Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) 2019

You may wonder, how far can you go in one hour? Hour of Code believes that you can change the world! 3rd-9th of December is Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) — it is an annual event aiming to get students excited about computer science by trying “an Hour of Code” (no prior experience needed).

The Hour of Code is an opportunity for every student to try computer science for one hour. You can also teach the Hour of Code all year-round. Tutorials work on browsers, tablets, smartphones, or “unplugged.”

The Hour of Code started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify “code” to show that anybody can learn the basics and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. It has since become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, starting with 1-hour coding activities but expanding to all sorts of activities within school communities and beyond.

The goal of the Hour of Code is not to teach anybody to become an expert programmer in one hour but is designed to make coding accessible for all and show that it can be both creative and fun.

Computing.lgfl.net has a range of resources to support you, not just for the week of the hour of code or for computing science, but for the whole of your school’s computing curriculum.

Firstly, the original Busy Code resources found inside the award-winning Busy Things resources has just had a makeover just in time for CSedweek! Beard Man is now sporting a brand new sparkly tie at a disco! At your command, he is now strutting his stuff on several different dance floors. The Code Disco resources are a great way for children to learn coding basics through to repeat loops, conditionals, events and variables. Code Disco programs are built by linking simple blocks together (you simply drag and drop the blocks to assemble a program and they will snap together like jigsaw pieces)! Not only is Busy Code a great resource for students to gain the fundamentals of coding but it also helps teachers gain a better understanding of computer science and gives a sense of progression in computing.

Not only has the original Busy Code been updated but there are also new units! Get on your explorer’s hat and join Beard Man on his adventures to find treasure; there are 9 adventures in total with over 45 levels. In each level, children must write code to direct Beard Man through a series of chambers, avoiding hazards such as trap doors and lava pits. To complete a level, children must help Beard Man solve a puzzle to open a treasure chest, and then escape a final chamber before the gate closes. Beard Man Adventures includes short tutorials to introduce the new concepts and blocks used in the adventures. The adventures are designed to get progressively harder, beginning with basic programming, moving onto repeat loops and more advanced programming concepts. Working through the levels in the order they are presented is recommended.

You can use the award-winning j2e resources to create and store all of your coding projects within an online portfolio in J2Code. Each J2Code coding platform has a set of detailed lesson plans which you can use to support your students during Hour of Code.

JIT has a turtle based coding language allowing you to code freely or use sprites and backgrounds to create simple story animations, perfect for Reception and KS1. 

Visual is a block-based language in which you can freely code to create more complex coding outcomes for KS2. You can also convert, store and share Scratch files within J2E and for more complex procedures you can use Logo a script-based platform that can be used for KS3. 

The Micro Bit coding platform can also be used to create a physical computing project or if you don’t have an actual Micro:Bit you can just use the virtual Micro:Bit emulator.

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Hour of Code offers a range of fun coding activities for your students to explore and you can find a range of resources for your students here. (Many of the resources are platform agnostic so you can use the coding platform of your choice to deliver the lesson). For those of you who can’t look through all the suggested projects because of time constraints, I have cherry-picked a handful of creative projects to try with your students.

My top picks for The Hour of Code:

  • Google has worked with Scratch so that you can turn an everyday hero from your life or community into a superhero by programming them to fly over buildings, spin, work with a sidekick, and score points by touching objects in a game. In Code Your Hero, show off your hero’s special powers and your own creativity with CS First and Scratch.
  • Microsoft The new Minecraft Hour of Code tutorial is now available in Minecraft: Education Edition for Windows, Mac, and iPad. Learn the basics of coding and explore AI with your students! Explore basic coding concepts and learn about artificial intelligence (AI) in this free Hour of Code lesson in Minecraft: Education Edition! Help the Agent prevent forest fires with Minecraft and MakeCode. Follow the steps below to get started!
  • Code.org in partnership with Amazon Future engineer has updated its very popular Dance Party, Code a Dance Party to share with your friends. Featuring updated tracks from Katy Perry, Shawn Mendes, Lil Nas X, Panic! At The Disco, Jonas Brothers, and many more!
  • and finally… we have also come up with our own simple Hour of Code project with j2e code Visual, can you help our very own CEO, John Jackson, choose a shirt?

 

               

This fun animation/game uses simple inputs and broadcasting to change sprites/costumes, We know this is a very simple project and your students can do much better so why not challenge yourself and them to remix the project? Why not make your own shirts designs? Or can you make the shirt designs move? Can you change the background when the buttons are clicked? Here is the project in j2e to get you started! The most creative use of code from a school will win a small grab bag of LGfL/computing goodies, just share your examples on social media and tag LGfL into the post for a chance to win.

The Hour of Code happens as part of Computer Science Education Week. This is held annually in recognition of the birthday of computing pioneer Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, an inspiring female figure in the world of computing science. For more inspirational female computer scientists, LGfL has created Women in Computing which recognises the many and varied achievements of women in computer science and hopes to inspire future programmers.

