Recently, BBC have announced that they would be releasing the Micro: Bit to schools all over the country. With this in mind, we wanted to give some of our students more of a taste for Touch Develop.
As we come to the end the Term, in the computing department we realise that we want our students to remember how to problem solve and code. It is because of this that we saw the end of term as an opportunity for our students to learn how to code even more using TouchDevelop.
As you can see in the picture above, a year 9 student found it really engaging and was able to create simple shapes and even managed to use other devices to control how a turtle moves around the school. Our students found this quite simple to use and we were even able to have some students doing some tasks together because of the new BETA version of Touch Develop. When you sign in and go to the settings, you can turn testing.
To complicate things for our year 9’s, we decided to give them a piece of code to a problem. Their job was to find all of the issues with the code. Some of this included the variables being mixed up. Some of them included errors in the logic and order of the code.
One features that is new to TouchDevelop and in BETA that not many people are aware of is setting up your own classes where you can collaborate on the same piece of code at the same time! This is an awesome feature which will be really handy to encourage collaboration.
Once you have joined a group, it will give you an invitation code which means that you can keep your students secure from any unwanted guests. I really love this feature and tried it out on an existing piece of code. Students can collaborate from different sides of the class and they can use the chat log to suggest changes to each other. Click on the image to make it a little bigger so that you can see it in action.
A starter task I used with the students required them to spot the errors in my code and to spot the logical errors. I deliberately put things in the wrong order and they would have to put them back in the correct order. It was chaos but it was GREAT!
My students had a great time carrying out the Hour of code and I got them to use tutorials which were made by myself using Touch Develop. Any teachers who are interested in pushing the boundaries of Touch Develop. Have a look at making your own tutorials. They’re a great way of introducing the environment to the students and you can make them as detailed as you like so that you avoid the ‘click here’ issues.
If you are interested in trying out some of the tutorials which students from Uppingham Community College tried on the 30th of June. Visit this page. I’m hoping to do a video tutorial on how to collaborate between students VERY SOON!
If you have any questions about the resources featured on my blog then please email me or tweet me: