The new computing curriculum aims to make all Britain’s schoolchildren into computer coders, with a hands-on approach to coding as… Read more
From September 2014, the new school curriculum replaces ICT with the subject of Computing and will ensure that children from 5 years upwards will be taught how to design, write and develop their own computer programs and how to store and retrieve data. Coding will be taught to 11-14 year olds and pupils will learn not just how a computer works, but how to make it work for them.
Like any language, the younger you are when you start to learn, the easier it is to absorb and the best coders all started when they were children. Many in the technology sector believe a revolution in teaching computer programming to children is essential to ensure a generation of “digital natives” able to compete with the rest of the world. Many believe there will be other educational benefits too; rather like learning an instrument or a language, it could help children think logically and creatively.
Back in September 2014, the BBC announced a new wide range of content to be made available across Bitesize, CBBC and CBeebies to support teachers as they get to grips with this new curriculum. Content will include television programmes, resources and games, all carefully designed to appeal to children. This will form an early part of the BBC’s Make It Digital initiative.
The Doctor and the Dalek is a new game on CBBC in which the Doctor is thrown into a dangerous quest with his greatest enemy in a new, stand-alone story. A range of puzzles are featured throughout the game, where players must take control of the Dalek and program it to ‘power up’ its ability to perform a range of tasks, such as flying. The game has been specially designed to inspire children to get creative with coding, digital technology and programming. The BBC say “The puzzles are linked to the new computing curriculum and are designed to allow children across the UK to pick up core programming principles as they play. Several key stage 2 and 3 curriculum points – such as combining instructions to accomplish a given goal, using variables to alter behaviour, repetition and loops, and logical reasoning – are seamlessly integrated into the gameplay”.
The game is available on CBBC and resources to accompany the game will be available from BBC Learning at bbc.co.uk/schoolscomputing
There are also a number of programmes which can be used as resource material to support the curriculum:
Technobabble, CBBC, available through www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc features future tech and ‘all the latest from the world of apps,gaming and all thingsdigital”. It also aims to encourage children to expand their computer skills and knowledge, and features imput from well known You Tube video bloggers.
Appsolute Genius, Tuesdays CBBC, and available through www.cbbc.uk presented by children’s favourites, Dick and Dom, this series takes a look at geniuses whose “ideas, creations and discoveries have shaped the world of coding, computer programming and gaming. There will also be an exclusive competition for viewers to design their own app. The winning entry will be released nationwide.
Nina and the Neurons Go Digital CBeebies, available on www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies, a series for younger viewers looking at how technological innovations, apps and games might affect their lives in the future.
Finally, as mentioned in previous posts, mathematics and logic also feature heavily in episodes of The Simpsons (Channel 4) and clips from certain episodes could be used to inspire interest.