Reading Time: 5 minutes
When we think back to our school days, we can all recall that one teacher who inspired us, believed in us, and made all the difference to how we approached a particular subject. It was someone we maybe took for granted at the time and so we only realised (much) later how amazing they were.
I hope this post makes you think of a teacher or mentor who has made a key difference in your life!
Here computer science student Jonathan Alderson and our teams Ben Garside talk to me about how Ben supported and inspired Jonathan in his computer science classroom.
Jonathan: My first memories of using a computer were playing 3D Pinball, Club Penguin, and old Disney games, so nothing productive thereor so I thought! I was always good at IT and Maths at school, and Computing seemed to be a cross between the two, so I thought it would be good.
Jonathan: I met Mr Garside at the start of sixth form. Our school didnt have a computer science course, so a few of us would walk between schools twice a week. Mr Garside really made me feel welcome in a place where I didnt know anyone.
When learning computer science, its difficult to understand the importance of new concepts like recursion, classes, or linked lists when the examples are so small. Mr Garsides teaching made me see the relevance of them and how they could fit into other projects; its easy to go a long time without using concepts because you dont necessarily need them, even when it would make your life a lot easier.
Mr Garside really made me feel welcome in a place where I didnt know anyone.  Mr Garsides teaching made me see the relevance of [new computer science concepts] and how they could fit into other projects.
Ben: It was a real pleasure to teach Jonathan. He stands out as being one of the most inquisitive students that I have taught. If something wasnt clear to him, hed certainly let me know and ask relevant questions so that he could fully understand. Jonathan was also constantly working on his own programming projects outside of lessons. During his A level, I remember him taking it upon himself to write a program that played chess. Each week he would demonstrate the progress he had made to the class. It was a perfect example of decomposition as he tackled the project in small sections and had a clear plan as to what he wanted to achieve. By the end of his project, not only did he have a program that played chess, but it was capable of playing against real online users including making the mouse clicks on the screen!
Moving from procedural to object-oriented programming (OOP) can be a sticking point for a lot of learners, and I remember Jonathan finding this difficult at first. I think what helped Jonathan in particular was getting him to understand that this wasnt as new a concept as he first thought. OOP was just a different paradigm where he could still apply all of the coding structures that he was already confident in using.
That sounds like a very cool project. What other projects did you make, Jonathan? And how did Ben help you?
Jonathan: My final-year project, [a video game] called Vector Venture, ended up becoming quite a mammoth task! I didnt really have a clue about organising large projects, what an IDE was, or you could split files apart. Mr Garside helped me spend enough time on the final report and get things finished. He was very supportive of me releasing the game and got me a chance to speak at the Python North East group, which was a great opportunity.
Ben: Vector Venture was a very ambitious project that Jonathan undertook, but I think by then he had learned a lot about how to tackle a project of that size from previous projects such as the chess program. The key to his success was that whilst he was learning, he was picking projects to undertake that he had a genuine interest in and enjoyed developing. I would also tell my A level students to pick as a project something that they will enjoy developing. Jonathan clearly enjoyed developing games, but I also had students who picked projects to develop programs that would solve problems. For example, one of my students developed a system that would take online bookings for food orders and manage table allocation for a local restaurant.
I would tell my A level students to pick as a project something that they will enjoy developing.
Jonathan: I have just completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Leeds (UoL) with a place on the Deans List and am staying to complete a Masters in High Performance Graphics.
During my time at UoL, Ive had three summer placements creating medical applications and new systems for the university. This helped me understand the social benefits of computer science; it was great to work on something that is now benefitting so many people. My dissertation was on music visualisation, mapping instrument attributes of a currently playing song to control parameters inside sharers on the GPU to produce reactive visualisations. Ive just completed an OpenGL project to create procedural underwater scenes, with realistic lighting, reflections, and fish simulations. Im now really looking forward to completing my Game Engine project for my masters and graduating.
Ben: There are lots of things that excite me about teaching computer science. Before I worked for the Raspberry Pi Foundation, there was a phrase I heard Carrie Anne Philbin say when I attended a Picademy: we are teaching young people to be digital makers, logical thinkers, and problem solvers, not just to be consumers of technology. I felt this really summed up how great it is to teach our subject. Teaching computer science means that were educating young people about the world around them and how technology plays its part in their lives. By doing this, we are empowering them to solve problems and to make educated choices about how they use technology.
Teaching computer science means that were educating young people about the world around them and how technology plays its part in their lives.
