Every now and then I look at a syllabus or textbook for GCSE Computer Science and it strikes me how much more interesting the content could be.
Fun with Python for Computer Science GCSE
I mean, look what’s possible with some fairly basic Python code.
Python International Space Station Tracker
Python RPG Maze Game
Another great fun activity is available here – a text based role playing game in a maze
These kinds of projects provide access for students at all levels of ability. The less able can tweak a few values and see the changes this produces, while the more able can code the whole thing from scratch, or use the programs as a spring-board for implementing their own ideas.
Network protocols and computer legislation are fine n’all, but I think there is real danger of losing students’ interest if we don’t emphasize the fun and creative aspects of computing. This includes the vast amount of fun available through programming when students are given the time and space to develop their skill to the level where they can execute their own ideas.