Earlier this week Apple unveiled a completely redesigned Everyone Can Code curriculum to help introduce more primary school students to the world of coding. Now available, the new curriculum includes even more resources for teachers, a brand new guide for students and updated Swift Coding Club materials. Everyone Can Code Puzzles is an all-new student guide to Swift Playgrounds where each chapter helps students build on what they already know, experiment with new coding concepts and creatively communicate how coding impacts their lives. A companion teacher guide supports educators in bringing coding into their classrooms with helpful ways to facilitate, deepen and assess student learning.

Additionally, starting today, learners around the world can register here for thousands of free Today at Apple coding sessions taking place in December at all Apple Stores to learn to write their first lines of code to celebrate Computer Science Education Week, Apple will also support Hour of Code with a new Hour of Code Facilitator Guide to help educators and parents host sessions using Swift Playgrounds and some of the more than 200,000 educational apps available from the App Store.

Remember The Hour of Code does not cover all of the computing science strands of the computing curriculum but does offer a range of highly structured, fun activities to help both students and teachers gain confidence with computing science. Coding isn’t just for an hour, it should be an ongoing journey – for support look to see how Computing.lgfl.net can support with other areas of the computing curriculum. If you have time, you can watch this video exploring Computing.lgfl.net in more detail.

If you want to gain some more knowledge and support on using a block-based coding platform, have a look here and here for a free interactive workshop introducing you to the Scratch programming environment and taking you through the concepts of sequence, repetition and selection through a series of fun coding challenges.

Also if you are a Computing Leader you may also be interested in booking a place on our Creative Curriculum training day. This is a whole day course showcasing how to use Computing.lgfl.net to support not just your school’s curriculum but also your curriculum as a whole. For more details and to book a place go here.

We would love to see and share your amazing Hour of Code projects, you can post them on Twitter or Facebook and with the hashtag #HourofCode

And don’t forget about our latest campaign Pledge 2020, where we are giving schools a bandwidth boost, putting more security into our network and putting in fantastic equipment AT NO ADDITIONAL COST – to help enhance the use of hardware within your school all you have to do is push the button #PoweredbyPledge2020.

Code Week EU 2019

In just over 3 weeks  Code Week EU 2019 blasts off for another out of this world week of coding!

If you are interested in bringing coding to your classroom but you don’t know where to start, do not worry as we have plenty of LGfL award-winning Energise curriculum content via our Computing resource page, that can invigorate your teaching of computing in your school and we also have a special event planned that promises to be out of this world! read on to find out more.

EU Code Week is a grass-root movement run by volunteers who promote coding in their countries as Code Week Ambassadors. Anyone – schools, teachers, libraries, code clubs, businesses, public authorities – can organise a #CodeEU event and you can even add it to the code week.EU map to show your support.

Coding is for all, not just for programmers. It’s a matter of creativity, of computational thinking skills, of self-empowerment, nothing boosts your problem-solving skills like learning how to program a computer, learning to code boosts your attention to detail, having a high level of focus can improve any part of your life! 

Looking for a creative way of introducing coding to KS2? Space Adventures is unique and engaging cross-curricular resource based around an original story commissioned by LGfL by the award-winning author Cath Howe.

It features dramatic video content and a virtual reality experience linked to the narrative. The aim is to draw the learner into the turn of events that threatens the ability of our intrepid astronaut Tazz to return safely back to earth. Will her on board computer be enough to get her back safely or will she need to draw on her maths and science knowledge and understanding?

The resource features a comprehensive set of resources for Maths, literacy and Science and a Computing unit created my Max Wainwright, author of the popular espresso coding resource for primary schools.

There are two units, which are designed to teach computing concepts in line with the Computing Curriculum, Unit 1 is aimed at Year 5 with unit 2 being aimed at more experienced pupils who will have existing coding skills, there are six lessons in each unit.

Each lesson contains:

  • A presentation that can be used by the teacher with the class on an IWB.
  • An introduction video.
  • A video demonstrating the code used within the lesson.
  • A step by step PDF.
  • Extension Activities
  • An example of Scratch file for teachers to explore.

Space Adventures Live with CAS, BCS and LGfL for National EU Code week. 

We are very proud to announce a live event on the 18th October using Google Hangouts using Scratch classroom and the Space Adventures coding units will showcase LGfL resources, cloud-based learning and outstanding computing pedagogy all in one (inter)stellar event!

Before the session, children will need to have completed lesson 1 and 2 of the LGfL Space Adventures unit of work and have stored their work on a Scratch Shared classroom (login & password will be shared with schools who sign up) which we will be able to access and view. 

For more information and to book go here.

