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Outline scheme of learning

This is a list of knowledge and activities that can be used to support coursework assessment for the Level 1 qualification in open systems computing. This in turn supports the new KS3 Programmes of Study for National Curriculum Computing, The listed activities and knowledge are not mandatory and there is no prescription – if you can think of better ways of teaching there is nothing to stop you using them. The baseline test being used by hundreds of schools across the country is based broadly on the knowledge and understanding presented and the activities will lend themselves to meeting the assessment criteria in the L1 and L2 Computing handbook. You do not have to provide the qualification in order to use the supporting materials and we will make links to other references and resources over the year, for example the CAS progression pathways created by Mark Dorling. These are made available freely and under Creative Commons licensing and you can copy them and modify them for your own purposes.

Year 7

Know the meaning of the words:

abstraction, algorithm, programming language, instruction, data, source code, executable code, variable, pixel, e-safety, copyright, license, open source, analogue, digital, permissions, data, information, file type, file properties, search, remix, acceptable use policy, strong password, spam, malware, cloud, desktop, mobile, validity, accurate.

It is best to embed these in the activities listed but no reason not to have revision quizzes and tests on a regular basis. A lot of research evidence that knowing what words mean is important and that for younger children they need help with definitions to become familiar and to think about what the words mean when they come across them.

E-safety

Example activities

1. Cyberbullying

2. Online Predators

3. Inappropriate Content

4. Damaged Reputations

5. Excessive Gaming

6. Malware

  • Infogram challenge = Design something like this in Inkscape. (Good activity for colleagues in art or DT)
  • Importance of accepting guidance from more experienced people.

The story of Little red training shoe. Opportunity to work with the English department. Go to the guttenberg project http://www.gutenberg.org/. Here there are tens of thousands of free classic texts now out of copyright including Grimm's Fairy Tales. Use the Little red training shoe model to re-write a classic story or extract from a book to illustrate an aspect of e-safety. Combine the old style of writing with new  technology and social circumstances to get humour. We can use such work to publish a book of student stories later in the course.

esafety quiz

http://theingots.org/community/esafety

Relevant assessment criteria

3.4 I can apply e-safety principles to my projects.

4.2 I can choose a strong network password and keep it secure

Introduction to abstraction

Example Activities:

Simple abstractions to represent physical objects.

Do you know what it is yet?

Work in pairs. One person writes down the name of an object eg (Bus, Car, Person) and keeps it secret.

They then build a picture representing the physical object from simple shapes, one at a time. As each shape is added, partner guesses the object.

eg Draw a circle – what do you think it is? Add a hub? Could be a wheel. Add spokes –> a bicycle wheel.

Move from paper to a vector drawing program such as Inkscape (Free and cross-platform from www.inkscape.org and clip art library from www.openclipart.org)

Teach children how to draw shapes and use them to build a picture. (This is object oriented drawing and a good background from which to introduce object oriented programming later)

There are many inkscape tutorials on You Tube.

In the previous activities the picture was built from objects (shapes) now build a picture from dots.

Data patterns to make pictures and images. Magnifying glass and newspaper images, red, green and blue dots to make up all colours in the picture. 

Use a piece of squared paper to colour in squares to make a picture. What are the limitations. If we use a piece of graph paper how will it improve the images? It will take longer to make the image – there is more data to put in – but the image will be a better representation of the real thing. Use a bitmap editor such as GIMP, paintbrush, Tuxpaint to illustrate how pictures can be made up from individual pixels (picture elements).

Use a vector drawing program (Inkscape.org is free with many video tutorials on You Tube)  to build a picture from objects eg make a car using circles and rectangles. Show that you can magnify the shapes as much as you want without them going "grainy". Opportunities to reinforce abstraction in terms of simplified information representing something more complicated.  Drawing programs like Inkscape are object oriented. They use simple objects to build more complex pictures with the simple objects defined by mathematical formulae. Can use this later to introduce OOP where coding objects are used to build more complicated programmes.

