Education = Transforming + Informing


ICT and Computing are fast becoming two of the most important subjects of study in the world. Every area of our lives is impacted by Technology and understanding how it works in conjunction with business and society is crucial. In the current climate, Enterprise and a focus on Business is equally important and innovative teaching methods that bring learning to life – with an industry and “real” focus are key. Innovation and Enterprise can be built in to any Business-IT course.  Please scroll down for posts that reflect Enterprise in Education and ideas for whole school events that seek to engage and inspire learners.  Links include information about courses, free video tutorials, articles, downloads, games, ideas, information on competitions, resources and more.    Also see    www.teachingcomputing.com

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February 21, 2011 Posted by | General | 1 Comment



TeachingComputing.Com is dedicated to promoting computer science, programming and Internet based entrepreneurship. The site contains useful resources that will equip individuals or departments with the necessary engaging course materials to teach or deliver courses on computer science/programming & Enterprise. Schools (Primary and Secondary) looking to switch to a Computer Science oriented syllabus, teachers, learners, course developers, industry, professional societies, university lecturers – this site is for you. Also, plenty of free material for those who want to learn!

Computer Science has changed the world we live in and will continue to do so. Enterprise and Entrepreneurship is now the hope of the economy. Programming is fun and a powerful tool and now has become an integral element of any School curriculum.  The TeachingSeries includes comprehensive Lesson by Lesson powerpoints with a unique and creative pedagogical approach that will have you programming and understanding the basics in no time at all. It includes starters, interactivity, screenshots with demos and easy to follow programming tutorials.

August 15, 2012 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

On the mystery of Randomness ….

ImageWikipedia explains that Randomness has common meanings which are connected to the notion of predictability(or lack thereof) of events. The Oxford English Dictionary defines ‘random’ as “Having no definite aim or purpose; not sent or guided in a particular direction; made, done, occurring, etc., without method or conscious choice; haphazard.” This concept of randomness suggests a non-order or non-coherence in a sequence of symbols or steps, such that there is no intelligible pattern or combination. The reason this links to Computer Science and ICT is because random functions crop up a lot. We use them in computer games and simulations. Note the Greenfoot (move Crab randomly) example below.

Public void moveAround()



If Greenfoot.getRandomNumber(100)<10)

{ turn (Greenfoot.getRandomNumber(90) – 45);




But back to randomness (the concept) – in ancient history the concepts of chance and randomness were heavily intertwined with that of fate. Ancient people did things like throw dice to determine fate, and I imagine this is what later evolved into what we now call “games of chance”. Divination of course was what ancient cultures used to circumvent randomness and fate! Research on the internet suggests that it was the Chinese that were the earliest people to formalize odds and chance 3,000 years ago. The Greek philosophers discussed randomness at length, but only in non-quantitative forms.

Stanford computer scientist and Christian commentator – Donald Knuth – explained his views that suggested that pseudorandom numbers were useful and could be applied with purpose. He extended this thought to God who, he suggested, may use randomness with purpose to allow free will to certain degrees. Knuth believes that God is interested in people’s decisions and limited free will allows a certain degree of decision making. Knuth, based on his understanding of quantum computing and entanglement, comments that God exerts dynamic control over the world without violating any laws of physics, suggesting that what appears to be random to humans may not, in fact, be so random.

One of my favourite men (now dead) in the universe – C.S Lewis – was a Christian philosopher and discussed free will at length. On  human will, Lewis wrote: “God willed the free will of men and angels in spite of His knowledge that it could lead in some cases to sin and thence to suffering: i.e., He thought freedom worth creating even at that price.” In a radio broadcast, Lewis indicated that God “gave [humans] free will. He gave them free will because a world of mere automata could never love…”

June 21, 2012 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

Ever fantasise about teaching without having to actually SEE your learners?

Start your own course online

 The internet, as ever, makes this possible (I’m referring to the title) Setting up courses in the cloud is now a trend in online learning. Whether you are a training company, a non-profit trainer, an experienced hobbyist, or an educational institute, at some point you will want to tap into the cloud, attract new learners from around the globe, and start learning collaboratively. I recently came across MOOC:  It is free – it only costs you the time you put in it; You can attract a massive amount of learners; It enables all of the course participants to collaborate and learn from each other; and it will enhance knowledge, both in experts and novices. Oh, and also check out: http://docs.moodle.org/22/en/Create_your_own_course

What do you want to teach people?