Our National Curriculum computing programmes of study tells us “A high-quality computing education equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world” Coding isn’t just the act of programming code to control a device, it’s about being able to identify and understand problems or needs in the real world and using innovative thinking and creativity alongside logic reasoning to improve the world around them.

Computing is about teaching students about what is behind their screens and boxes and how the modern world works. With this knowledge, they can begin to see the possibilities so that they can create innovations that could one day change the world.

I spoke to Danny Young the Managing Director of Just2easy about the importance of learning to code and children developing digital skills.

“Being digitally literate is becoming increasingly important for the future of our children and Just2easy have 2 offerings to help in that regard, j2code is a set of differentiated coding engines designed for ages 3 to 13, we made sure that there was no need to have software to install and everything is accessed via your USO login.  We also designed j2data which offers a different take on digital literacy, focusing on the data aspects, in particular, sorting, filtering and searching data”

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J2code offers a range of coding languages to enable to explore coding, each coding language offers three detailed lesson plans, each designed as a starting point for a series of lessons. Children new to coding, whether at year 1 or year 2, will need to work through the basics, starting with lesson 1. Year 2 children should be able to move through the first two lessons much more quickly.

At the end of each lesson plan, there are suggestions for further activities. It will help the children’s learning experience if they are given plenty of time for consolidation and adaption of skills learnt before moving on to the next lesson plan. J2Code is designed to be open-ended rather than prescriptive to encourage children’s creativity and problem-solving skills.

To help both teachers and students Just 2 Easy tool suite have included a glossary for the various computational terminology used, there is also a link to this in each lesson plan.

JIT is a turtle based coding language in which you can code freely or use spite and background templates to create simple animations for KS1.

Visual is a block-based coding language in which you can freely code to create more complex coding outcomes for Upper KS1 and KS2.

sLogo is a script-based platform that you use to complex procedures perfect for upper KS2 and can be used in KS3.

Just 2 Easy tool suite also offers a block-based or script based platform for the micro: bit what is great about this platform is that it offers 3 levels of differentiation, adding operators, variables and procedures when needed.

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Python Tutor and Web Tech tutor offers 50 coding projects presented in single simple stand-alone lessons. Students understanding is initially developed at a conceptual level by allowing them to drag and drop parts of the code, but later they can refine their skills with specific code creation in activities.

Students watch a short introductory video. Which presents a key coding concept or problem. They then can carry out a series of related short tasks using the software, after each task is complete, the software will then present the next task in the unit.

When using these resources, it is important to understand that simply using this resource in isolation will not give your students the depth and breadth of computational skills needed to become independent Computational thinkers.

Using and moving code within these resources does create a solid scaffold for students to explore unfamiliar concepts and gives them quick on-screen results but it’s important for students to have freedom to create code outside of this scaffold, the idea of the resource is not to “copy code” but to gain practical knowledge of key concepts.

It is important to remind ourselves that introducing young people to coding gives them an appreciation of what can be built with technology. Our students are surrounded by devices controlled by computers in their everyday lives. To understand coding is to understand how our devices work, and being able to imagine new devices and services is essential to inspire and push our students to solve the problems of the future, it was with this idea we created ‘History of Computing’

In his forward to History of Computing, Doron Swade (MBE) Formerly Curator of Computing, and Assistant Director & Head of Collections, Science Museum, Tells us:

The resource promotes the idea that by understanding our digital heritage we can better understand our digital future”

The History of Computing resource features unique materials to help understand how British computing developments have influenced the world we all live in. It also provides a wide range of materials to show how British innovation in Computing Continues to impact on our world today and shape our tomorrow.

The resource features:

  • Unique video and photographic resources from the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park.
  • Expert insight into the iconic British Computing systems from the past 70 years.
  • Curriculum material created by practising Computing teachers all mapped out the National Curriculum.

The video materials are used to support a broad range of complete lesson activities to cover Key Stage 2 to 5, however, teachers are encouraged to use and modify the suggested activities and tailor them to the needs of the students and curriculum.

Alongside History of computing, we also have the Women in Computing resource which has been recently updated, WIC promotes the achievements of women in British Computing within the social context of the time, it explores the issue surrounding how and where their unique contributions have developed understanding within the computing industry and wider society.

Code week EU have created a range of resources to help you organise and run coding events easier, they have prepared different toolkits and selected some of the best lesson plans, guides and other resources which you can find here.

You could also use the many free resources found within Barefoot Computing Project These resources will help you improve subject knowledge and understanding within computing. Giving clear definitions, examples and progression across all primary school age and ability ranges.

We would love to see how you are going to use LGfL services and resources to help energise your students learning, let us know by sharing your evidence of impact (it could be photos or students work) via our Facebook and Twitter and if we like and retweet your work you could win an LGfL goodie bag!

 

Let’s Get Digital Conference 2019

Many thanks to all who attended the conference last week, it was a great day with lots of inspiring keynotes and workshop sessions. 

