Category Archives: coding

Empowering girls to make amazing games

Girls Make Games is an organisation aimed at encouraging girls involvement in coding, game design and STEM.   They hold a series of international summer camps, workshops and game jams and in 2016 ran their first Australian event in Melbourne. Founder and CEO Laila Shabir spoke about her inspiration behind launching Girls Make Games.girls_make_games

What inspired you to start Girls Make Games?

In late 2013, I was recruiting for my game studio, LearnDistrict, I noticed that 100% of the job applicants were male.… Visit the author's original post

Catapulting school students into space with Cuberider

If the idea of sending something into space on a rocket to the International Space Station seems like a far-out concept, you’d probably not be alone in your thinking.

However, two people passionate about space, science and technology have made this reality for over 1000 Australian high school students. In 2016, Solange Cunin and Sebastian Chaoui launched the Cuberider learning program with the aim of turning STEM into an  exciting, creative and highly collaborative exercise.  The program gives young students practice in the highly sought-after skills they’ll need for their future careers, such as coding, data analysis and critical thinking.… Visit the author's original post

Computer Science in the Classroom – Get Coding with BBC micro:bit through Twilight Sessions

The following post is written by Microsoft Teacher Ambassador Natalie Burgess. If you’d like to join a BBC micro:bit Twilight Session near Renfrewshire, please follow the registration link at the bottom of this post.


Tuesday 7th February marked the beginning of three Twilight Sessions for teachers across Renfrewshire and Central Scotland to gain confidence and skills when teaching Code in the classroom, using the BBC micro:bit. This event was put together in collaboration between Microsoft, West College Scotland, Paisley YMCA and Renfrewshire Council.… Visit the author's original post

“I am focused on each student’s growth. If each student can come away with knowledge that will enhance their personal or professional life, then we have both succeeded.” – Pamela Orbison, computer science teacher, USA

Pamela Orbison

Business, Finance, IT and Computer Science Teacher; Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert

Rowan Salisbury Schools in Salisbury, North Carolina, USA
Pam Orbison (@CLMS_CTE on Twitter

How one teacher manages testing pressure

“It seems that a score on a test determines the current educational measure of success.  I have had students in my class crying because they feel so much pressure to meet a certain standard (even on pre-tests). I realized that these scores have the potential to cause students to define themselves according to their score.… Visit the author's original post

Ormiston College STEM Day

There is no doubt that PBL (Problem or Project Based Learning) and STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) has captured the current zeitgeist of contemporary learning around the globe.  There are many schools in Australia that have realised that they need to do something quickly to enable their students to have the skills and dispositions to survive and thrive when they leave their stretch of education.

One school that is leading the way in Australia is Ormiston College, also a Microsoft World Showcase School.  Visit the author's original post

‘Make’ it a good Christmas – Batteries, soldering iron and code not included

I remember getting my first bike for Christmas in 1982. It was an amazing red bike, with cool handle-bar grips and a bright shiny logo on the frame. It took me months to learn how to ride it and Christmas seemed to last forever. Learning was hard, the bruises were many but the reward was independence. I also remember Father Christmas (my dad) spending ages setting up Scalextric so when I got up in the morning it was ready to go!… Visit the author's original post

HackingSTEM: Using Computational Thinking to Understand Earthquakes

Happy Computer Science Education Week!

Millions of students worldwide are in the process of discovering the possibilities of instructing machines to accomplish tasks. Whether completing the Minecraft Hour of Code tutorial, or watching a Pixar In a Box episode on Khan Academy, the spirit of discovery, experimentation and the art of Computer Science is celebrated while students build core 21st century software engineering skills.

This month, the Education Workshop has partnered with the California Academy of Sciences and KQED to combine coding with mechanical engineering and data science to empower students to use computational thinking to experience how engineers and computer scientists are working together to mitigate the impact of earthquakes.… Visit the author's original post

Complete an Hour of Code as part of Computer Science Education Week

Next week sees the return of Computer Science Education Week, and with it the opportunity to join tens of millions of other students in over 180 countries, in participating in the Hour of Code!


Promoting STEM in the classroom

Digital skills are set to add £3bn to the economy in the next five years, and it is important that the next generation doesn’t miss out on the potential the digital world offers and the ability for them to succeed in it.

