Posted: 11th January 2018
Being blindfolded and hunting for apples is quite normal for a computing lesson at Wychwood…. It is all about getting the girls to start responding like a computer. It helps them to appreciate that a computer requires a precise and specific sequence of instructions to operate and gets them thinking about algorithms.
One student was blindfolded at the door of the classroom, whilst the others had strategically placed apples around the room for her to collect and all she had to do was follow their instructions and retrieve the apples. Simple! As a team the girls wrote the ‘program’ on the whiteboard and took it in turns to call out an instruction. Poor Milly did end up facing the wrong direction, unable to reach her apples and found herself stuck against the wall on a few occasions and the girls soon realised that their program had bugs – they needed to be more precise with their ‘inputs’ if they were to achieve their desired ‘outputs’. They will all tell you that this is GIGO – garbage in garbage out – as computers cannot think, they can only respond to the instructions we give them. Something to think about when we are getting annoyed that the pc isn’t doing what we expect!
Great fun was had by all, our blindfolded volunteer was a good sport and all the girls soon became determined to make her reach her goal and cheered at the end! The girls were able to put what they had learnt into practice using Kodu Game Lab and program Kodu to collect apples efficiently. Next week they will be creating a world for Kodu and we will be looking to develop our programming skills further. There may not be any more blind folds but play dough, origami, skittles and tennis balls have all made an appearance in computing lessons so who knows?