Binary Bunting Flags – ‘write’ your name’s initial letter in binary ^JB

We thought you might like to make some computing-themed bunting based on binary representations of letters – specifically the first letter of your name, in bunting flags. What with 2022 being the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee we will probably be seeing rather a lot of bunting* this year, might as well join the fun :)

The letter ‘J’ in binary

Materials

You can print our ready-made flags below or just create your own. All you need is a triangle as the face of whatever you want on your flag, but don’t forget to add a little ‘flap‘ at the top which will fold over the string or thread (you can glue or sellotape it to stop it sliding around).

If you print ours you’ll need a printer, paper, scissors, glue / sellotape and some thread, string or ribbon.
If you make your own you’ll need everything above minus the printer but plus pencils / pens.

The alphabet, in binary

A table showing the binary code in 8 bit for each capital letter, A to Z. E is 01000101 and T is 01010100. A fuller range of lower case letters and numbers can be found at ScienceFriday.

Each person will need 8 flags per letter with the number of 1s and 0s depending on the initial of their first name or nickname. I’m Jo so I’d need three flags with 1 on and five with 0 on them. I’d also need to put them in the right order to ‘spell’ the letter J – 01001010. For example I could also spell the letters L or Q with the same flags by rearranging the order. There will be other ‘binary buddies’ where the same eight flags could spell more than one letter.

Don’t forget that binary 1s and 0s can be represented by any pair of things, so you could different colours (red and black bunting, or maybe blue and yellow) or different shapes (triangle and square bunting), or anything you like!

 

Printable Binary Bunting flags

The .pptx files below were created on a Mac computer and are editable. In case they appear differently on Windows computers I’ve added a PDF copy as well.

  1. Blank bunting flags, 3 to an A4 sheet (PDF)
  2. Binary bunting flags (half with 0 on, half with 1 on), 3 to an A4 sheet (PDF)
  3. Binary bunting midi flags (half with 0, half with 1), 6 to an A4 sheet (PDF)
  4. Binary bunting mini flags (50% 0, 50% 1), 10 to an A4 page (PDF)
  5. Raw .svg file of blank bunting flag (you can use a free program like Inkscape to edit this, or any vector-graphics editing program).

 

*small flags, usually fabric, strung together as a decoration

 

 

 

New free issue of CS4FN computing magazine for schools coming in Summer – hooray :) ^JB

After a year-long Covid-imposed hiatus we’re delighted 🥳 🎉 that things are moving speedily towards publishing and distributing the next issue of CS4FN, the free computing magazine for schools from the Computer Science department at Queen Mary University of London.

Issue 27, due in June 2021, will be on Smart Health and all our back issues (and other booklets) can be downloaded free as PDFs here https://cs4fndownloads.wordpress.com/

Some back issues of CS4FN

After such a long wait we thought it was a good opportunity to check our mailing list with a finetooth comb and make sure everyone’s address was correct, and that they were receiving the copies that they want.

There are about 2,400 subscribers on our list and we send approx 24,000 copies out to them (some want 1, some a class set of 30, some a bigger number). We try and make sure everyone gets what they request but with a mailing list that’s been in existence for 16 years it makes sense to check it occasionally.

You might be getting an email from me (Admin Jo) to check that you are still at the school you’re subscribed with, particularly where a school has several teachers subscribed.

Of course if you or your school isn’t yet subscribed to receive free copies of CS4FN please sign up (using the purple form) here: https://teachinglondoncomputing.org/sign-up/

Finding duplicates (in some cases triplicates) isn’t always easy as people write their school’s name in different ways – compare St. Trinians, Saint Trinian’s, or St Trinian’s. An easily made typo in a postcode – 1AA 1AB versus 1AA 1BA can also hide duplication, and people move on to different schools. So it’s a delicate procedure and may take some time to get round to everyone.

Also, there is the ever-present possibility of me making a mistake somewhere…

My daftest error so far was when I decided to Find & Replace all instances of “UK” for “United Kingdom”. This would have gone very well had I restricted my manipulations only to the Country column but, alas, anyone called Luke or working at a school called St Luke’s or whose address was Duke Road etc ended up with an incomprehensible address.

