Being in CTRL of the Hungry Games

Just a general intro to the blog before I get started! We are a group of Primary Ed students who are studying the computing module – instead of having an assignment Pam (Trinket) has pulled our names out of the glass bowl and we are entered into the Hungry Games (May the Odds be ever in your Flavour)! We are having to blog certain tasks to win points as well as earn badges and if we get enough points we pass the module and maybe even win the Hungry Games!

Initial Thoughts on Computing:

I am very competent with computers, I use PCs for graphic design a lot and do most of my work and activities on electronic items. I am also very comfortable with WordPress as I already have two blogs, one of which I no longer post on but still gets a lot of views (nimbustype40.wordpress.com and redpensandstickers.wordpress.com). The theory behind ICT and computing I am also okay with however I don’t know how competent I will be when it comes to practical computing and coding. Due to the new change in curriculum this  is something that needs to be taught however I have no experience with it. Despite this I am sure I will pick it up and that is something I aspire to do quickly over the course of this module!! I love technology and really look forward to trying things out, especially new apps and resources for teaching. I was shocked in one of my pre-university placements to see that because the children had spent so much time reliant on iPads that they had become completely illiterate on the computers, and this worried me as in high school they will probably not be lucky enough to have iPads and will be far behind other children! I hope to create a positive attitude towards computing in the classroom and ensure that children are well equipped to go onto high school with good ICT skills.

We looked at the different parts of computational thinking yesterday and I am going to talk about decomposition:

Decomposition is the process of breaking down a complex idea or problem into much smaller sections that are easier to manage. This means that people can manage large projects easily by dividing up the individual segments that build the problem up and potentially delegating roles to different people. Through delegation people can bring their own skills and past experiences to help solve different elements of a complex problem. For example in jigsaw reading different groups of children are given different subjects to research/texts to read and then after a certain amount of time they feedback the key points from their research/reading. This means that all the class gets the information but it takes much less time and is much easier. There is less pressure on each individual as smaller tasks are less daunting. Another practical example is that if you are putting on a school play you would obviously rehearse it in scenes and not the whole play in one go!

Here is a segment of a speech by Nicky Morgan, Education Secretary,

“Recent research by Computing At School and Microsoft found that more than half of 9- to 16-year-olds think they know more about computing than their teachers. Even as I’m speaking now, a teenager somewhere is probably inventing the next big thing. The next Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat. The next ‘must-have’ app. So it’s important that our teachers and school leaders should be given every opportunity to stay on top of change. We have already done a huge amount to address this problem. We have funded computing at school to develop resources to help primary teachers with their first lessons and these are supported by over 900 workshops around the country. All teachers can now access support from a local computing master teacher who can provide training and advice about all aspects of the new curriculum that we introduced last year. We have increased bursaries for those wanting to become computing teachers, and introduced computing teacher training scholarships of £25,000 to encourage more of the very best graduates to become teachers.”

Morgan realises that technology is a rapidly changing industry and that most children know a lot about it. It is very important then that teachers too have such a competency in computing so that they can efficiently teaching and by having workshops and local “master teachers” (which does make me think of the LEGO Movie!) this makes it easier for teachers to improve their skills.

Jack

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