Holly Robertson


Creative Computing – Session 3

Filed under: Uncategorized — Holly at 11:36 am on Friday, November 7, 2014

This session gave us the opportunities to look at the new computing section within the curriculum for both Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1.

I was looking forward to this session as I feel that the knowledge I already had about the computing curriculum was not enough to make me feel confident about going into schools.

Firstly, we discussed about programming and what tools and applications children could use to develop their skills and understanding of computer programming.

It is important to think about the ways in which children use programming in their everyday lives such as giving and following instructions and then having to change instructions if you didn’t get the end result that you wanted to the first time around. We were shown a very good way of teaching this by watching a video of a teacher trying to make a jam sandwich. The teacher would only follow the instructions that his class had given him so it was up to them to help him to make the perfect sandwich. I thought this was a brilliant way of introducing computer programming to children as it can help them relate to something they may do on a daily basis that they can gain an understanding of before having to go straight into using a computer.

Another good way of teaching computer programming in Key Stage 1 and the Foundation Stage is by using BeeBots.

BeeBots are fun for children to use and they can use them to do many different activities based around programming. On the top of the BeeBots are some arrows and a go button. The children have to program how and where they want the BeeBot to move to. I have seen this carried out in my school experience placements where the children had to build a track out of wooden blocks for the BeeBots to follow. They really enjoyed trying to guide their BeeBot around the track by using the controls on the top of the object.

Another app that we found for computer programming was an Ipad app called A.L.E.X. We thought that this program was ideal for getting boys to enjoy programming as it is based on a robot.

This app took a lot of concentration but I think that it would be suited for children in Key Stage 1 and higher up the school years. As you move through the levels the programming becomes more difficult.

Further Reading:

Introducing Programming to Preschoolers (Blog) –¬†http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2012/02/introducing-programming-to-preschoolers/

This blog post was very interesting. It was discussing the difficulties of introducing programming into children’s learning from a young age. It discusses how programming has it’s own ‘language’ when using specific and more complex programs to create things such as websites and computer programs. This language would be very difficult to teach children of a preschool age and even through to Key Stage 1 which is why it is important to encourage children to begin the programming skills when they are young – for example, using the BeeBots to understand giving directions for a purpose.

I feel that I would find it very difficult to teach programming to children if we just had to use the programming language and I think that accessories such as the BeeBots and various Ipad apps come in very handy to teach the early stages of computer programming.

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