Friday, 30 May 2014

Future Plans - What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

As I come to the end of the DTTLs course that I am doing we have a final assignment that is a piece of action research.
I wanted something that was relevant to my subject area  (computing - I am not an ICT teacher -  full stop and no offence to those that are. But I am a programmer, and my qualifications are those of a programmer, and I teach programming, game design and production).
One of the things I witness students struggle with in the four years of teaching (yeah I'm that new to the education sector) is learning to program. There are several reasons for this, which I will maybe look at in a future post - or my theories anyway. So I am in a constant search for how I can change my teaching to help make the journey easier for my students.
One thing I have noticed in this search is the lack of literature (ie on Amazon) that I can get my hands on that deals with teaching programming or computer science. I think in total I have found 3 books on the subject. So I have them and I am working my way through them slowly.
So with this bit of action research I have to do I thought well I have a couple of books on Flipped Learning that I have been dipping in and out of, why don't I look into this a bit more for my assignment. But I don't just want this to be for the assignment I want this to be something I can use and hopefully make that journey of learning to code a bit easier for the students.
So the plan is to take this bit of action research and use it to prepare myself for trying out flipped learning with the new crop of level 3 software students in September on the Unit 14 Event Driven Programming unit. This is the unit that we use to teach students the basics of C# in the first year of the course. Over the summer I will be using Camtasia on the dirty side (that's the Windows side) of my Macbook Pro to record some screencasts covering the content of the unit, and the basics of C#. If you have read my previous post (here) where I did a mind map of the stuff that I try and cover with my students on the level 3, there is a hell of a lot that I will have to record.
The hope is that having these materials available for the students and not just relying on tutorials already out there will give them relevant stuff to refer to through the course that I know covers not just the stuff they need to know for the unit but also what I consider to be essential knowledge.
With this being the case (hopefully, fingers crossed) this will then free up lesson time to spend on practical workshops that I can spend time focusing more on helping students with specific problems, clarifying any misunderstanding, challenging more able students etc. Which then if this works out makes the students learning to program easier.
Well that's the plan. I'd love to hear from anyone in the comments below from anyone that has tried flipped learning with learning to program. Or any tips on flipped learning, or just say hi would love to hear from you.
I do have a stage two planned already, and that involves the solo taxonomy. But that is further down the road at the moment. Stage 1 is the flipped learning which I will write about here inbetween the various other ramblings.
Anyway that's enough of me for now, have a great weekend.

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