Learning to code – local, national, international, online

I learned about yet another coding/computing for kids thing today… the South East Scotland ComputerXPlorers, part of what seems to be an international franchise operation of local programming clubs & in-school learning for kids. Looking round the business side of the site, the franchise business aspect is very clear, but it looks like the school and after school activities they do are reasonably well designed and planned – covering the likes of Scratch programming and computer animation.

This gets added to a bunch of other computing/coding for kids things…

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Danger! Gamification!

Today I was speaking at the Learning through Gaming event at Dundee College, part of the Festival of Dangerous ideas organised by the College Development Network. Gerry Dougan asked me if I wanted to talk about Gamification, and as I have fairly strong dislike for the term I readily agreed!

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When is a MOOC not a MOOC?

The new breed of MOOCs are now coming in for increasing scrutiny as the stakes are being raised higher – with some education systems in the US in particular hoping to replace expensive campus based teaching with lower cost online teaching. This seems a bit hasty, as the limited evidence so far would suggest that for many learners an online only option might not be ideal [citation needed].

But my biggest issue with the new MOOCs is that they really aren’t MOOCs at all…

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OpenSimulator Community Conference

The first OpenSimulator Community Conference will be online on September 7th and 8th this year. This is a big step forward for the now quite widely used but still officially ‘alpha’ status virtual world. Having had a few student projects active in the OpenSim based Jokaydia Grid this year, I’ll hopefully be able to submit something of interest to the proceedings.

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Programming – Women’s Work

Following on from a heated debate online yesterday I thought I would post about why promoting careers in computer science/programming/science to under-represented groups is necessary and worthwhile. As it happens, this also comes as Chi Onwurah, MP for Newcastly-Upon-Tyne, has called for greater gender equality in the games industry (as detailed here).

Expect a graph and lots of footnotes…

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