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Amanda Wilson
Interests: Computing - in honours year, teaching children about computing/computer programming, promotion of computing as a subject (STEM ambassador scheme)
Recent Activity
I help out with afterschool clubs and recently our computing club blog has just turned one so it got me thinking about just how long I've been helping out and why I do it so decided to get back on my blog to talk about it. Volunteering yes working for free why should you do it? Well for one it gives you experience in doing a job and secondly you will enjoy it. Why would you enjoy it if you're not being paid, well because you are going to pick something then that you really love doing aren’t you? Me... Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2014 at Still Studying
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On June 19th 52 children from Royston and Carntyne Primary (mainly primary 7’s but a few primary 6’s) attended the University of the West of Scotland to participate in the mini game Jam. The day started at 10am with the children being put into their teams for the day and meant working with children from the other school – I would have been more popular saying they had to work with aliens for the day!! However that aside the teams worked well and given most are headed to the same secondary school a great transition exercise too in that respect.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2013 at Still Studying
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On the 19th June 2013 56 Primary 7 children from Royston and Carntyne Primary will be visiting the University of the West of Scotland to take part in the Mini Game Jam. After almost 3 years researching games construction with children I thought it would be a good idea to get a couple of schools together and let the children spend the day working on games while at the same time spending time in a university environment and gettting the chance to work with lecturers and others from the games industry. Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2013 at Still Studying
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A bit later than expected however here is the final post on the classes work with constructing their games with Scratch. All the children had fun finishing off their games and were still talking about their visit as well from Luke and Romana who certainly made an big impact on the class. The class also wrote a little of what they had done during their time as they had only had 5 lessons with Scratch though each lesson laster around an hour and a half. Most of the children enjoyed the overall expereince using scratch although one or two found... Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2013 at Still Studying
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This Tuesday (13th Nov) the class was lucky enough to get a visit from IGDA's Luke Dicken and Romana Ramzan (Denki). They came to give the children some advive about making games and also for some ecouragement as well. Romana also demonstrated the "Save the day" game which the children were also very impressed with. Its good to be able to show the children what they are doing in class can link with things happing elsewhere outside of school and yes people do get paid to make games. Some comments from the children were : "We had game designers in... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2012 at Still Studying
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NaGA DeMon – National Games Development month caught my eye when I saw a post about on twitter. The idea is work on a game during the month of November. This appealed to me as currently I am undertaking research with Primary school children in Glasgow and we go to the local Secondary to use their facilities. For 5 lessons (each one 1 hour 40 mins they get to use Scratch to make their own games. I was a bit unsure at first however when I found out there was no age limit I checked with the school to make... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2012 at Still Studying
My time is nearing an end in my latest school. So what have I learned. Well one thing I can say is that despite having almost 130 games made by around 250 children aged 7-11 they are all unique. While some children decided to adapt the basic maze game given as their introduction to making games these games were still not identical with each group putting their own stamp on their game. Most of the children have enjoyed making games and with the really keen Scratchers it is reflected in their games. It would be interesting though to find out... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2012 at Still Studying
It pays to keep up to date with the latest tv trends for kids in school as it helps you when your trying to look cool talking abouth the project they are making and they think you at least know something when you can relate to them about it. Take today two girls were making a snakes and ladders type game with a twist, instead of the snakes and ladders it was the words "reem" and "jel" thankfully I knew that this terminology had come from a program they seem to like called The Only Way is Essex (TOWIE for... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2012 at Still Studying
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Lesson 2 making a simple maze game with Scratch today and it was great though I felt very overdressed today as no one told me it was pyjama day in school. The kids are really into it, even before I got to class I was told by the head that one of the boys had said to her “Miss are we doing that gaming thing again this week” and he was very happy when he was told he was. Always a good sign when the kids are asking for Scratch before I get there. Unlike other schools I have undertaken... Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2012 at Still Studying
Still Scratching and still studying. I have worked with quite a few classes over the past few months and each class has been a different experience all in a positive way and I will write up more about my experiences soon. Today I started in a new school with a class of primary 7’s. Over the course of the 8 lessons we are going to make some games with Scratch. However even today before they looked at Scratch some children were already forming ideas of what games they could make and they also discussed appropriate games to make within school.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2012 at Still Studying
Well what can I say everyone at the school was overwhelmed by your support. they could not believe the generosity of people who didnt even know them but were touched by their story. Words cant say how grateful we all are. Anyway thanks to all the kind tweeps out there and our local councillor the kids got to their panto and they had a ball seeing Aladdin @ the Clyde audtitorium with the amazing John Barrowman and the "fan-dabi-dozi" Krankees. Sorry for taking so long to update you all and as soon as I get my scanner working i've got... Continue reading
Posted Dec 24, 2010 at Still Studying
As everyone knows my kids school was broken into and the cruel thieves stole a sum of money that was meant to pay for the kids panto this year. They go every year to it and are always excited its a whole school outing(school has less than 150 pupils). As it is we are in an area which has a time paying for the trip let alone could afford to repay any money for the kids to go (yes we would for our kids but lets face it with xmas round the corner things are tight for us all). As... Continue reading
Posted Nov 27, 2010 at Still Studying
How I got involved? How did I get involved in computer science I still ask myself that question? At school I did'nt get to use a computer until I did my standard grade computing(14yrs), which I have to say i didnt do well in. I was a geek yes - but a severe maths geek until I left school when I decided to take a break from education and concentrate on family and work life. I used to spend time as a child pretending to play schools and doing maths when I could even making up my own sums to... Continue reading
Posted Sep 9, 2010 at Still Studying
Ok so talkiing to my 3 girls today on way home from swimming. We were talkiing about programs we had watched as I had left tv on come dine with me and I mentioned one about the WAGs - my 10yr old asked what a WAG was so i explained about the footballer wife/girlfriend thing. While my eldest(13) then said is being a WAG a profession? I was bemused at this before I told her no and tried to explain other professions to her - she does have ideas of her own about what she wants to be after leaving... Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2010 at Still Studying
congratulations, i dont know how u managed to do all that on the day was a great day btw. Im sure Mr Bitey had a great day too. Kids have a habit of doing "things" just as you are about to go anywhere important. I rememeber similar things happening when I went back to work after my 2nd. :) :)
Ollie Scratch is a great tool in the class - I used it with 2 classes of P4's for my hons project this year and they loved it (they did learn a bit as well though about basic programming) The ScratchEd site is a great resource i've been swapping resources with other scratch educators across the world(with some help from Karen Brennan) Cant wait to here more about the work being done with scratch & games design(im hoping to pursue my project further at a higher level) would also be interested in hearing if anything is planned for Scratch Day next year unfortunately it fell 3 days before my last exam this year and hopefullhy next year ill be more prepared.
