Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

ICT - Switched-Off Learning: Resources

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

ICT - Switched-Off Learning: Resources

Article excerpt

You don't need a computer to teach computer science.

The expectation is that to teach computing you must have a computer. But many computing concepts are best illustrated without a PC.

Indeed, kinaesthetic activities can help to illuminate ideas and make them more tangible to pupils. This is particularly true in primary classrooms. A really useful resource for this is Computer Science Unplugged (csunplugged.org), a collection of activities that teach computer science through engaging games and puzzles that use cards, string, crayons and lots of running around.

The activities introduce pupils to underlying concepts, such as binary numbers, algorithms and data compression, separated from the distractions and technical details we usually see with computers.

The materials are suitable for people of all ages, but many of the original activities were written with the primary classroom in mind. Developed in New Zealand and used for more than 15 years, such is their popularity that they have been translated into eight different languages.

A book of 12 of the most popular activities can be freely downloaded from the website (csunplugged. …

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