Thursday, October 18, 2012 9:12 AM
I'm a teacher working as a home tutor mainly for maths. In the UK there seems to be absolutely no provision for teaching computer programming to children, and ICT classes consist mainly of how to use Office.
I think MSSB is a wonderful tool for introducing kids to programming, and I'm wondering if there is any support available for promoting it as an educational tool within schools? Is there a budget available for this? I know there are some excellent resources (Teaching Kids to Program website for example), but I'm thinking more like what I used to do occasionally for TI with their graphics calculators - I'd train teachers to use the technology to support their teaching. Of course, TI had a product to sell....
Thursday, October 18, 2012 9:59 AMThis is technically off-topic, but as you are wishing to teach programming you may want to look at Microsoft DreamSpark. It provides free versions of software for educational use.
Thursday, October 18, 2012 4:08 PMActually, it's not really off topic because by MSSB he means Microsoft Small Basic. So he's really talking about teaching Small Basic to kids in schools, like me.
I am a 10 year old that loves math, games, and computers. 'Binary is as easy as 1, 10, 11.'
- Edited by Math Man Thursday, October 18, 2012 4:09 PM
Thursday, October 18, 2012 9:07 PMOwner
Thursday, October 18, 2012 10:34 PMAnswerer
Sorry, there is no budget for this kind of stuff. If you have any specific questions or problems, you can ask them here or email me at gungan37 at gmail com. I am a student who started out with MSSB and it has helped me a lot! I spent about a year and a half on SB, then learned C#, C / C++, VB, J#, Java, and assembly language (and TI-Basic if that counts =) ). Believe me, SB is one of the best ways to introduce students to programming.
The PDF that comes with the SB install is what I used to learn. It is not exaclty ideal for teaching a class though. Maybe once you get them to get their basics down, that could take a stab at some of the "challenge of the month" problems. They come in a series of difficulty levels and are a good means of getting people thinking programmatically.
Please mark any answers and "vote as helpful" any posts that help you!
Friday, October 19, 2012 5:15 PMOwner
Philip, who runs Computer Science for Kids, has created the materials for this scenario (to help train teachers and give them a curriculum to teach children). Here is what Phil says...
Most of our Microsoft Small Basic Tutorial and textbook buyers are K-12 Teachers. You can see a complete list of Small Basic programming Tutorials and textbooks for teachers here:
We also sell a specially priced unlimited user digital edition of our tutorials just for teachers. Most teachers are actually just 1-2 chapters ahead of their students when they teach Small Basic using our tutorials.
So this solution does cost some money (and there is no budget to support), but it's some aleady made materials for teaching students.
Friday, October 19, 2012 6:04 PM
Thanks for your answers.
I think I need to do some research into what schools in the UK are doing to implement a programming curriculum and see if I can get involved. As a self-employed tutor I'm well placed to do freelance training, and as an ex-teacher I can imagine that I would be annoyed if I was expected to learn programming in order to teach it without some training and time allocated beyond my normal workload.
I wrote to the education secretary about this, but was "flapped" by his secretary, who I don't think understood what I was asking. Basically I want to create some work for myself sharing something I feel passionate about, and using my experience as a teacher. I occasionally teach programming on a one-to-one basis to private students, but would like to "go bigger."
Like I say, I think this is more about UK education policy than MSSB as such, but if anyone has any inforation that might help, that would be great.
Saturday, October 20, 2012 9:30 PM
At the risk of blasphamy on a Microsoft Website I have to point out that UK has one of the most interesting programs going for promoting programming.
Two Words: Raspberry PI.
Link to the home web site: http://www.raspberrypi.org/
Link to an article talking about the program: http://www.engadget.com/2012/06/01/raspberry-pi-impressions-the-35-linux-computer-and-tinker-toy/