Relevant assessment criteria

1.1 I can develop abstractions to represent physical objects

1.2 I can use data patterns to represent physical objects.

(Opportunities to evidence ITQ Drawing and imaging software units)

Writing a computer program to make a software abstraction

Example activities

  • Activity to follow instructions to write a computer program – use whatever language you prefer and any simple code that will produce a result that the pupils will understand. eg. Use LogoBlockly or Scratch to draw a triangle, square, pentagon, hexagon, circle.
  • Look for patterns. Is there a rule that could be made up to draw any shape by just changing the numbers in the rule?
  • Now make a simple picture built up from these simple pieces of code. Effectively using a computer program to do what we previously did on paper.
  • Introduce the concept of a flow chart and conditions to make decisions.

 

Relevant assessment criteria

1.3 I can follow instructions to develop a software abstraction

(Opportunities to evidence ITQ specialist software units)

Using a software simulation of gravity

  • Numpty physics is a simulation environment using software to model object's behaviour under gravity. It is free software and there are versions for different operating systems. You can use any other software that models real world systems
  • Get as far through the problem solving tasks as you can in a lesson.
  • Could be scheduled as a competition between groups.
  • Should be a fairly obvious lead on from work on abstraction and simple shapes to what is a much bigger program.

 

Relevant assessment criteria

1.4 I can use software abstractions that model real world systems.

Being a software critic

  • As a class take Numpty Physics as an example and list its strengths and weaknesses. Provide cues such as: Learning about gravity? Ease of use? It's Free and Open Source Software? What does this mean? Problem solving? Fun? Intereting? Boring?
  • Compare software such as Google Earth with Scratch projects and Numpty Physics.
  • What are the differences? What would be the ultimate abstraction? A working model of the Universe. It has been proposed that the entire Universe could be a computer model set up by a very advanced race.
  • Make a list of 5 software abstractions using the titles. "Description of the abstraction",  "What is good about the abstraction (Strengths)", "What is bad about the abstraction (Weaknesses)"
  • Take a scratch project (Or other code in any language) and see if you can alter it to make it do something different or better. Why was what you did an improvement?

 

Relevant assessment criteria

1.5 I can identify strengths and weaknesses in computer models

Searching for information

Use the Computer Science unplugged resources at http://csunplugged.org/searching-algorithms to introduce algorithms using the Battleships Game.

Example activities

  • Write a set of instructions so that a friend can complete a task such as walking to the classroom door and back such that the friend has to do only what you tell them and nothing more or less. It's more difficult than it might appear.
  • Write a set of instructions to automate a common task at home.
  • Use the csunplugged materials to investigate sorting a pack of cards.

 

Relevant assessment criteria

2.1 I can identify strengths and weaknesses in computer models

2.2 I can identify different algorithms that target the same task

Giving instructions to a computer

Example activities

  • Use HTML tags to provide the concept of getting the computer to act on instructions.
  • Use any environment that makes it easy to write HTML and see the effects. Most web site content management systems allow pages to be switched between a word processor style visual editor and the source code. eg TLM's learning site at www.theingots.org. Here the pupils can make their own pages and enter HTML and see the effect. There is a how to link at https://theingots.org/community/howto#howto-html. Alternatively use http://www.w3schools.com/.

 

Relevant assessment criteria

2.5 I can change variables in an algorithm and predict the effect

2.6 I know how instructions and data are stored

A programming project

Example activities

  • Using a visual programming language of your own choice, either modify an existing program to provide additional functionality or write your own project.
  • Suggestion is to use Scratch or Blockly  but the choice is yours.

 

Relevant assessment criteria

3.2 I can originate useful code in a visual language

3.3 I can identify structure in programs

3.4 I can test code

3.5 I can edit source code to fix a bug

3.6 I can choose variable names that aid clarity

Supporting my work using technology

Example activities

In the following activities the pupils will choose a subject or subjects that they are going to support using ICT. Here are some possibilities, it is up to the teacher and/or pupils to decide what they will do. It might well be something already in the previous ICT scheme of work. In the first instance using this will save planning time. There is plenty of time later to vary this once everything is up to speed.