As for my previous in-school experiences, I loved those lightbulb moments when something suddenly made sense to a student and a loud Yesssss! would break the silence of a quietly focused classroom. I loved teaching something that regularly sparked their imaginations; give them a single lesson on programming, and they would start to ask questions like: Now Ive made it do thatdoes this mean I could make it do this next?. It wasnt uncommon for students to want to do more outside of the classroom that wasnt a homework activity. That, for me, was the ultimate win!
Who was the teacher who helped shape your future when you were at school? Tell us about them in the comments below.
See the original post here:
- SwitchArcade Round-Up: 'Scott Pilgrim vs. The World', 'Shadow Gangs', and Today's Other New Releases and Sales - Touch Arcade - January 15th, 2021
- Their Uniforms Say Ohio State and Alabama. The Players Are From Everywhere. - The Wall Street Journal - January 13th, 2021
- Ziggurat Interactive Releases First Retro First Friday Pack Of 2021 - Bleeding Cool News - January 9th, 2021
- TV tonight: another day in paradise for detective Ralf Little - The Guardian - January 9th, 2021
- The Board Games Global Market is Expected to Grow at a CAGR of 13% Between 2021 to 2026 - Yahoo Finance - January 6th, 2021
- 50 Best TV Shows To Watch In 2021 - Highest Rated Television Series - OtakuKart - OtakuKart - December 29th, 2020
- Red Bull think they have secret weapon to catch Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas | F1 | Sport - TechnoCodex - December 23rd, 2020
- HBO's Industry creators and Myha'la Herrold break down season 1 finale - Entertainment Weekly - December 22nd, 2020
- Research at Microsoft 2020: Addressing the present while looking to the future - Microsoft - December 22nd, 2020
- Deals of the Week, December 11 to 18 Growth Business roundup - GrowthBusiness.co.uk - December 18th, 2020
- Turns Out Its Pretty Good: Doomscrolling - The Cut - December 18th, 2020
- A Letter to My Kids - The Good Men Project - December 15th, 2020
- Yakuza Remastered Collection On The Way For Xbox & PC - Bleeding Cool News - December 13th, 2020
- Hitman 3 Gets A New Trailer Showing Off The Features - Bleeding Cool News - December 9th, 2020
- Reflections on 40 years: thanks for the memories (we can remember) - NOLA.com - December 9th, 2020
- AMD Ryzen 7 5800X Review: The Pricing Conundrum - Tom's Hardware - December 8th, 2020
- AI has almost solved one of biologys greatest challenges how protein unfolds - ThePrint - December 8th, 2020
- Demis Hassabis interview: the kid from the comp who founded DeepMind and cracked a mighty riddle of science - The Times - December 6th, 2020
- Online Chess and Working from Home - Chessbase News - December 5th, 2020
- Full Fischer film in YouTube - Chessbase News - December 5th, 2020
- New C360 CEO Howard Wright Sees Broadcast Tech Putting Fans on the Field of Play - Sports Video Group - December 5th, 2020
- This is what would happen if a Hind took on a Cobra - We Are The Mighty - December 5th, 2020
- Hyundai Takes The Wraps Off Its E-GMP Electric Car Platform - CleanTechnica - December 3rd, 2020
- Top 9 Reasons to Rent an RV when you traveling - The Dubrovnik Times - December 3rd, 2020
- Akron flashback: Some childhood toys you never forget - Akron Beacon Journal - December 1st, 2020
- 24 Comments on GM is Paying Cadillac Dealers to Ditch the Brand... - The Truth About Cars - November 29th, 2020
- Skilling Open QF2: Day of the Comebacks - chess24 - November 27th, 2020
- Jelurida Announces Bridge Champ, an On-Chain Version of the Famous Card Game - IT News Online - November 27th, 2020
- The 37 Best Black Friday Smart Home and Kitchen Deals (2020) - WIRED - November 27th, 2020
- The Joylessness of Cooking - The New Yorker - November 27th, 2020
- The Big Bang Theory: 10 Hidden Details About Penny That Everyone Missed - Screen Rant - November 26th, 2020
- Hitman 3 Reveals A New Location With Chongqing, China - Bleeding Cool News - November 25th, 2020
- Conte and Zidane remain best of friends ahead of San Siro reunion - MSN UK - November 25th, 2020
- AMD Ryzen 5 5600X Review: The Mainstream Knockout - Tom's Hardware - November 24th, 2020
- What's Next In AI, Chips And Masks - SemiEngineering - November 20th, 2020
- NFL Week 11: Picks and preview - Yardbarker - November 20th, 2020