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BLOODHOUND Race for the Line competition – deadline extended

Great news for anyone who has yet to enter the Race For the Line rocket car challenge – the application deadline for this fantastic STEM initiative has been extended to 30th November.

Apply now at RacefortheLine.com

Register your school for Free rocket Car Kits and take part in this awesome competition to design and build the fastest model rocket car in the UK!


Inspired by the rules governing the World Land Speed Record attempt that the 1,000mph BLOODHOUND Supersonic Car is targeting, the model rocket cars must blast along a wire and through a set of timing gates with a BBC micro:bit accelerometer on board gathering vital data that enables the Teams to modify and improve their designs.

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The day Microsoft’s CEO met ordinary kids doing extraordinary things from Sydney Secondary College

Satya Nadella meets with kids from Sydney Secondary College

By Pip Cleaves, head teacher, learning innovation, at Sydney Secondary College – Leichhardt Campus

Sydney Secondary College Leichhardt Campus works hard at being future focused by experimenting with new ways to learn that encourage students to dream big. So when we heard we would meet Satya Nadella at the flagship Microsoft Store in Sydney, plenty of them said they were keen to show him what they’ve achieved. We asked students to showcase their ideas so we could decide on two groups to take to the store.… Visit the author's original post

7 ways to figure out this coding thing

So, you’re wanting to learn how to code but not sure where to start? Or perhaps you just want to know what the fuss around computer science is about? Or is it that you know you need to help your students figure out programming? Here are some ways to get started.

1. Hour of Code

Hour of Code is exactly what it sounds like and is a perfect “first time” introduction to what goes into coding. With a super simple block-based approach, you’ll go through a series of lessons that show you the basics of programming, all in under an hour.Visit the author's original post

Teaching students to code: New resources bring creative coding and computational thinking to your classroom

Learn how to unlock your students' creative coding potential!Coding – and computational thinking in general — is one of the most in-demand skills in today’s job market, but not so long ago, learning to code was mostly out of reach for late-middle school and secondary students. Coding wasn’t taught in the typical classroom, and educators – unless they had a computer science background – weren’t equipped to teach it.

All of that changes with Microsoft’s Creative Coding with Games and Apps (CCGA) curriculum, training and resources. These new tools promote the development of computational thinking skills, and get your students excited about computer science by teaching them how to code in a real software development environment as they design, program and publish mobile apps and games.… Visit the author's original post

Teacher Ambassador Report: Coding @ CoderDojo, Paisley YMCA

Since joining the Microsoft Education UK team, our Teacher Ambassador Natalie Burgess has been one busy bee! You may have already read her introductory guide to the Microsoft Educator Community, her report from West College Scotland IT Symposium, or even seen her fantastic Tip-ster videos and Facebook Live posts on our social media channels!

Back again with another blog for us, Natalie reflects on the CoderDojo event she took part in on Monday, in her native Paisley, Scotland.

Follow Natalie on Twitter: @natalielochhead


CoderDojo1

Earlier this week I was invited along to an awesome club in the Paisley YMCA called CoderDojo.… Visit the author's original post

Teaching Coding for Beginners – Let’s get started with some Australian Curriculum examples

In Part 3, we will address examples of coding elaborations in the Australian Curriculum, to show practical examples of how teachers can address these elaborations. Click on the following links for part one and part two both also written by Matthew Jorgensen, Teacher Ambassador in the Microsoft Australia education team.

 

Part 3 – That’s great, but what now?

In 2015, federal and state political leaders from both sides of politics made one thing loud and clear in a show of true bi-partisan support.… Visit the author's original post

Teaching Coding for Beginners

 

In this 3 part series, Matthew Jorgensen will present some reasons for everyday teachers to start delivering ‘coding’ in the teaching and learning process. Then, he will demonstrate a number of visual programming tools that are mostly free, easy for teachers to master and always engaging for students. Finally, he will address examples of coding elaborations in the Australian Curriculum, to show practical examples of how classroom teachers can address these elaborations.

Part 1 – The Educational Imperative to Teach Students to ‘Code’

learn to code

Visual programming, like web 2.0, has enabled consumers to become producers.… Visit the author's original post

Satya Nadella visits Eastlea Community School to see how students are using the BBC micro:bit

Satya-School-Visit

Last week during Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's visit to the UK for Future Decoded, he paid a visit to Eastlea Community School to meet with staff and students and see how they have been inspired into coding and creativity by the BBC micro:bit.