These are just suggestions you can choose completely different projects if you want to.

  • In English search the Guttenberg project – http://www.gutenberg.org for a classic text and present it in a web page with their own review. What did they like? what didn't they like?
  • In maths use a vector drawing program to draw points, lines, parallel lines, perpendicular lines, right angles, regular polygons, and other polygons, that are reflectively and rotationally symmetric labelling them.  Export to .png for display in a web page.
  • In art photograph one of their paintings and enhance it using image processing software such as GIMP.
  • In music use a scoring program to compose some music and print the score.
  • In geography make a contribution to the open streetmap project. http://www.openstreetmap.org/
  • In design and technology build a fire alarm system using a temperature sensor computer controller and sound effects.
  • In languages use Google Translate and Google hangouts to do a joint project with children the same age in another country.

 

Relevant assessment criteria

2.1 I can originate original digital information from my own imagination.

2.2 I can use remix to create original digital information.

2.3 I can use specific design techniques.

2.4 I can match my work to a target audience.

3.1 I can structure a plan for a project supported by digital tools.

3.2 I can carry out projects by linking a sequence of steps.

3.3 I can evaluate a project in terms of its strengths and weaknesses.

3.5 I can show courage in completing a project.

Understanding Computer Hardware

Example activities

Demonstration of building a PC. (Use a camera and projector so all can see)

  • Pupils make a list of the components as the computer is built.
  • Search the web for prices and get a costing for a computer based on the components.
  • Could be a competition to see who can source the least expensive computer.

Put pupils into teams

  • Dismantle the PC explaining the purpose of each part. Pupils are not allowed to write anything down just listen.
  • Give each team a sheet of paper with the photograph of each part. They have to write next to each part what its purpose is.
  • Swap over sheets and check which ones are correct. Are their items which everyone got right? Are there items everyone could not get?

 

Relevant assessment criteria

1.1 I can identify the main hardware components in computing devices

1.2 I can match discrete components in computing devices to purpose

1.3 I can classify hardware on the basis of purpose

 

Key knowledge for the progress test.

Give examples of abstractions, recognise abstractions, use the word abstraction in an appropriate context.

 


Y8 – Vocab (needs editing still to do)
abstraction, algorithm, programming language, instruction, data, source
code, executable code, variable, Boolean Operators AND, NOT, OR,
NAND, wildcard, binary, conditional statement, pixel, e-safety, copyright,
license, open source, open system, proprietary, analogue, digital, CPU,
RAM, Bus, Harddrive, USB, RJ45, interface, bandwidth, server,
contention, network bottleneck, local area network, wide area network,
protocol, firewall, permissions, UTP, fibre optic, wifi, 3/4G, encryption,
client, switch, router.
Demonstrate knowledge and understanding associated with the
information and data terms:
data, information, filetype, file properties, search, validity, remix,
acceptable use policy, strong password, spam, malware, compatible,
interoperable, cloud, desktop, mobile, software as a service, digital lock-in,
validity, accurate.


Y9 – Vocab
abstraction, algorithm, programming language, instruction, data, source
code, executable code, variable, Boolean Operators AND, NOT, OR,
NAND, wildcard, binary, conditional statement, pixel, e-safety, copyright,
license, open source, open system, proprietary, analogue, digital, CPU,
RAM, Bus, Harddrive, USB, RJ45, interface, bandwidth, server,
contention, network bottleneck, local area network, wide area network,
protocol, firewall, permissions, UTP, fibre optic, wifi, 3/4G, encryption,
client, switch, router.
Demonstrate knowledge and understanding associated with the
information and data terms:
data, information, filetype, file properties, search, validity, remix,
acceptable use policy, strong password, spam, malware, compatible,
interoperable, cloud, desktop, mobile, software as a service, digital lock-in,
validity, accurate.

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