Monday, 9 March 2015

Computer Science Course and Computer Science Unplugged - The Show

I had a conversation with a colleague when it was first news that schools were introducing young children to computer science.  She could not see the benefit; she felt that children are familiar enough with technology as they are able to use iphones/ipads/ereaders easily and confidently.  I tried to point out that being able to navigate technology for everyday use is not the same as learning how it works.  Sort of the difference between being able to go for a walk and knowing how the leg works.  I am not certain she was convinced, possibly due to my inability to argue a point, but I told her that we introduced computer science to our kids before it came into schools.

(And as a side note... we will have none of that Barbie the Computer Engineer rubbish at Acorn Towers, thank you very much. )

Kids are such curious creatures!  They love taking stuff apart and seeing how it works!  Especially if it is a big important thing like a hard drive!  (This only with an adult to show them, of course!)  One of the courses we use below, however, gets them away from the computer itself and thinking about concepts - a fantastic way to compliment their learning in mathematics.

Some of the great resources we have found are:
BBC Bitesize recently released Computer Science guides, taking you through the National Curriculum course.  It goes from KS1 up to GCSE level.  The site is bright and engaging for the kids.  It is very basic to start off with; just introducing computer science really.

But our favourite place to go, especially for older ones, is Computer Science Unplugged and their free downloadable book - the 2015 edition is available now.  The website has videos to compliment the activities in the book.

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