Ok now that im nearly finished at uni only 1 exam and 1 poster presentation to go!!!! Time to pass on those wonderful pearls of wisdom (or at least let you know about them). Firstly believe it when you are told honours year is not like any other year - they are not kidding, its a great experience if you make the most of it. Lots of hard work and this time you are responsible for a large part of it!!!!! Your honours project is a very important part of your last year so choose sometthing that will keep you... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2010 at Still Studying
Well today was the day i've been dreading/wating for for ages. It been almost 11 months since I embarked on my honours project journey(I took up the chance given to start my project early) and its been a great experience(honestly). I did actually say at one point to my supervisor that it was like having another child - the sleepless nights, the worry, then suddenly its time for them to leave home. Well that was it for me today my "baby" left home. Yes its been a lot of hard work and there have been some difficult times. None more... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2010 at Still Studying
Now that my time in schools is over, its time to consider what next with Scratch. Both my schools are now wanting to use Scratch in school which is great news. While some of the kids have downloaded it at home. So it looks like im still going to be helping out at the schools for a while yet, which is great I have really enjoyed being in the schools and the kids were brilliant to work with(as were the teachers). When I spoke to the classes for my last visit the only complaint from every child was that they... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2010 at Still Studying
Me and my honours project poster made the long journey down to Cardiff for the Lovelace colloquium on 8th April 2010. Overall it was a really good day with lots of great talks from some truly wonderful women. Dr Elizabeth Sparrow President of the British Computer Society(BCS) talked about the BCS and the way forward and the new projects going on such as the http://savvycitizens.bcs.org/ hoping to encourage people to get the most out of IT. She also mentioned Computing at Schools http://www.computingatschool.org.uk/ and BCS supporting their work which is great (yes im a member of both) but also its... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2010 at Still Studying
Today was my last day in both schools :( This has been the quickest 8 weeks ever. I had to go into school b yesterday to give an extra lesson so they did not miss out next week as their ICT suite is being done up. I did the Scratch cards with them yesterday and they had lots of fun with them, though at one point I had at least half the class calling me at the same time for a bit of help or to show me something now I know how the teachers feel !!!!! Back in with... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2010 at Still Studying
Well thats us almost done not long to go now, cant believe its been so quick. Class B first and we did the animation this week the kids really got into it today and nearly all finished and had their underwater creatures takling to each other :). Was interesting to overhear pupil say to the teacher "would you like to be a kid doing this in class its great eh" which the teacher replied "yes it is looks lots of fun". Over in class A I used the Scratch cards which are available on the Scratch site ( http://info.scratch.mit.edu/Support )... Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2010 at Still Studying
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Another good day today. Kids really getting the hang of this now in both classes. Class B first in the morning, doing our if/else statements today. They picked it up really quickly and most had finished within half an hour - note to self must take more work than needed. I do usually let them have some "creative time" on Scratch themselves but think that we could have done lots more today. Still I let them look at the animations and see how they work as that is what im hoping to get them to do next. From their evaluations... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2010 at Still Studying
Wow time flies, im halfway through my time in school now. Week 5 in school A and week 4 in school B. I really look forward to my thursdays now. School B first today and im talking about iteration today. A couple of weeks ago one child mentioned they saw a pattern when we were writing our instructions for the square and this is what i used today to illustrate the point. I have made some Scratch blocks to stick on the wall/board to help us work through the first problem together. I find it helps get them talking and... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2010 at Still Studying
Today was a good day, kids all seemed to get on with work and most enjoyed what they had done in both classes. My Class B were taking their "test" this week, with A having done theirs the week before - should be finished marking by the end of the week if i can add in another 24 hours on the clock somewhere!!!!!! We worked through the example first before they went onto complete their sheets. After half an hour most had completed and they all then went onto their computers to try out their programs. Left and right turns... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2010 at Still Studying