- 2020 NBA Draft: Sam Vecenie's likes and dislikes - The Athletic - November 20th, 2020
- We have free android games and apps Birmingham Alive - Birmingham Alive - November 18th, 2020
- Remembering When the Memories Are No Longer Our Own - War on the Rocks - November 12th, 2020
- How To Learn Chess By Yourself: Best Apps And More - Goosed.ie - November 10th, 2020
- So Beats Abdusattorov In Speed Chess Match - Chess.com - November 10th, 2020
- Truss the process: How the Ravens turned a strange week into their biggest win of the season - Baltimore Sun - November 10th, 2020
- 2020 European MotoGP Results and News - Cycle News - November 10th, 2020
- Star Renegades Will Be Coming To Consoles Later This Month - Bleeding Cool News - November 10th, 2020
- How Disney Helped Fans Live Their Star Wars Stories - Theme Park Insider - November 8th, 2020
- Artificial intelligence, the reality behind the runaway - Pledge Times - November 8th, 2020
- 8 Comments on Bugatti Bolide's Claimed Nurburing Time Isn't Real... - The Truth About Cars - October 30th, 2020
- What happened at the Badger Fire? - Times-News - October 30th, 2020
- Red Bull hopes 'Balance of Performance' plan will win rivals over to engine freeze - RaceFans - October 28th, 2020
- Rybka - Wikipedia - October 28th, 2020
- What the hell is reinforcement learning and how does it work? - The Next Web - October 28th, 2020
- How the new diversity is transforming science fictions future - Polygon - October 28th, 2020
- Low-flying helicopters to measure radiation levels in DC before inauguration | TheHill - The Hill - October 23rd, 2020
- Derrick Henry isnt the only challenge for the Steelers in Nashville - Behind the Steel Curtain - October 23rd, 2020
- The Rise of the Machines: Where Does the Person Stop and the Machine Start? - CIO Applications - October 21st, 2020
- National Stock Exchange of Australia to Launch Automated Trading Blockchain... - Coinspeaker - October 21st, 2020
- When 3 is greater than 5 - Chessbase News - October 19th, 2020
- The Analogue Duo Retro System Will Launch Sometime In 2021 - Bleeding Cool News - October 19th, 2020
- NHTSA Launching Investigation Into Chevy Bolt Fires - The Truth About Cars - October 16th, 2020
- Chess Engines Collection Download - OuefCafe.info - October 11th, 2020
- Engines - Chessprogramming wiki - October 11th, 2020
- Unreal Engine will power the Hummer EV's infotainment display - Sports Grind Entertainment - October 8th, 2020
- Jos: Time for Red Bull to produce a championship-winning car - Grand Prix 247 - October 8th, 2020
- Norway Chess: Caruana and Firouzja get off to a good start - Chessbase News - October 7th, 2020
- Belltower: Outlawing the internal combustion engine - Mountain Democrat - October 3rd, 2020
- Netmarble Announces An Original Mobile Title With A3: Still Alive - Bleeding Cool News - October 1st, 2020
- The F-35 in the Way Ahead for USMC-US Navy Integration - Second Line of Defense - September 30th, 2020
- Apple Vs. Epics First Hearing Takes Place, Judge Recommends Jury Trial for July 2021 - mxdwn.com - September 30th, 2020
- 15 Games Like Among Us That Will Test Your Wits - KeenGamer News - September 28th, 2020
- Digital Inclusion: What Does It Bring To The Future Of Connected Vehicles? - ISBuzz News - September 24th, 2020
- CanPL.ca's Best of the second group stage and CPL Final at The Island Games - Canadian Premier League - September 22nd, 2020
- Smart Money Podcast: Used Cars in Short Supply, and Shea Coule Talks About Money - Morton Times-News - September 22nd, 2020
- Revved up: How FCA and an army of contractors raced against time to put together 1st new assembly plant in Detroit in 3 decades - Crain's Detroit... - September 20th, 2020
- T-Bones waiting for the all-clear to open - Wicked Local Plymouth - September 19th, 2020
- Changing the rules - Spectator.co.uk - September 19th, 2020
- Cyan Reveals They're Developing The Game Myst For VR - Bleeding Cool News - September 19th, 2020
- Carlsen Connects on Day 2 of Rapid and Blitz - uschess.org - September 19th, 2020
- California's Butte County has been ravaged by wildfires. One man's rescue shows the depth of the fight - San Francisco Chronicle - September 19th, 2020
- The Football GM: Ranking the running backs signed to new contracts - The Athletic - September 16th, 2020
- Is Creativity Dying in Sports? - NYU Washington Square News - September 15th, 2020