Speaking on the day, he said:

“I hope for sure that it becomes a worldwide phenomena – where the product, but more importantly the ingenuity that I saw today in the kids that I met today, is the thing that I think will become worldwide in terms of really inspiring every kid to get out there and learn coding and to express themselves in ways that are so, so creative”

Joining Satya was the BBC's Director General, Lord Tony Hall, and as well as impressing both with their computational thinking and programming, the students at Eastlea turned their hand to broadcast journalism by creating the following video as part of the BBC News School Report:

But the fun didn't end there for the students, as later that day they travelled to Future Decoded where they took up residence of the Microsoft in Education stand to demonstrate to the other attendees how they had used TouchDevelop to program their BBC micro:bits to be able to do all sorts of innovative and wonderful things.… Visit the author's original post

My first ISTE

The last day of school was Friday, June 25. I was on my way to Philadelphia at 6am Saturday morning. So my head was already spinning before I even got there. ISTE is the major educational technology trade show that everyone talks about all year, and this was my first trip there. Microsoft paid for my hotel and travel expenses because I became certified in Microsoft Education, which was very cool. My head continued to spin for the next three days.… Visit the author's original post

Guest Post: Our Coding Journey – The Beginnings

This guest post comes from Miss Briony Marks who has guest posted here before with her work in maths. Today it is her story of working with Year 7 students in our Preparatory School, introducing them to the basics of coding. … Continue reading Visit the author's original post

Give students a head start in computer science studies and careers

Interest in computer science amongst incoming college freshmen is surging to record levels. That’s promising news given the widely-reported shortfall of code-literate graduates to fill computing jobs, with an projected one million more jobs than qualified graduates by 2020. Now academic institutions face a time-sensitive resource gap: responding to student demand for computer science curriculum in a race to produce enough skilled workers to fill the demand for future jobs.

Bring Computer Science to your Classroom

To help meet demand at your school, Microsoft IT Academy has expanded its Computer Science curriculum with engaging and flexible learning tools that guide any student from foundational computer science concepts to advanced programming.… Visit the author's original post

Julie Hembree: Adding Coding to Your Literacy Bag of Tricks

by Julie Hembree
Expert Educator Columnist, USA

I am a reader, a writer and an elementary school librarian. What I am not is a computer programmer or coder, or so I thought until recently. This fall when the wave of publicity increased about the Hour of Code, and National Computer Science week, I dismissed it. I simply didn’t think coding was anything I needed to teach during my library lessons, especially in elementary school. I have so much to teach in my weekly lessons already, why should I add more to my plate?… Visit the author's original post

Tammy Dunbar: Taking Time to Teach Technology

by Tammy Dunbar
Expert Educator Columnist, USA

teachergeekExcitedly showcasing an Hour of Code activity for my grade level teachers, I was speeding through how one could easily project the website onto the classroom screen and model for students how to snap blocks of code in place, programming the Angry Bird’s journey through the maze to capture the Green Pig.

When I looked up from my screen, expecting to see looks of amazement on their faces, I saw one of my colleague’s eyes glazing over.… Visit the author's original post

Cathy Cavanaugh: Values of Learning Programming Language in School

by Cathy Cavanaugh
Director of Teaching and Learning, Microsoft in Education

What is a human language? As a symbol system for encoding and communicating ideas, our languages are varied and dynamic, each reflective of its own cultures and ways of knowing. Thus, each language has intrinsic value to influence thought and interaction. Additionally, each language has practical value in the 21st century. Recognizing the many benefits of learning multiple languages, schools around the world require native language fluency and a minimum of competence in a second language.… Visit the author's original post

A Classroom Reports in from Hour of Code

Welcome to Computer Science Education Week and Hour of Code! This week millions of students around the world will learn the basics of computer science using fun, easy-to-follow programming tools, such as our own TouchDevelop Jet Pack Jumper Hour of Code Tutorial.

Over the last few days we have shared reviews of the Hour of Code experience from two Washington State classrooms--Kalama Middle/High School and Bellevue High School.

photo source: Teach4Real.com

Today we're honored to share perspectives on Hour of Code from Matthew Amaral, English/Puente Teacher and AVID Coordinator, and his students at Mt.Visit the author's original post