Create Robots with Robot Wars and BBC Microbit
Mar06

Create Robots with Robot Wars and BBC Microbit

The return of Robot Wars to BBC 2 this week provides a good opportunity to harness the enthusiasm surrounding the show to inspire children to build and code their own robots. This mini site from the BBC contains plenty of resources and tutorials to inspire children to code and create robots using the BBC Microbit. Children can make a micro:bot, a maze travelling robot or even a papercraft robot! There’s even information on...

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The Northern Ireland Edtech Cluster at #BETT2017
Feb12

The Northern Ireland Edtech Cluster at #BETT2017

One of the larger stands I visited at BETT 2017 was the Invest Northern Ireland pavilion. Invest NI was at BETT for the first time to showcase six of the region’s upcoming edtech companies, and to promote trade with Northern Ireland. This included: Go-Berserk Go-Berserk is a multi-award winning company that has developed resources to help teach real code to everyone from eight years old and up. It currently has three hard copy books...

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Raspberry Pi Sense Hat Emulator : Put a Pi on your iPad
Sep12

Raspberry Pi Sense Hat Emulator : Put a Pi on your iPad

If you’ve wanted to try out the Sense HAT for Raspberry Pi, or want a whole class to test one without buying lots, then this new emulator is just what you need! It’s now possible to code the Sense HAT for Raspberry Pi in an emulator in a web browser, without any hardware. The Sense HAT emulator allows pupils to run the same Python code that runs on a real Sense HAT on a Raspberry Pi, emulating its behaviour in a virtual...

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Code for Life – Primary Coding from Ocado
Aug23

Code for Life – Primary Coding from Ocado

The Code for Life website has been developed by grocery giants Ocado to help teachers deliver the new computing curriculum and inspire the next generation of computer scientists. Their first game, Rapid Router is a free teaching resource aimed at Key Stage 1 and lower Key Stage 2 children. It is a fun and engaging coding game that helps teach children the basic principles of programming. Built on ‘Blockly’, visual...

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An Introduction to the BBC Micro:bit
Jul22

An Introduction to the BBC Micro:bit

The BBC Micro:bit is a low-cost, handheld, fully programmable computer. It’s 70 times smaller and 18 times faster than the original BBC Micro computers used in schools in the early 1980s. Mine has finally arrived, and I’ve had a chance to play with it and see what it can do. This little device is very much like an arduino, or similar programmable boards. You create code on a computer, then upload it to the Micro:bit to carry it...

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Using Lego to Support Coding : Bits and Bricks and Other Ideas
Jun05

Using Lego to Support Coding : Bits and Bricks and Other Ideas

Bits and Bricks is a mini-module from LEGO that can be used to teach children the basics of coding using simple algorithms. Bit is a little very adventurous LEGO robot, but as with all small creatures, sometimes Bit cannot get his programs right. The children can help Bit solve the challenges by figuring out which programs are needed. They can do this by creating a sequence of small behavior blocks that tells Bit what to do. There are...

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Erase All Kittens and Learn to Code
May09

Erase All Kittens and Learn to Code

E.A.K. (Erase All Kittens) is a very bizarre online platform game that teaches children how to code in HTML and CSS by encouraging them to hack into the game’s levels to solve puzzles. The children play as Arca – a mysterious little creature who was banished to the ruins of the Ancient Internet. Their mission is to save the kittens of the Internet before something terrible happens to them. To do this they have to build...

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Sketch Nation Create : Simple Game Design App for Kids
Mar01

Sketch Nation Create : Simple Game Design App for Kids

Sketch Nation Create is a free game creation app for IOS and Android devices. The app allows children to draw, play and share their own games; designing their own characters, obstacles, challenges and rules. It’s gaming, drawing, coding, story-telling and problem-solving in one simple-to-use and fun tool. The Sketch Nation games cover nine different genres,from side scrolling running games to driving games. Children can even...

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Lego WeDo 2.0 Launched for Primary STEM Projects
Jan25

Lego WeDo 2.0 Launched for Primary STEM Projects

One of things I was most interested in seeing at BETT last week was the new Lego WeDo 2.0 robotics kit for primary school students. Just like the older WeDo kits, the new Lego WeDo 2.0 is aimed at introducing students to robotics, engineering and coding.  Designed for primary school classrooms, the WeDo 2.0 Core Set, Software and Get Started Project is a hands-on solution that ignites pupils’ curiosity, enhancing their skills in...

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Building a DIY Gamer Kit from Technology Will Save Us
Jan03

Building a DIY Gamer Kit from Technology Will Save Us

Technology Will Save Us is a new education technology start-up. They are on a mission “to provide families, educators and young people – of all ages, backgrounds and interests – new opportunities to learn and create using technology.” Their kits include plant watering kits, DIY loudspeakers, synthesisers and hand held games. They also provide a pack for making your own “squishy circuits” with electro dough. A few months ago, they very...

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The Hour of Code : Now with added Minecraft
Nov17

The Hour of Code : Now with added Minecraft

The Hour of Code site gets even better. No sooner have they announced a Star Wars module, they go even further and add Minecraft too! The Minecraft Hour of Code has been made in partnership with Microsoft and Mojang, and launches ahead of the Hour of Code event coming in a few weeks time. Children can choose to play as either Steve or Alex and use blocks of code to take them on an adventure through a Minecraft world. The tutorial...

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Hour of Code to feature Star Wars : The Force Awakens characters
Nov09

Hour of Code to feature Star Wars : The Force Awakens characters

Following on from the successful tutorials featuring Anna and Elsa from Frozen, Hour of Code is now going to feature characters from Star Wars! The new tutorial for the Hour of Code 2015, in partnership with Disney and Lucasfilm, features the eagerly awaited new Star Wars film, The Force Awakens. Students will join forces with Rey to guide BB-8 through a space mission, then team up with Princess Leia to build their own game featuring...

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