June 18, 2012 Posted by | General | 1 Comment

Blog your way to the bank

Make Money Blogging

A blog is a thing that – well, it’s what you’re reading. I’ve had a number of people ask me in the last few days, how or if people can make money blogging. The answer is yes. Blogs make money through having advertisements on them and also by selling products or services. The next question: How much? It, like most things in life, depends. On many things – hard work, luck ….you know. Some people make very little and give up. When starting out, you might only make a few pounds or dollars or rupees or whatever a month while you are building your readership. Over time you could quite easily earn an extra $£whatever1000 per month from advertising revenues. You may be interested to know that some top bloggers make a full living off their blog earning 5 or 6 figure incomes. Then there are the tippity top blogs that earn in the millions. So the potential is most certainly there! Click here: for a nice article (it’s where I got the picture and content from) on making money with WordPress. http://lifelearningtoday.com/2009/03/21/complete-guide-to-set-up-a-wordpress-blog-and-make-money/

June 18, 2012 Posted by | General | 1 Comment

Have a creative project you’d like funding for?

Have a potentially commercial (non-charitable) creative idea that you would like some funding for? Well if you have a really cool idea and people agree, Kickstarter could be just the thing for you! Kickstarter is among the largest funding platforms for creative projects. Every week, tens of thousands of amazing people pledge millions of dollars to projects from the worlds of music, film, art, technology, design, food, publishing and other creative fields. Check out the site and start a project for yourself. http://www.kickstarter.com/start (Kickstarter is currently looking at expanding into the international market but is currently only open to US residents). If you’re in the UK try: http://www.wefund.com/,  pleasefund.us or http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/ If you want to know how it works (a risk free way of testing ideas) check out the Wefund FAQ page here: http://www.wefund.com/faq#n139 In a nutshell, these sort of sites are on the look out for creative artists of any kind. Are there any selection criteria? Not really. No hate-speech, no holocaust denial – nothing racist or inflammatory or offensive. WEFUND is for creative projects, but that can be very broadly defined. A film?  Sure. A chair? Definitely.  A book, a play, an installation? Of course. A new company? Yeah but you can’t sell shares. (the site mentions something about being able to sell shorts instead of shares though …not sure what they meant)  Finally, you can’t just use it to say, I want to stop working , can you all give me a pound.  As mentioned, they are looking for artists, architects, film makers, designers, carpenters, actors, singers, writers, illustrators, photographers, curators, maybe even the odd adventurer …. What will you do?

May 21, 2012 Posted by | General | 1 Comment

Collaborating and sharing files online

Collaborating with others online: There are a number of options for everything from sharing video and images to presentations, files, tasks, ideas and more. Some services require you to create documents online while others allow you to create them off.

1. EtherPad

EtherPad offers real-time editing and collaboration of plain text documents. It includes a mini chat room and shows each user’s edits with their own color in real time. Also nice is the ability to save and restore revisions.

2. Google Docs

Google Docs offers all three office apps for creating documents, spreadsheets and presentations. They also offer good sharing features which means you can collaborate with others in real-time at the same time on the same documents. There’s also an option to post the document to a blog or website and have any changes updated automatically by itself.

3. Zoho

Like Google Docs, Zoho offers a suite of apps to create online documents, spreadsheets and presentations (plus databases), but their sharing features are much better. Not only can you invite others to view or edit documents, but you can create groups to make them easier to manage. This makes it sort of like a wiki and a blog publishing platform. A downside to Google Docs is that you can’t chat with others inside Google Docs, but then again, you can always use Gtalk.


May 20, 2012 Posted by | General | 1 Comment

Finally – a way to understand Turing Machines ….

  Turing machines (named after a guy called Alan Turing) are a universal model of computation and play a central role in the theory of computation. TuringKara lets you solve many interesting Turing machine problems. It uses a two-dimensional ‘sheet’ as its external memory rather than the usual one-dimensional tape. This greatly simplifies your Turing machines for many problems, compared to Turing machines working on the standard tape. TuringKara illustrates typical problems such as basic arithmetic operations and pattern matching. Download the program here: Program: allkara-en.jar [2004/03/26, 5’000 KB]  and the user manual here: User’s manual: turingkara_manual-en.pdf or visit http://www.swisseduc.ch/compscience/karatojava/turingkara/

May 16, 2012 Posted by | General | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Random incoherent ramblings on the nature of TIME

