Things computing teachers want you to know

It’s very infrequently that I have the time or inclination to blog these days however I saw this and made me think of what happens in my classroom. So I thought I’d make a list of things I wish pupils knew:

  1. Check for basic mistakes – This is especially true when learning about programming. I’ve always found that 8/9 times out of 10 problems in programming come down to poor spelling. Now this is true of myself as well as pupils and the best way to solve it is to proof read the code again carefully.
  2. I don’t finish with pupils I’m working with as soon as you need help – Very often pupils who require help will repeatedly shout “Sir, Sir, SIR!!!”. Every pupil in the class is as important as each other and I will get to you as soon as I can.
  3. Don’t lie about what you did, we’ll find out anyway – Now this is the same as the list’s number 3 and this has been true when studying flash animations. Very often pupils get confused or mixed up when editing in flash (one wrong key press and suddenly there are 100 keyframes) and rather than trying to undo (see point 4) they will try lots of other things to try and “fix” what happened.
  4. Edit -> Undo / Ctrl+Z is your best friend – The first keyboard shortcut every pupil should know how to perform is to undo as soon as something goes wrong. It can save you so much time and let you get back on with the tasks you’ve been asked to complete.
  5. There will be times when I don’t know the answer to your question – I will however go away and try to find out the answer even if this means spending hours looking at how do to something. If it’s important to you it will be done!

At some point I’m going to make a simpler list of these to put up in my class and I’m sure other points will come into my head over time.