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Blog 1 titleSemester 1 Seminar 1 : The National Curriculum for computing

This seminar gave me a good insight into the many means of technology that are used by both teachers and pupils in the classroom, and the positive opportunities that it creates. It also made me aware that there are times when technology can be used by teachers to enhance their lessons, while on other occasions it may not be the most appropriate resource to select.

Taking an initial look at the National Curriculum for computing I was quite shocked by the extent of some of the requirements for primary school aged children, as they seemed much more demanding than I expected and remember from my own experiences. There were also a selection of terms that I was unsure of the meaning of, such as algorithms, debug, decomposition and abstraction. However, through the use of the real-life example of making a sandwich, these words were explained clearly and memorably – which I think is an effective technique to use when demonstrating such things to children, as it makes challenging words seem less daunting. This understanding made the requirements of the National Curriculum seem more achievable, and after taking the time to think about them I realised that it makes sense that children’s computing abilities are being challenged and improved as the world is becoming more and more centered around technology.

The 2014 Computing National Curriculum:                                                                         (Source:https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/239033/PRIMARY_national_curriculum_-_Computing.pdf)

The programme promotes a ‘high quality computing education’, encouraging pupils to make a difference in the world in which they live, and to apply their knowledge in other areas of the curriculum also.  It teaches computer science to further their capabilities and emphasises the importance of becoming ‘digitally literate’, an attribute which will support children throughout their lives. Pupils at both Key Stages must be able to carry out functions such as debugging, be able to operate and understand certain programs, while using technology appropriately in a way which will ensure their safety.

Strengths in computing: being familiar with how to use social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, having some insight into the uses of technology in schools such as iPads from my pre-course experience and being able to use technology to discover and present information.

Weaknesses in computing: having limited knowledge of specialist computing terminology,  being hesitant to use more complex technology, having limited knowledge of programs/apps that can be used to help and engage children in their learning.

Learning objectives:

  1. To broaden my understanding and gain ideas and inspiration for uses of ICT in the primary classroom.
  2. To understand meanings of terms that I am currently unsure of.
  3. To use ‘The Hungry Games’ module effectively to ensure that I develop my knowledge and understanding of the technology that is available, for instance using the ‘badges’ to discover and experiment with new means of communication such as Pinterest.
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