Recently I had the thought that this “time” thing plays a major role in all the relational problems we experience in the world. It’ll take a while for me to explain my theory (which is more of a thought, at this stage, than a theory) but it’s based around the idea that in life we are required to prioritize – prioritize events and people, and when we prioritize one individual over another, or one event over another (which invariably we have to do because of the restrictions imposed upon us by time) we come up against problems. I tried to imagine a universe in which we had infinite to play with, not just slices of time that we need to divide between the people in our lives and the things we want to do. I suppose God has an infinite time slice for each of us as he is above and beyond and outside of the construct that we acknowledge as space-time. It is incomprehensible really, ‘cept conceptually – just about, but it’s an interesting thing to ponder. What is time? Ray Cummings – an early Science fiction writer – wrote “Time ….is what keeps everything from happening at once”. Time, according to Einstien, is the fourth dimension – a dimension in which things happen one after the other in sequence. Philosophers through the ages have speculated on the nature of time and tried to define it, but with little success. Is time something external to matter – something that clocks measure, and is that all? Or is time an intrinsic property of matter – inside it and at the very heart of everything created in this perceivable space-time bound universe? And how does any of this relate to Computer Science or ICT? Well, the other day I came across a post on the internet that was pontificating on the idea that this universe is a “Binary Universe” (Conrad Zuse said a similar thing and wrote several long books on the topic) The chap who wrote the thing mentioned how in his Binary Model the universe operates on fractal variations of 2 laws and 2 elements: “Space/time Quanta The law of conservation of energy No two quanta can occupy the same space/time”. The mention of time and its consideration in a Binary Universe was interesting simply because I wonder if “time” is something that could be understood by seeking to simulate it or indeed create it in a virtual world. Philosophically, I continue to think about whether time is the thing that limits us in our love and relationships and creates the delusion that “loving all” is a bad thing. Matthew 12:25 makes a peculiar statement in response to what people were asking Jesus about exclusivity of love and how it would be in the after-life. “When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.” Is this suggesting that the need for exclusivity is removed ….how could that be unless we were dealing in a universe in which time slices weren’t restricted and prioritization and exclusivity weren’t necessary ….

May 16, 2012 Posted by | General | 2 Comments

Design award-winning games fast, and without code!

Make Money creating gameshttp://www.stencyl.com/ is a very interesting site that allows you design complex flash based games fast, and without code. It requires download, but the interesting thing is that it allows you to then check out the different components that are involved in creating a game. You have the interface, but can also analyse (and edit and make new additions) to the events, behaviours and properties of objects and scenes. There is also a physics panel in which you can adjust settings such as “real world gravit y”! More importantly (depending on what you think is important of course) there is huge money making and fame-winning potential in the creation of these games. Games created by ordinary people on Stencyl have won awards, scored major sponsorships (from ArmorGames, Newgrounds, etc.), involved famous people or simply excelled on the market. They’re successes in every meaning of the word: racking up over 1 million of plays and passing the 5-figure mark in the best cases. You could be next! From a programming / computer science point of view, the stencyl interface allows you to analyse programming constructs such as conditional logic, iteration (loops) and object orientated programming.

May 6, 2012 Posted by | General | 3 Comments

Event Planning?

Elry (see link at the end) claims to be the easiest way to build a beautiful webpage for your event. You can: Invite guests; Collect photos, videos, and stories and browse updates from your friends’ events. You can effectively create elegant invitation pages where your guests can see event details, RSVP, and add photos from their computers or services like Facebook and Picasa – all from one place. You can make rather beautiful full-screen landing pages for your event or experience in one step and it all only takes a few seconds. Choose from gorgeous pre-selected backgrounds or upload photos of your own. http://erly.com/

May 6, 2012 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

Revenue generation and promoting user-engagement

People are always asking me how to make a quick buck, and how they might use the internet to do so. Well, the internet certainly does have potential for money making but you’ve still got to come up with a fantastic idea and see it through from start to finish. DEVHUB (see link at end) is an online site and by playing the DevHub game, you can easily build vertically-focused, media-rich destination sites that have the potential to generate revenue and promote user-engagement. http://www.devhub.com/editor/ Then there’s SHOPLY. Shoply is a hosted application which allows you to set up and run your own online shop. Shoply offers decentralized shopping software as well as a centralized shopping marketplace and directory. The site provides you with everything you need to run and grow your own shop, meet new people and effectively set up a business of your own in minutes. Finally (and in this post I’m just mentioning three of many many many) there is Betable with a single t. Betable is a place where you can bet with friends, family, colleagues and others on anything that interests you. With thousands of bets to choose from the betting marketplace and the ability to create your own bets, you’ll never run out of exciting things to bet on. What’s more, Betable lets you invite your friends and the greater betting community to bet with you so you can share the excitement and have some friendly competition.