I only realised when mail began to be returned with addresses like ‘DUnited Kingdome Road” on it. A cautionary example of verschlimmbesserung, or ‘disimprovementing’ – when one intends to improve something but ends up making it worse.

See also this example of ‘fixing a bug’ from Malcolm in the Middle ;)

Kids at home? Free computing-themed activity newsletter from @cs4fn ^JB #HomeLearning #ComputingAtHome

Over the last 14 years CS4FN (Computer Science For Fun) has been creating and sharing with schools our FREE inspiring computing resources for use in the classroom. Our sister project Teaching London Computing (this website) also supports teachers directly with continuing professional development.

During lockdown we’re gradually converting some of our school resources into a format that doesn’t need a printer – so that they can be done on a computer (or tablet) or done with pen and paper – or even with a pack of cards. (We do have printable stuff too but not everyone has a printer at home).

We’re creating a new short email newsletter for families so that we can share our free resources with them. We’re already in touch with lots of teachers (our printed magazines alone go to 2,300 subscribing UK schools) but not so much with other parents and carers… yet. Can you help us to reach them?* Thanks! (Here’s a Tweet you could share too)

This is the link for the sign-up form and it’s embedded below. If you want to read the newsletters but don’t want to sign up we’ll add them here so please bookmark this page.

*But please don’t sign up friends without getting their permission first – thank you!

To start you off here are some Home Learning activities for Primary and Secondary.

 

List of computing resources (for parents & teachers) #HomeLearning / #ComputingAtHome ^JB

Jane Waite has collected together an amazing list of things that will be useful for parents and teachers supporting kids at home during lockdown. She’s kindly given me permission to share it on this blog, the original is here at Computing At School [CAS] (but you’ll need to register to be able to see it – it’s free to do so. It’s a site for computer science teachers in the UK).

Because CAS is aimed at  computing teachers (who are probably already members and may have seen Jane’s post) I’ve re-ordered the information to lead with the things that parents might find most useful.

 

Websites with collections of links on home learning

Twitter #

 

The rest below is aimed more at teachers

There seem to be three main approaches being suggested for running classes for pupils who are at home under an Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT) context.

  1. Asynchronous -material can be accessed at any time, e.g. videos, workbooks
  2. Synchronous – real-time e.g. online classes – “VIRI is defined as a teaching and learning experience that is led by an instructor, that takes place in the online space (over the internet), where all students participate in the experience at the same time, and where the experience involves two-way communication between student and student or student and instructor” (Francescucci & Foster, 2013, p.82)
  3. A combination of the two.

Perhaps consider the following

Guidance on running online learning activities

CPD for teachers on home learning

Websites/ blogs with case studies, school experiences

TIPS

  • If you are recording a teaching and learning video for your students – show your face!

Resources for teaching computing online (some are normally subscription)

  • Fabulous thread on twitter from @chinmay. Click on SHOW THREAD. of a list of methods for peer collaboration and conversation in online learning. Brilliant.

A very comprehensive list of ideas and resources for teaching remotely thank you @TorreyTrust

  • Some time ago, UCL led the creation of the ABC learning design method for developing blended learning courses in universities. The resources include a method for reviewing current face to face lessons and converting to online. They have a toolkit which includes a brilliant set of cards which map “conventional” to digital activities. These are behind a username/password but its free. We could adapt these for a primary/secondary and subject-specific context. We could add software ideas and examples. Feels like a simple and easy way to help teachers tackle conversion. https://abc-ld.org/about/intro-to-abc/
  • Teaching online with care. Crowdsourcing at its best, international group of teachers crowdsourcing, support, resources and ideas.
  • STEM have suggested project learning at home https://www.stem.org.uk/in-school-activities Has anyone adapted these for home use?
  • There’s everything you need for GCSE CS to learn online free until September or the end of the school closures, whichever is later. Just fill in the form at the top of the page at www.gcsecs.org. Free online GCSE CS Textbook, animated presentations for each specification point for OCR, AQA and most of Edexcel, activities, examples, links to videos, exam-style questions. All in a simple format to upload to a VLE or extranet.
  • Crowdsourced pages of resources for teaching online Teaching in the context of Covid-19 (mainly US university contributions) Stockpiling for COVID-19 teaching resources (mainly twitter links again US uni focused)