to start with!
    If you really want to perplex students, use K (see kx systems).
  8. Cool.
    I'm drinking Belgian beer in the Dordogne, just outside Le Bugue.
    Nip over.
    Bet I'm bigger than you. [​IMG]

    Anyway, I think that's sorted with the language, isn't it - VB6?
  9. autismuk

    autismuk New commenter

    Thanks for the offer ..... bit far though - and there's the N102 west of Aubenas to contend with.
    Taller perhaps, wider unlikely.
  10. I wonder how many of your responders seem to have taught GCSE OCR Computing?
    The primary focus of the course is on the logic of solutions,so anything that helps promote an understanding of algorithms and pseudocode will suffice. Many of the other schools in the pilot last year went with Python - we did and were delighted how easy it was to teach and how quickly the students not only picked it up, but started doing some great coding with it. Obviously most teachers will go with what they know. Python is highly recommended by the chief examiner, so that should tell you something about getting appropriate controlled assessments. It's great for teaching kids how to develop games - and that's a great hook on which to hang a lot of teaching. When you consider that typing in 2+3 at the prompt produces the answer 5 - how easy is that? Admittedly it won't do everything, but for GCSE it delivers everything you will need very easily. There is a useful programming comparison table on Wikipedia, and the www.python.org has comparisons with other languages.
  11. Tosha

    Tosha New commenter

    Not a fan of weakly typed languages myself
  12. Tosha

    Tosha New commenter

    I must admit I'm looking to move to python after the horrors of vb6, though i'd rather select a language with standard c syntax
  13. has anyone tried using Blender to extend pyton with the WOW factor?
  14. teknoteacher

    teknoteacher New commenter

    JamesGoneOff - sounds interesting. Is there anywhere online I can see examples of this combination?
  15. teknoteacher

    teknoteacher New commenter

    I would recommend Python as a language.
    Guido Von Rossum's principle for Python was to create a language that could be easy to learn, so that programmer's could concentrate on programming rather than learning how to use Python.
    There is a huge online community at www.python.org and there is a separate mailing list called Edu-Sig for teachers in schools to sign up to.
    I would also recommend a book - “Invent Your Own Computer Games with Python” by Al Sweigart
    It is (from the website http://inventwithpython.com/) a free book (as in, open source) and a free eBook (as in, no cost to download) that teaches you how to program in the Python programming language. Each chapter gives you the complete source code for a new game, and then teaches the programming concepts from the example.
  16. tonyhawken

    tonyhawken New commenter

    No one has considered using C++. The GCSE syllabus deals only with procedural concepts. You could teach procedural style C++. This is very easy to learn - the syntax is easy and there are a number of free IDEs that can be downloaded. I use quincy 2005.
  17. tonyhawken

    tonyhawken New commenter

    Having recently taught myself Python, I must concede that python is a good language to use as a means of teaching programming at GCSE.
  18. Mr_G_ICT

    Mr_G_ICT New commenter

    I use VB for year 10 and 11, then progress them to c# in sixth form. same development environment for familiarity, but moving the language up a step away from VB. I like the verbosity of VB when first learning then moving to a more "traditional" syntax when preparing students for work/uni

    C# supports OO better than VB (in that classes are more easily defined). It's all preference I can see how Java is a good choice too at A-Level. i used to teach VB, but felt that i couldn't model certain (more complex) things in VB and was wanting to keep the environment for familiarity's sake (And it means weaker students can still use the nice drag and drop ide!).

    Also think about the level of the students who are coming in and/or the langauge they are coming from. Anyone who knows me, knows i'm not a python fan, sorry.

    I'll just hide behind the parapet now for all the slings and arrows being thrown at me!
    wanet likes this.
  19. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    Cambridge, for the A Level, only allows VB, Python and Delphi/Pascal. They are thinking of moving to Java soon and getting rid of Pascal. As soon as they do, I'll move to Java. Python is just far too removed in terms of ADTs etc.
  20. jamesmhunt

    jamesmhunt New commenter

    Python or VB.Net.

    if you want your students to go onto A-Level, VB.net would be a safe shout!

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