Teaching Computer Science Better to get Better Results

http://computinged.wordpress.com/2014/10/15/we-need-to-fix-the-computer-science-teaching-problem/

The article’s hypothesis: We get poor results because we use ineffective teaching methods. If we want to teach CS more effectively, we need to learn and develop better methods. If we don’t strive for better methods, we’re not going to get better results.

Has some interesting links to methods to try. 

COMPUTATIONAL THINKING WITH SCRATCH

http://scratched.gse.harvard.edu/ct/

“Computational thinking has received considerable attention over the past several years, but there are many perspectives on what computational thinking entails. We are interested in the ways that design-based learning activities — in particular, programming interactive media — support the development of computational thinking in young people. This site and its collection of instruments are designed for K-12 educators and researchers interested in supporting and assessing the development of computational thinking through programming. “

CodeSpells – game to teach kids to code

http://codespells.org/

 

“CodeSpells started as the PhD research of Sarah Esper & Stephen Foster at UC San Diego to teach kids coding. Now it’s being developed into something more than a research project. We want to make an immersive, visually-appealing video game that kids & adults will want to explore for hours.

CodeSpells revolves around the idea of crafting your own magical spells to interact with the world, solve problems, and fight off foes. To do this, we’ve created an intuitive, sleek coding interface using a drag-and-drop Javascript-based language. This interface is designed for individuals (young and old) who want to learn coding for the first time. Skilled coders will also enjoy using their coding skills in new and creative ways! Players will be able to craft their own spells to build mountains, make an impenetrable force field around your character, or even make a golem creature out of the surrounding rocks. The sky is the limit”

Udemy course: Fun with Beginner LEGO MindStorms EV3 Robotics

https://www.udemy.com/fun-with-beginner-lego-mindstorms-ev3-robotics

Learning by Doing – Lego EV3 Robotics for the absolute beginner, build small robots and program them using EV3-G.

This is a robotics course for absolute beginners.

Over the last seven years we have had requests from grandparents, parents and teachers who claim to have no technical knowledge, that the free tutorials we have provided over the Internet be put together in a course that assumes absolutely no prior technical background, a course that they can use to help their middle school age grandchildren/children/students have fun with robots.

In this Robotics course for absolute beginners we try to answer that request, converting many of our free tutorials for use with Lego’s new EV3 MindStorms set. This course is about having fun building small Lego MindStorms EV3 robots, finding out how to command them to smile and speak, travel in straight and curved lines, and how to follow the edge of a line.

This mini-course includes about 2 hours of video tutorials. How long students take to complete this course varies enormously between students, but as a rough indication, we have used videos similar to these as the basis for about half of an 8-week, 2 hours per week after-school course for classes from Grade 5 to Grade 8, and for Adult Education and Parent/Child classes.