College recently ran a Day of Code for the entire Third Form. This was an opportunity for pupils to get a taste of the creative, computational and logical demands of key software development tools. There were eight sessions throughout the day, led by experts from industry, College staff and, in some cases, pupils themselves.
Alex Isaachsen, Director of ICT at Cheltenham College commented: "We wanted to do something different. Lots of schools in Britain, and around the world, are trying an Hour of Code, however we wanted to be ambitious."
“An Hour of Code is fine, if you want to show people what a code is, but if you want it to get under their skin, you have to offer more.” said Mr Isaachsen “We arranged for our own teachers and experts from industry to come and share their skills and their experiences with the pupils – so they learned what work is like for a coder too. It really was a great opportunity for them.”
The pupils were fortunate enough to have the support of developers from GCHQ, Raytheon UK and RedPixie.
1. Programming in Java – a workshop in creating a clone of a popular game with an industry standard programming language.
2. Programming in Python – investigating Rapid Application Development, using the world’s most popular programming languages for beginners.
3. Programming with Scratch – entry level coding using a drag and drop interface with the latest version of this well known webtool from MIT.
4. Designing in 3D with AutoDesk – pupils designed 3D models on iPads and then arranged, laser-cut and assembled their creations.
5. Web App Prototyping using Balsamiq: Using industry standard software to develop templates for their own website and app ideas.
6. Non-linear Stories – using Twine: Twine is tool for writing stories with multiple viewpoints and multiple endings – it uses simple markup language (like HTML) to format and publish the work as a webpage. Twine is in the press for disrupting traditional video game models and for empowering female voices in the gaming industry.
7. Soundtrack Design – using the latest Apple music recording software pupils recorded multi-track soundtracks to accompany popular video games.
8. Interface Design – using Makey Makey: Using a series of simple tools pupils planed and designed new ways for people to interact and control their computers.