Coding is the New Latin

Today in our ICT / English lesson, we are learning about computer programming.

A big change is coming to ICT in schools. Computer Programming is back. WOOT!

Britain used to lead the world when it came to computer science.

This is Alan Turing, one of the first Computer Scientists. He made the first complete design for a stored-program computer. Here’s a picture of his ACE (Automatic Computing Engine). It was the first electronic computer to be used in London. It was the fastest computer in the world at the time (1Mhz).

Today we are going to do some programming. If you get finished (or really stuck), I’d like you to do some research on Alan Turing. This year is the 100th anniversary of his birth and there is going to be a film about him called “The Imitation Game”, starring Leonardo di Caprio.

If you have used Scratch before, this will be quite easy. Here’s a program that will make the cat draw a square.

I’d like you to open Scratch and re-create this sequence of commands and check that it works.

It’s quite a bad program, because it repeats itself a lot. Computer programmers try to be as lazy as possible, in a good way. If you can do something with less code, it’s better. Can you think of a way to make this program shorter? [Hint: use a loop].

Even if we improve this program quite a bit, it is still a bit boring. It just does the same thing every time. What we want is something a bit more interactive. We’ll look at how to do this on the big screen (I don’t want to give away all of my programming goodies at once.

If you like Scratch and want to do some more, you can download it here:

http://info.scratch.mit.edu/Scratch_1.4_Download

If you feel ready to learn proper programming, you will find what you need to get started by going to my blog:

http://teampython.wordpress.com/

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