Newsletter Spring 2012
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Links to further resources and information covered in this issue:
Celebrating the genius of AlanTuring
A series of short videos, commissioned by BCS, celebrating the work of key pioneers in computing, including Alan Turing can be found at http://pioneers.bcs.org/
Whitehall support for computer science
The CAS wiki details coverage of the calls to bring computing back into the curriculum. In November / December 2011 we posted links to over 30 separate articles, often in the mainstream press. CAS members can access the links at https://sites.google.com/site/computingatschool/links-to-external-resources/media-coverage
Page 2 & 3
Rediscovering the spirit of the bbc micro
Not signed up to the Raspberry Pi forum yet? If you want to be kept in touch about the release date then this is essential. For details of this, and the day to day developments as the Pi nears it’s launch check out http://www.raspberrypi.org/.
To get a feel for the impact the micro had see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-15969065
Gamemaker: a great way to learn how to program
For all the information you need to get you started just visit http://www.yoyogames.com
A very useful introductory set of resources can be found….
- http://ictmindtools.net/ is Margaret Meijers’s marvellous website with lots of introductory resources to GameMaker, including videos.
- http://book.gamemaker.nl/ is home to The Game Maker’s Apprentice, which is a wonderful book written by Mark Overmars (the edevloper of GameMaker) and Jacob Habgood. Essential (and addictive) reading to go beyond the basics.
- Jacob Habgood discusses the educational benefits of teaching game design at http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/10367/Education_Feature_Compulsory_Game_Development.php
More information about .NET Gadgeteer can be found on the Microsoft Research website: http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/projects/gadgeteer/default.aspx. Here there is a link to the main website http://www.netmf.com/gadgeteer/ which provides project ideas and more. The website of the initial supplier of components is http://www.ghielectronics.com/
Introducing robotics: having lots of fun with bits and bots
A few resources:
Details of Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio can be found here: http://www.microsoft.com/robotics/
Similarly, the visual programming environment (VPL) aimed at novices can be found here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb483088.aspx
All the details and entry requirements to this years UK Schools Animation Competition can be found at http://animation12.cs.manchester.ac.uk/ The competition is free and, once registered you will receive publicity material to use with the children.
The outline and rules can be found at http://animation12.cs.manchester.ac.uk/index.php/competition-main/allcomps/codebreaker
The extra Greenfoot resources that would enable a course preparing for the competition can be found on the CAS website: www.computingatschool.org.uk
Howard Rheingold’s website is http://rheingold.com/ His wonderful book ‘Tools For Thought’ can be accessed directly from http://rheingold.com/texts/tft/
Turing 100 call for participants
Please email Turing100atBletchleyPark@gmail.com for information on how to get involved.
More details of the final family event at Bletchley Park can be found in the University of Reading Turing100 press release at http://www.reading.ac.uk/about/newsandevents/releases/PR371881.aspx
Appreciating Turing's work:
You can help contribute to the ongoing project to save Bletchley Park and develop it as a historic site. CS4FN article http://www.cs4fn.org/history/savingbletchleypark.php links to Saving Bletchley Park campaign http://www.savingbletchleypark.org/ .
Page 8 & 9
Compilers, graphs and Tlan Turing’s halting problem
The sample VB scanning and graphing program refered to in the text can be found here. GraphViz can be downloaded free from http://graphviz.org/
Dr Seuss, Poetry and Proof: Scooping the loop scooper
Many thanks to Geoffrey Pullum for permission for organisations to use his wonderful proof for educational purposes. The original can be found here: ttp://www.lel.ed.ac.uk/~gpullum/loopsnoop.html
The teaching of artificial intelligence as science
The paper refered to is A. M. Turing, The Chemical Basis Of Morphogenesis,
Phil. Trans. R. Soc. London B 237, 237, pp. 37--72, 1952.
