If you’re a teacher in the UK, you will know all about the changes happening. You will know all about how ICT is becoming Computing. I originally achieved my degree in computer science and welcome this change but I know there are some ICT teachers out there who are a little worried. It was because of this that I decided to create a scheme of work on Touch Develop which would be useful for key stage 3.
The scheme of work aims to teach students about the basics of variables and the students get to make sprites which interact with each other. There is some example pseudo code and planning in there which is also useful to the proposal for the new computer science curriculum. I planned it with this in mind and I’m planning on extending it in order to teach students about algorithms. You can access the scheme of work from the links above. Alternatively, you can click here for the scheme of work or click here for the tutorial videos for your students.
I set my students up with a problem of teachers wanting to use Mobile phones in lessons. I told them to go and find some teachers and ask them about what they would want from a mobile phone applications. Each of the students in year 7 (age 11) had to interview teachers around the school and find out what they wanted. I had some year 7’s with some of these ideas.
- History – Battle of Britain simulation.
- P.E – Label the muscles on the body.
- French – Type in the correct spelling for the picture.
Each of the students got the staff around the school involved and have come up with some really good ideas. If you click on the images above you can see some of the signatures from members of staff and you can also see the level of detail some of them have gone into. I’m really interested to see how these applications are going to turn out!
Now that the students are really keen in the idea of building the applications they’re learning the basics of TouchDevelop. At the moment I’m on week 1 and 2 of the lessons and some of the students are download my resources at home which allows them to continue their learning from home. They’re really keen and you can see some of this from the pictures attached. Some of the students have done some really interesting things with their code and I’m really impressed with what they’ve come up with in just TWO WEEKS!
I plan on publishing some of the applications they’ve made so that other educators can use them in their lessons but have a look at some of the progress of the project in the pictures below. The important thing is that they’re understanding the use of variables from such an early age. Here are some of the things which my students have commented on when doing the mobile phone development.
One student made his background change based on events, he has a macaroni background for his game.
One student made his friends face explode when you use a touch event. Bit aggressive but interesting that he figured it out.
Some students are getting the score to update whenever an event occurs.
Quick Fix For Browser – Many of the browsers in our school did not support HTML5. Easy solution…. Download the Chrome Portable Browser and extract it on 30 USB’s. My network manager might be a little annoyed at me… but my students can access the resources they need. It works even with the Sophos security programs running on each of the machines. Quick Tip – Make sure your student clears the browser data if you’re getting someone else to log onto the USB. I noticed some students logging in to each others accounts (weird but true).
I hope that this entry has been a little more insightful into the world of Touch Develop. I will keep you updated with my students apps in the next couple of weeks.