Some IGCSE, AS and A-level Mathematics resources that worked for us

Super User

In addition to running a successful Computer Science and IT / ICT Tutoring business I am also homeschooling my own two children. One is busy with AS/A levels and the other one has just started with IGCSE. I would love to share some of the great resources without which I could not have done it. Here are some great Mathematics resources that I want to share:

Read moreSome IGCSE, AS and A-level Mathematics resources that worked for us

Back to Basics: Sketching, Not CAD is key

Pieter Smith

Recent research shows that replacing traditional skills and learning entirely with software-based tools might not always be beneficial.

Researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology and Texas A&M University note that the willingness to generate free-hand sketches are critical skills for engineers. With the advent of CAD, schools no longer teach drafting, prompting a concern over the lost art of free-hand sketching. They found that including free-hand sketching in engineering improved the students' spatial visualisation skills in a way that using Computer Aided Design (CAD) software alone did not.

Reference

Hilton EC, Gamble T, Li W, Hammond T, Linsey JS. Back to Basics: Sketching, Not CAD, Is the Key to Improving Essential Engineering Design Skills. ASME. International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, Volume 7: 30th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology():V007T06A051. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-86325, https://proceedings.asmedigitalcollection.asme.org/proceeding.aspx?articleid=2713706 

 

 

Benefits of Scratch for engineering students

Pieter Smith

Researchers in Turkey recently found that engineering students who were exposed to real-life Scratch development projects in their first-year Introduction to Programming course, performed significantly better in their fourth-year senior project course.1

Scratcha project of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab and available free of charge, is a 2-dimensional graphical programming environment that enables children to program their own interactive stories, games, and animations. 

At Born to Learn we used Scratch in 2017 and switched to Alice in 2018. Alice was developed by Carnegie Mellon University and uses interactive 3-dimensional graphics to teach Object Orientated programming.

Whether you use Scratch or Alice, the potential benefits are substantial if your child is interested in engineering.

Reference

1 Topalli, D. and Cagiltay, N.E. Improving programming skills in engineering education through problem-based game projects with Scratch. Computers & Education, Volume 120, May 2018, available online here.