The 3rd in a trilogy of essays by Aaron Sloman assessing the impact of Alan Turings ideas, ‘Meta-Morphogenesis: Evolution of Information-Processing Machinery’ can be found at http://www.cs.bham.ac.uk/research/projects/cogaff/misc/meta-morphogenesis.html
Aaron Sloman writes about the video tutorials referred to in the box;
“using the idea of modelling aspects of a young child learning to count, I have tried to illustrate why learning AI programming ('thinky programming') can provide new insight that has nothing to do with computers: in this case developmental psychology, (and its links with education) and potentially also neuroscience, biology, and philosophy of mathematics. The tutorial/podcast introduces rule-based programming based on an AI programming language, showing some of the power of pattern-matching for structure-manipulation -- crucial for systems that think, see, learn, solve problems, make plans, communicate, etc. The new tutorial is on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watchv=9TAQoRpvLFE . The plain text 'Teach file' presented in the tutorial, including all the runnable code, is available here: http://www.cs.bham.ac.uk/research/projects/poplog/teach/number-rulebase.txt
The Youtube site also includes two older tutorials on 'thinky' programming, including one showing how to use a simple formal grammar to generate haikus that are then spoken out loud by the computer, using the linux 'espeak' program (about 31 minutes -- skip bits if necessary): http://www.youtube.com/watchv=j0oaK59SSM0"
If anyone who has not yet joined is interested in getting AI teaching (and more generally "thinky" programming) into more central focus in school education feel free to join the CAS-AI group's mailing list: http://www.cs.bham.ac.uk/research/projects/poplog/cas-ai
WHEN SIZE DOES MATTER (PART two): GETTING TO GRIPS WITH THE NOTION OF ALGORITHMIC COMPLEXITY
This article (and the first part in the last issue) is based on the content of an Educational Computing Services Ltd course on teaching Algorithmic Complexity. Further details about their services can be found on the website http://www.educational-computing.co.uk/ The series of articles, from which this is taken, can be found on the link to CAS Newsletter articles from the homepage.
IBM partners with vital to provide it insights
Pete Marshman’s lesson resources to sup[port this initiative can be downloaded from the Vital website. See: http://www.vital.ac.uk/community/course/view.phpid=3070 A Vital registration / user account is required.
Sussex hub explores app development with YouSRC
The free online YouSrc ddevelopment environment is at http://yousrc.com/
Help videos are available via their YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/YouSrcElc
An annual competition is a wonderful opportunity for pupils to showcase their creativity, with excellent prozes for the winning schools. See last years winners here: http://yousrc.com/index.aspLEFTBUT=COMPETITION
If you are interested in organising a CAS local hub please contact Claire Davenport. CAS has produced a ‘getting started’ guide and Claire will be happy to help get the initial meetings advertised. You can contact her through firstname.lastname@example.org
Google CS4HS grants
The details of the grant application process can be found at http://cs4hs.com/
Getting to grips with gcse computing
Further details of the course offered at Anglia Ruskin can be found here: http://computingatschool.org.uk/index.phpid=python-evening-class
Google trailblazer prizes at big bang fair 2012
Details of the Big Bang Fair are here: http://regional.thebigbangfair.co.uk/nsec/
Kids computer workshops a hit with technocamps
The technocamps website is here: http://www.technocamps.com;
Coverage on BBC Wales can be seen here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-14774587
Several organisations join forces as CAS scotland is born
The discussion group on CompEdNet to gather opinions about the Scottish Exemplification Project can be found here: http://bit.ly/CISExemp You will need to register to join in.
More information about the T100 Twit Test can be found at http://www.t100.org.uk/
- The Livingstone Hope Report can be downloaded from http://www.nesta.org.uk/home1/assets/features/next_gen
- The governments response is here: http://www.dcms.gov.uk/publications/8646.aspx
- The CAS wiki outlines many other reports sympathetic to our ideas here: https://sites.google.com/site/computingatschool/links-to-external-resources/national-reports
Free magazines for students from cs4fn
To place orders for individual or class sets of the magazines mentioned please visit:
A pause for thought
The official CAPTCHA site, containing lots of further material of use in the classroom can be found here: http://captcha.net/
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