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Delivery of Vocational Computing at Level 3. Paul Simmons & Paul Tanner Newcastle-under-Lyme College. About NULC. General FE college with 6 th form centre – around 3500 full timers. New build opened 5 years ago.

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delivery of vocational computing at level 3

Delivery of Vocational Computing at Level 3

Paul Simmons & Paul Tanner

Newcastle-under-Lyme College

about nulc
About NULC
  • General FE college with 6th form centre – around 3500 full timers.
  • New build opened 5 years ago.
  • Have seen rise in numbers in computing (around 220 learners expected next year).
  • Wide catchment area – all north Staffordshire and areas surrounding.
  • Some students still have low expectations – some challenges involved.
  • Area doesn’t have the tradition of further study etc.
paul tanner
Paul Tanner
  • 11 years at NULC in range of roles
    • Leader for L3 BTEC & HND
    • Involved in delivery of GCSE ICT and Specialist Diploma.
    • Cisco Academy Instructor (previously CCNP)
  • 7 years industrial experience
    • Network support & maintenance
    • Lead project engineer
    • Some internal training
  • Degree in Computing Science
paul simmons
Paul Simmons
  • 7 years at NULC
    • Leader for L1 and L2 Computing Courses
  • Specialisms
    • Software development in Python
    • Web Development using HTML5, CSS3 and PHP
  • Degree in Software Development
  • Currently studying MSc in Computing
vocational computing at nulc
Vocational Computing at NULC
  • Last academic year (2013-2014):
    • 12 students on ITQ Level 1
    • 36 students on First Diploma IT
    • 130 L3 students across the 2 years.
    • Max group size around 20 - 23
  • 8 staff with various specialisms across computing and IT spectrum
subjects covered by our courses
Subjects covered by our courses.
  • Software and games development
  • Website development
  • System analysis and design
  • Networking
  • Computer hardware and maintenance
  • Graphics and animation
  • Database design and Development
  • Communication and employability skills
  • General office skills at lower levels
general issues seen
General Issues seen
  • Problem solving skills
  • Technical knowledge – should be addressed by new curriculum (not just programming though).
  • Resources
  • Expectations of what computing actually means!
  • Scenario selection
  • Employer contact
p ositives
Positives
  • Most students want to learn
  • Most completing go on to excellent careers.
  • Over 50% go to Uni / HE courses.
  • Wide range of options
  • Vast majority of students want to attend and enjoy their time on the course.
  • Good outcomes – most exceed targets set.
delivery of programming
Delivery of programming
  • Choice of language
    • Python
    • VB
    • MiT App Inventor (To be used in 2014-2015)
  • Methods of delivery
    • Tutorials
    • Videos
lesson learned in teaching programming this year
Lesson learned in teaching programming this year
  • Use of more detailed examples of code
  • Delivery of tutorials
    • Smaller chunks of delivery
  • Checking understanding of Maths
    • A lot of code written relied on knowledge of Maths
  • Use of visual aid, analogy and metaphor to help with syntax and concepts.
    • E.g. Explanation of { } within programming languages
  • Use of consistent scenario
y ear 1 of using raspberry pi to teach level 3
Year 1 of using Raspberry Pi to teach Level 3
  • Used for teaching controlling systems
    • Primarily practical approach, used RPi to simulate control systems. Used tutorials
    • Final Project – Simulated home control system for disabled user
home control system for disabled user
Home Control System for Disabled user
  • Brief: You have been asked to design a home control system for a disabled user. The system should automate processes such as turning on lights and opening curtains. You should consider a range of different processes you could automate using several different types of sensor (e.g. Temperature).
outcomes thoughts of 1 st year of raspberry pi
Outcomes/thoughts of 1st year of Raspberry Pi
  • Total set-up cost including components for the project: £2700
  • Project was “a bit abstract” but gave students a good opportunity to explore sensors
