Code Academy–Teach your students programming the fun way

IMG_3877Michael Gove has been in the news recently about his announcement on scrapping ICT and changing to Computer science. In some ways I complete agree with him but I also agree with other educators when they say that this should be done gradually.

Although I’m as happy as a “Pig in Muck” I feel that this change should be gradual. Some teachers do not have a computer science background may be worried. There would need to be some type of training available for these teachers. According to the BBC, 1 in 4 ICT teachers are qualified in computer science which means that a lot of school might be worried about how they deliver the curriculum. IMG_3876

I’m going to tell you about one tool I have been using with year 7 at lunch time. I recently launched a computer programming club and my year 7’s have been learning JavaScript at lunch time. Initially some of them were a little threw back about what they were doing. Some of them didn’t understand why they needed it, however after explain the background to Xbox games…. they ate it right up Smile. They’re so exciting about going home and they’re actually competing against each other and trying to see who can get the most badges on their work. Most of these students managed to get their first badge in the first 10 minutes. Badges explained below….

What is codeacademy?

IMG_3879Code Academy is a free “online” based way of teaching your students how to program code. If you go to http://www.codeacademy.com it is free to sign up and can be a useful teaching result. The first lessons are basic lessons on getting you to pass variables back and forward.

Students receive badges for completing lessons and pass these badges to twitter upon completion. Students also receive points for completing the lessons. My students are doing really well and they’re only in year 7.

codeacademyThey have managed to use length variables and they understand the basics of creating variables now. They were able to tell me the length of my name and they now understand why they should put quotations around their name.

Click on the image to see how you can earn your badges and to see how you can get your students into programming code. My students are now going home and competing to see who can get the most badges for every Tuesday when we do our programming club. These students are in year 7, I can’t wait to see what impact this has on their Maths results in the future.

Teach your students to program in JavaScript – Join CodeAcademy.com

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I have recently been nominated for a learning without frontiers award as an Innovator in Secondary education. If this has been useful to you I would appreciate it if you would vote by clicking on the link to the left and by finding my name – Ray Chambers.

Thank you for taking the time to visit this blog.

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About Raymond David James Chambers

I am the Lead teacher of computing at Brooke Weston Academy in Corby Northamptonshire. Previously I was the head of IT/Computing at Uppingham Community College. In 2015 I won the Gold National Teaching award for Innovative use of technology. I also won the 2015 Young Game Bafta - Mentor award. I'm keen to help students achieve their best and like to give them opportunities to do this. I have a passion for teaching and I enjoy meeting other people and sharing their ideas. I have a keen interest in games development as well as developing the use of ICT in classrooms across the curriculum. In my spare time I teach Irish dancing. I have been Irish dancing since I was 11. My highest position was 14th at the world championships 3 years running and 2nd at the Great Britain Championships in 2006.
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