ISPY and Push-Python


We are building a new package of push-button ‘unplugged programming’ to supersede the ‘arrow keys’ software leading to the final push-button subset of Python 3. It is an integrated teaching and learning environment with Computational Thinking, creativity and experimentation in ‘unplugged programming’ at its heart, that offers : a series of 5 Toolboxes with no syntax errors, no error messages for pupils to deal with, no saving-and-running programs, in short, no IDE environment and therefore no ‘administrative error’ overhead for pupils or you. It is usefully preceded by sessions on ‘unplugged programming’ involving paper and pencil and ‘Walking the Talk’ as a robot.(Repository 1, Workbook 1). A snapshot is given below of Toolbox 1 in ISPY, with problems to solve displayed, illustrating ‘sequence’ and picking out symmetry in figures ‘push-button programmed’ on the grid .

Setting up symmetry in repeats

Figure 1. Toolbox1: Picking out symmetry in figures for repeat instructions in the code (for Toolbox 2).

ISPY, a package written in Python, which we intend to release in a beta version after half-term in this summer term 2016, is a scaffolded introduction to computational thinking and programming. The final Toolbox is PUSH-PYTHON, a subset of Python 3, set up as push-button Python instructions. The cross-curricula teaching and learning content of repository 1 and 2 on the website will be integrated into ISPY and PUSH-PYTHON for pupils to undertake the inbuilt graded missions, tests and challenges within the package. The package is currently being trialled with years 7, 8 and 9 in a local school. More details here

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