  • Some technical issues with Raspberry Pi
    • Interference of motors
    • Wiring circuit to available outputs
    • Problems with connecting Pi to display
      • HDMI to VGA
      • HDMI to DVI
next year s project
Next Year’s Project
  • You are working for a household appliance manufacturer who are looking to get into the automatic vacuum cleaner market and have asked you to design and create a prototype for their device. Using the Raspberry Pi as a base, you have to make a prototype for the device.
  • Company has asked for two versions:
    • A manually controlled version using a GUI based application to control the device. This should allow the user to control the device by entering instructions into a form using text boxes, drop down lists and buttons.
    • An automated version which can navigate itself. This should use at-least 2 sensors (e.g. Distance sensor, Light sensor) and outputs (e.g. Motors, LEDs) and should be able to navigate a space.
raspberry jams
Raspberry Jams
  • 3 Raspberry Jam run so far
    • 60 people at first
    • Approx 30 people at 2nd and 3rd
  • Used EventBrite, Facebook and Twitter to promote
  • General structure:
    • Lightning talks
    • Demos
    • Tutorials
  • Issues arisen so far:
    • Encouraging speakers and demos
    • Timing issues
some raspberry pi resources
Some Raspberry Pi Resources
  • MagPi Magazine - http://www.themagpi.com/
  • Raspberry Pi Geek - http://www.medialinx-shop.com/uk/magazines/raspberry-pi-geek.html
  • PiWeekly - http://piweekly.net/
  • Python - http://www.python.org/
  • Raspberry Pi User Guide (Eben Upton)
  • Learning Python (Mark Lutz)
  • Programming the Raspberry Pi: Getting Started with Python (Simon Monk)
delivery of networking hardware modules
Delivery of Networking & Hardware Modules
  • Range of units at all levels covering:
    • Hardware aspects
    • Tech support
    • Networking and communications
  • Popular options – not just for those wanting tech support roles.
  • Can lead to Uni and Apprenticeship opportunities.
  • One main “lab”.
  • Latest kit not really needed.
  • Raspberry Pi can be used in these areas also.
kit requirements
Kit requirements
  • Basic tools + UTP cable making kit.
  • Screens, base units, mice, keyboards.
  • Does not need to be the latest, greatest, most expensive kit.
  • Have seen these units delivered in spaces in “normal” computer rooms.
  • Networking – some kit available on eBay if you can purchase through this method.
  • Again, doesn’t need to be latest.
topics
Topics
  • Hardware – elements of systems, connectivity.
  • Health & Safety – safe use of electrical devices, ergonomics
  • Software – installing, updating, removing, licencing.
  • Networks – basic terms such as bandwidth.
  • Protocols and models – OSI v TCP/IP, IPv4, IPv6.
  • Services and types of networks – WiFi, Ethernet, 3G, 4G.
  • Availability and use of different networks in differing situations.
cisco academy
Cisco Academy
  • BTECs allow vendor units to be included
  • Cisco units included this year for first time – but Cisco have now changed their curriculum.
  • Access to Packet Tracer simulation tool.
  • IT Essentials programme would not fit better.
  • Units available to accommodate Microsoft vendor modules also.
  • Currently working with company to develop these options to investigate opportunities for delivery.
progression routes
Progression routes
  • L2 students
    • 50 – 75% progress to other courses in organisation.
    • Most progressing to L3 computing do well – exceed target grades.
  • L3 Students
    • 50% progress to further study at HE
    • Some move to other L3 subjects (5 - 10%)
    • 20 – 30% progress to apprenticeships.
our challenges
Our challenges?
  • Maintain success & numbers as more offerings.
  • Improve figures and offer where possible and appropriate.
  • New assessment guidelines
  • Changing curriculum
    • maybe some of our courses won’t see changes in time to meet needs of those studying new school curriculum.
to summarise
To summarise
  • Popular courses
  • “Computing” seems a more popular term than ICT?
any questions and contact info
Any questions and contact info
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