NEW

Launched at the conference were a range of updates and new resources for LGfL customers. j2whiteboard is the latest addition to the j2e tool suite included with your LGfL subscription.

This cloud software for your whiteboard works with existing files such as word or pdf, includes whiteboard specific tools such as the screen shade and works on any device(s) and displays simultaneously on the whiteboard. The short video below gives you an overview of this fantastic new addition for teachers.

EYFS Spotlight

EYFS Spotlight is a way of highlighting the many varied resources that LGfL offers to help your Early Years Foundation Stage setting by providing topic maps and planning. This resource aims to filter the extensive collection of LGfL content into popular EYFS themes / topics. The resource is ideal for use in primary schools and early years settings.

Within each category you’ll find a variety of links to LGfL resources and suggested teaching ideas on how to use them within your Early Years setting. As some settings may have variations in naming of topics, please see the topic descriptions to help you search for the related content.

Computing Resource Centre

The Computing Resource Centre is a showcase of all the computing resources that LGfL have to offer, alongside other (free) outside resources that can support the computing curriculum.

These have been grouped into the following categories:

  • Information Technology
  • Digital Literacy
  • Computing Science
  • External resources
  • Research

 

Learning through Movement

Learning through Movement is our latest resource as part of our IncludED portfolio. Movement is fundamental to learning.  Without movement, young people will fail to develop a whole range of skills, and find it much more difficult to learn and concentrate, especially if they have additional needs. Understanding the role that movement plays in learning and how to support learners who have additional needs is vital in being able to create the best conditions needed for learning to take place.

Learning through movement has been produced by LGfL in partnership with a Senior Paediatric OT and other expert advisors.  The aim of the resource is to provide an overview and starting point for classroom practitioners.  The resource has been structured into the modules below and staff can dip in and out or they can view sequentially depending on the user’s preference.

 

The LGfL IncludED team is dedicated to helping you support learners who have additional educational needs; they are currently conducting a survey, by completing this survey you will help them understand what is working well for you and where they can make improvements to the current service.

Coming Soon

Maths in the Real World Update (Arriving May 2019)

Featuring new maths content for KS2, 3 and 4 including a new curriculum mapping tool Maths in the Real World includes an iPhone Challenge and Stock Market Challenge bringing engaging real-world maths scenarios to support the numeracy curriculum, alongside examples of how cloud platforms can enhance the resources further. Find out more www.mitrwinfo.lgfl.net  

Steam School

We are looking forward to a summer pilot project with Steam School; connecting schools with science and tech innovators via weekly live broadcasts and accompanying mini challenges. By showcasing the stories of young innovators, discussing tech trends and scientific breakthroughs, Steam School inspires students to develop a new awareness about how rapid technological change is transforming the world in which we live. We hope through this collaboration to connect many students across the globe with STEAM innovators and to inspire them to create positive global change with science and technology.

LGfL and Steam School will be collaborating on a series of live broadcasts with leading tech entrepreneurs, giving LGfL members a unique behind the scenes insight into exciting industries like video gaming and why young people should develop their digital making and entrepreneurial skills whilst at school, preparing them for a very digital future.

Participating schools will be eligible to enter our Generation Tech challenge and win £250 for your school’s STEM budget. The broadcasts are scheduled to take place in June 2019. You can register your interest here.

ESRI- ARC GiS

Regardless of subject and age range, most teachers need to incorporate a sense of place relating to location in their everyday teaching. LGfL is working in partnership with ESRI to bring the ARC Geographical Information System to all LGfL schools to provide a comprehensive mapping tool and locational analysis. In the autumn a new LGfL portal will feature the following:

  • USO log in sync to the ARC GiS system
  • Support for fieldwork through the Survey 1-2-3 tool.
  • Curriculum linked datasets to overlay on the Arc GiS system
  • Comprehensive video support for how to maximise the platform across the curriculum and age ranges

Also in development with ESRI and the Museum of London Archaeological Archive is a location based app that will allow LGfL schools to understand the history of the exact location they are in at any point in time.For further details about this new partnership contact content support@lgfl.net

Trilobites to Tyrannosaurs: Fossils, Dinosaurs and Evolution (Arriving Autumn 2019)


Targeting EYFS, KS1 and KS2 this unique new resource features augmented and virtual reality, original artwork and video footage from a palaeontologist showing how fossils can provide insights to unlock our understanding of the past.

Presentations from the workshop sessions and the keynotes have been uploaded here. Many thanks to all those who have already completed the evaluation form that was emailed to those who attended the conference last week, the form is open until Thursday and everyone who completes will be entered to the prize drawn for 100 Adobe licences or 1 of three pairs of tickets for the FA Cup Final thanks to Atomwide for sponsoring these tickets.

Remember you can stay up to date with all news, resources and ideas from LGfL by: