“The number one benefit of information technology is that it empowers people to do what they want to do. It lets people be creative. It lets people be productive. It lets people learn things they didn’t think they could learn before, and so in a sense it is all about potential”. Steve Ballmer
“Learning to write programs stretches your mind, and helps you think better, creates a way of thinking about things that I think is helpful in all domains.” Bill Gates, Microsoft
Computers are all around you, increasingly affecting nearly every aspect of your daily life. But although computers have changed immeasurably over the last twenty years and will continue to do so in the future, the fundamental skills required for success in this area remain the same. Can you look at a problem and break it down into a logical sequence of steps? Can you combine logic with creativity to produce a problem solving algorithm? Can you look at a system of people, objects or machines and identify the communication and interactions between them? Learning to code and understand ICT will teach you all of these skills. Here are some suggestions to get you started:-
All year groups – technology is changing rapidly, it is important to keep up to date with the news. The following are worthwhile reads.
• BBC News – Tech pages http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology
• Guardian News – tech pages http://www.theguardian.com/uk/technology
• Technology magazines such as Wired http://www.wired.co.uk/
• E & T Magazine http://eandt.theiet.org/index.cfm?origin=globalBar
• CS4FUN (Mr Beasley has copies that you can borrow)
• The Raspberry Pi magazine the MagPi – available at http://www.theMagpi.com
• www.ictworkout.co.uk Read the presentations and do the exercises
• www.teachict.co.uk Look through the topic list and read through the mini website presentations that you are interested in finding out about.
1. Year 7 – A computer program or play around with some that have been written already. Start with a visual programming language like Scratch (www.scratch.mit.edu)
2. Year 8 – Write a website in HTML & CSS languages by visiting www.codeacademy.com/learn on the Language skill section
3. Year 9 – You can teach yourself Python on www.codeacademy.com/learn Language skill section or www.learnstreet.com
Alternatively load Python on to your PC from www.python.org
and learn through writing games using the book “Invent Your Own Computer Games with Python” available free online http://inventwithpython.com/
4. Research the impact that ICT has had on our society and write an essay. Consider how it affects how we socialise, communicate, work and learn.
5. Produce a podcast or short movie to explain how to stay safe on the Internet.
Bring task 4 & 5 to Mr Beasley and if I’m impressed you’ll get a prize!
1. Visit the Science Museum and look at the history of calculating machines
2. Go on a BBC tour of broadcasting house (year 8 upwards) or CBBC Interactive tour (year 7) http://www.bbc.co.uk/showsandtours/tours/
3. Visit the centre for computing history at Cambridge http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/
1. Take part in the National Cipher Challenge at http://www.cipher.maths.soton.ac.uk/
2. Take part in the Teen Tech challenge – open to all 11-16 year olds. See Mr Beasley for details before December of each academic year.
1. Year 7,8 & 9 – Watch the films The Imitation Game, a Beautiful Mind, 23, Tron, Transformers,
2. For over 15 year olds – Terminator, Enigma, Pi, Good Will Hunting, the Matrix
3. Watch the lectures on the Khan Academy https://www.khanacademy.org/
4. BBC News Click – watch episodes and clips about all the latest gadgets, websites, games and computer industry news.
5. Be inspired by industry leaders, watch the clip on http://code.org/
Documentary Movies Every Tech Geek Must See
The true story of the Internet
Part of the Discovery Channel series, this movie explores the beginnings of one of the most world-changing pieces of tech. A must see for every tech geek who thinks Al Gore did it single handedly. Best of all it’s available to view with a click and there are many other science and technology related movies.
Who Killed The Electric Car?
This 2006 tech filmed focused on the rise and fall of the electric car. It follows the story of the General Motors EV1. A good piece to ask if politics can stop technology, or is some tech is never meant to be?
Welcome to Macintosh http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=welcome+to+macintosh&FORM=VIRE1#view=detail&mid=8A7BE770B0509E706D7D8A7BE770B0509E706D7D
This documentary mixes history, criticism, and a revelry of all things Apple into the movie. From the earliest days of the Apple-I to the tablet, the film discusses everything.
More of a web series than a film, it follows the adventures of a video gaming tech geek who steps out into the real world when her imaginary one is threatened. Winner of several awards, its creator, Felicia Day, is also an admitted geek and shows what a little tech and a lot of talent can accomplish.
This website allows you to view documentaries at no charge. With over 20 on technology, tech geeks can find the subject of their choice from astronomy to automotive. There are also films on biographies, media, environment, and science.
Keep a blog of the documentaries that you watch with a brief review and your thoughts about the films you watch. Share it with Mr Beasley. As always impress me and there will be a reward!
Local IT industries, supermarkets, shops, cinemas and ask to see how they use ICT.
There are many technology podcasts available, such as:-
• The Digital Human podcast, BBC Radio 4
• BBC podcasts
• Tech Weekly podcast, The Guardian
• 5 Live Science – Naked Scientist
• Live scientific
• Think out of the box, listen to some Ted Talks.
A website using www.codeacademy.com/learn
Year 7 & 8 By working through the web developer skills
Task 1– make a website
Task 2 – Make a website projects
Task 3 – Make an interactive Website
Year 7 – Create an animation of your name using www.codeacademy.com/learn
By trying the 30 min goal
As always prizes for impressive work.
Create a project such as a game, robot, or burglar alarm using a Raspberry Pi and some electronic components. The web site http://learn.adafruit.com/category/raspberry-pi has video tutorials and YouTube is useful to see what projects other people are up to.
Go on a Coding Summer camp. There are a few held locally or for older teenagers try http://www.firetechcamp.com/ which is run by Imperial College.
Listen out for competitions Mr Beasley sends fliers around – TAKE PART!
The key is to challenge yourselves, use the Internet to give you the answers you need, join forums and groups to discuss solutions to problems and remember the answer is never “I can’t…….. it is, I can’t yet!”