Available for free, and accessible via smart phone, tablets and computers, the MOOC features a rich combination of videos and interactive learning
The first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) for Computing in schools goes from strength to strength with the addition of brand new content for students and teachers this week.
20 new ‘learning episodes’ are now available on www.cambridgegcsecomputing.org as part of phase 2 of the roll out of the free resources.
The new videos add greater depth to the key topics of the MOOC. In response to feedback from MOOC users, the new videos feature more animation, and the content is less segmented. The format for testing followers of the course has also been amended so that questions are available on a separate page, not embedded below each video, to help reinforce knowledge.
The ground-breaking Cambridge GCSE Computing MOOC for schools, shortlisted for a BETT 2014 award, was launched in September 2013 by exam board OCR, Cambridge University Press and the Raspberry Pi Foundation.
The online course is aligned to OCR’s pioneering GCSE in Computing and the popular mini ‘Raspberry Pi’ computer plays a starring role.
Available for free, and accessible via smart phone, tablets and computers, the MOOC features a rich combination of videos and interactive learning exercises that can be used in the classroom or at home.
The MOOC will be enhanced with further content in January and April 2014.
Since the launch:
- Over 38,000 people have visited www.cambridgegcsecomputing.org
- People from over 130 countries have registered on the site, giving them access to the full range of free training materials available
- Over 165,000 page views
- Over 60% of registered learners are students
- Over 35% of registered learners are teachers
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2. The 20 new ‘learning episodes’ available are as follows:
Professional standards, The fetch execute cycle, Cache memory – speeding up execution, Converting positive denary whole numbers, Adding 8-bit binary numbers, Hexadecimal numbers, Databases and the use of data handling software, DBMS, Logical operators, Key fields, Validating data, Client servers and peer to peer networks, Topologies, Differences between a LAN and a WAN, IP addressing, MAC addressing, packets and protocols, The internet and hardware, Iteration, basic programming constructs and loops, Syntax and logic errors, Basic string manipulation, and Basic file handling operations.
3. The MOOC partners:
A) About Raspberry Pi
The Raspberry Pi is a small credit card-sized computer which costs between £25 and £30. It was developed in the UK by the Raspberry Pi Foundation with the hope of inspiring a new generation of learners to learn about Computing, from the basics all the way to university level and beyond. As well as supporting a very large suite of programming languages and a number of free educational programs, this small computer features amazing HD quality video playback, sports high-quality audio, and has the ability to play 3D games. It’s also bristling with connectors that enable kids to build robots, drive motors, use sensors and apply computing to physical projects.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation believes that Computing education is about you controlling the computer: it’s not about the computer controlling you. In 18 months, they have sold two million Raspberry Pi computers to kids all over the world.
B) About OCR
OCR (Oxford Cambridge and RSA) is a leading UK awarding body, providing a wide range of qualifications to meet the needs of learners of all ages and abilities. OCR qualifications include AS/A Levels, GCSEs, Cambridge Nationals, Cambridge Technicals, Entry Level qualifications, and vocational qualifications in areas such as IT, business, languages, teaching/training, administration and secretarial skills.
Each year more than three million students gain OCR qualifications, which are offered by 13,000 centres including schools, sixth form colleges, FE colleges, training providers, voluntary organisations, local authorities, and businesses ranging from SMEs to multi-national organisations.
OCR is part of the Cambridge Assessment Group. www.ocr.org.uk.
C) About Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press is the publishing business of the University of
Cambridge. Its purpose is to further the University's objective of advancing learning, knowledge and research. Its peer-reviewed publishing lists comprise 50,000 titles covering academic research, professional development, over 300 research journals, school-level education, English language teaching and bible publishing.
Cambridge University Press is the leading publisher for Cambridge International Examinations IGCSE and A Level qualifications. Our Education group also develops market-leading blended materials for specific local curricula in Africa, Australia, India, New Zealand, the Caribbean and the UK.
A comprehensive course guide for the OCR GCSE Computing Online course, designed to support and enrich independent student learning, will be published early in 2014. www.cambridge.org.
4. More about the MOOC
Designed primarily to support teachers and 14-to-16-year-old Computing students, the course is accessible to anyone who wants to learn the basics of computer programming and demystify the world of algorithms, logic gates, and RAMs.
This free MOOC is accessible on the go via smart phones and tablets, as well as on pcs in the classroom or at home. Featuring a rich combination of videos and learning exercises, participants can either complete the MOOC or use the resources in the classroom, as a revision aid, as a self-teaching resource for flipped classrooms, or a combination of all three.
The online course is aligned to OCR’s pioneering GCSE in Computing and the popular mini ‘Raspberry Pi’ computer plays a starring role. The GCSE and the Pi have helped to revive interest in Computing in schools, following its absence from the curriculum for a generation.
In total, the MOOC will feature over 350 bite-sized videos ranging in length and style to suit different learners. Each is presented by experienced Computer Science teachers from across the UK.
Interactive exercises designed to re-enforce learning across all the key topics complement the videos. Participants can request electronic ‘statements of participation’ for each topic and for the whole course which record their achievement and participation in the MOOC. An ‘Ask the Expert’ facility will be available to give all users a chance to interact with the course presenters on popular questions.
All the elements of the MOOC are grouped into manageable learning episodes, within larger key topics. More learning episodes full of resources will be made available at regular intervals during the academic year. (For a list of the learning episodes covered by the MOOC, see notes to editors).
ICT and Computing teacher, Julie Hodgson, who presents videos on the MOOC says: “I think these resources will massively benefit teachers as they deliver a range of topics in detail and can be incorporated as part of a lesson or put as a link on a VLE for homework. The MOOC will enable students to be more independent in their learning and make links between the wide variety of topics.”
Click www.cambridgegcsecomputing.org to access the new Computing MOOC now.
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