How to program a robot whilst discussing how automation is having a profound social impact. How to use internet services safely and respectfully but also to acknowledge that ‘free’ means you are the product and your privacy is the cost. To understand that mastering design software boosts overall employability, but to question why so fewer women enter the field than men. The power of a young person brought up as a considerate and well-rounded digital native is awesome; let’s teach them to program conscientiously, create with style, and communicate with kindness.

COURSE HIGHLIGHTS

Robotics

Students program the most jaw-droppingly fun, advanced, and versatile educational robots in the world; they push their Computer Science skills to the maximum by writing code in industry-standard text languages.

Creative Technology

Music, films, and 3D architecture; students experience how modern devices can empower them to create in the same league as professionals. With technology as intuitive as it is today; the only limit is what can be imagined.

Fascinating Research

It’s often overlooked that the internet is very much a physical object; students learn how our most powerful communication tool works whilst using it to research social topics such as women in computing, and the opportunities and challenges posed by automation.

All Inclusive

Don’t forget that with Technola, everything’s taken care of. We provide a specialist and highly trained course instructor, an extensive suite of equipment including one-between-two iPads and state of the art Robots, and comprehensive planning and assessment.

COURSE THEMES

Technola Computing is made up of three main strands:

Computer Science

Learn what makes computers tick. Write code and experiment with its power to make physical changes in the world around us.

Digital Literacy

Discover how computers can have a material and positive impact on everyday experiences. Explore nature, produce a pop song, or design a 3D model; the possibilities are boundless.

ICT

Computers power humanity’s productivity and communications; a focus on the fundamentals of software used in the workplace is as essential as ever.

E-Safety might be considered a fourth strand of Technola Computing. However, with the exception of two three-week modules, it is always embedded in other parts of the course. From research modules to game design; students are taught that social features appear in every corner of computing and that vigilance must become a continual state of mind.

 

At Technola, we do not believe in teaching any theme in isolation. Whilst one strand might form the basis of a specific module, all other areas are touched upon wherever it makes sense to. With Technola Computing, students learn about the physical underpinnings of the internet as they conduct research, coding as they design animations, and mathematics as they program robots. As with each of our courses, cross-curricular theming is always a possibility. Teachers are encouraged to discuss ideas with our instructors at any time; we will always strive to bring concepts to life.

COURSE STRUCTURE

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First Line of Code

Students begin their journey by considering the simple question: “what can a computer do?” A variety of apps are introduced that encourage gesture development and familiarity with the user interface; details we adults take for granted, such as how best to wake and lock an iPad! Once the fundamentals are taken care of, students get their first taste of programming as they complete challenges in which they guide a character towards a goal by dragging shapes into its path. Finally, students get creative; from photography to writing shopping lists – an extensive and varied set of computing skills that enable a user to make things are touched upon.

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Digital Citizenship

Level two of the programme of study is similar in structure to level one: students use a computer to consume content, before returning to the fundamentals of coding. However, the newly introduced apps are more complex in terms of layout and require additional input from the student; text, recordings, and even sensor activation are all required from students in order to progress through content. Likewise, Computer Science is progressed by challenging students to place their code away from the character that they are controlling, thus developing their visualisation skills. In the final phase, students participate in one of two non-embedded e-safety modules that promote safe and respectful digital citizenship.

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3D Graphic Design

As students progress to KS2, two-thirds of the course becomes dedicated to Computer Science as they become able to engage fully with this demanding content. The first module sees participants code their own animations, with strong potential for bespoke cross-curricular theming. Next, students consider the flow and logic of a program for the first time as they code their own mini-app; an app that must meet increasingly complex design criteria as the module progresses! Finally, students use technology to get creative in projects that include song production, film trailer production, and 3D graphic design.

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Robots!

Now that a strong foothold in programming has been established, it’s time to elevate the fun factor; enter the robots! Students are wowed by the potential for code that they created on-screen to have a tangible effect on the physical world around them as they program advanced educational droids. Participants discover sensors, progressively advanced coding, and the joy of overcoming mentally-challenging problems. Later in the year, they push their technical understanding of coding concepts further in the most challenging on-screen puzzles yet, before designing visual social media posts to promote ‘safe surfing’ amongst your school community.

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Video Game Design

Students move on to designing and programming their own advanced and fully-functioning video games. At this stage in the course, students have encountered almost all the coding concepts that they are required to by the end of KS2; now the programme of study shifts focus to establishing proficient and confident coders with modules that reduce guidelines and promote creative autonomy; students, for example, return to robotics for a project designed to push their understanding of the ‘invisible’ maths and logic that underpins programming to new heights. During the final term, students complete an additional creative technology module such as song or video production.

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Industry Standard Code

The pinnacle of the course sees student code in full fat, fully-textual, and industry standard programming languages used by developers across the globe. They return to the type of code puzzles first introduced in year one, the difference being that the algorithms created at this stage are essentially the same as the code that powers real devices, including iPhones and Apple TVs. Students then apply these skills to robotics as they use JavaScript to power their droids. Finally, social research projects are undertaken, such as Women in Computing or a cross-curricular theme of your choice, before celebrating the completion of primary education with a well-deserved treat: Minecraft architecture! Students code blocks to create and design anything that they can imagine – castles, unicorns, and everything in between.