May 6, 2012 Posted by | General | 2 Comments

What’s in it for Linux?

A student recently asked me for a linux CD but then (I assume) went with Windows instead. Why? Why? Why? I have a feeling that people are still under the impression that you need to be a crazy computer geek to use Linux. It isn’t true! Desktop Linux is just as easy to use as any other mainstream operating system. Have a look at the new Ubuntu Linux 12.04’s Unity desktop (Gallery) here: http://www.zdnet.com/photos/a-first-look-at-ubuntu-1204-gallery/6352807?tag=content;siu-container

April 24, 2012 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

Moonfruit: Set up your own online shop and app in minutes!

[submitted by David Cohen on October 25, 2011 7:29 PM]

One of the newest players in the Facebook storefront game reported a red-hot first two days.

ShopBuilder, launched by U.K.-based do-it-yourself website builder Moonfruit, officially launched October 19, and more than 4,500 storefronts went live within the first 48 hours, with 30 percent of those coming from the U.S., according to the company. That large number suggests that Moonfruit simply extended existing clients’ web storefronts onto Facebook pages enabled for commerce. Then again, the 4,500 is dwarfed by the nearly 4.2 million websites that the vendor has been responsible for. Moonfruit described ShopBuilder as an out-of-the-box e-commerce solution for Facebook, websites, and mobile, targeted toward small businesses and individuals. ShopBuilder is also integrated with PayPal, allowing users to begin accepting funds via the payment platform immediately by registering an email address, without the need for a merchant account. Moonfruit said integration with eBay and other online marketplaces will happen soon.

Here’s how Moonfruit describes ShopBuilder:

The Moonfruit ShopBuilder automatically publishes your shop onto web, mobile, and into Facebook. You only have to set up your shop once. It offers a mobile optimized checkout for phone shoppers integrated with PayPal. It allows you to push your products into your Facebook and Twitter stream. It allows your customers to like and tweet their browsing and buying habits. It can be designed and published by you like every other Moonfruit tool. It’s even free. The free version of the application includes advertisements, while ad-free versions of the app cost money.

Readers: Would you want to launch a Facebook store that included ads from other brands?

April 20, 2012 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

50 Small Business Websites to Build using Moonfruit Sitemaker

Starting a small online business using Moonfruit sitemaker can be both exciting and rewarding but sometimes it can be difficult to know what type of business to open.

So to help inspire you here’s a list of 50 small business website ideas that you can use.

Photography -Baby Tips – Wedding Planning – Parenting Tips – Cake Making – Pet tips – Camping and Caravaning – Fishing – Travel – Student Resource – Arts and Crafts – Wood Products – Sewing – Knitting – Music – Movies – Small Business Advertising – Gardening tips – Sports – Computer Training – Ceramics – Antique collecting – Electronics – Small Business Service – Horse Riding
Bike Riding – Running – Fashion – Motor Racing – Fishing – Creative writing – Swimming – Surfing – Guitar playing – Singing Lessons – Playing the piano – Composing Music – Cooking Recipes – What’s on guide – Art – Astronomy – Chemistry – Boating – Electronics – Health – Vitamins – Medicine – Holidays – Animals – Religion – Languages

Get started at www.moonfruit.com

April 18, 2012 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

Charles Babbage

Charles Babbage - Brain

Babbage Brain

More on that Charles Babbage (inventor of the analytical engine, pre-cursor of what we now call the ‘Computer’: Well, he was a great lover of facts and data – they intoxicated him and he is known to have said “the preservation of any fact might ultimately be useful”. He did all sorts of peculiar things like measure the heartbeat of a calf and attempt to affix a numerical value to the breath of a calf. He even spent valuable time conducting research on something as obscure as the relative frequency of the causes of the breaking of plate glass widows! His conclusions were that there were 464 breakages, 14 of which were caused by drunkenness. He delighted in the thought of having a daily account of the food consumed by zoo animals and the statistical analysis of the “proportion of sexes” amongst our poultry. The thing about facts is that they do all have some intrinsic value; some intrinsic meaning even, whatever meaning is. They are part of a bigger picture, a bigger truth. One day, we may be equipped with the brains and processing power to understand and analyse the patterns; to know why things were they way they were. But in that day, we won’t be talking in terms of before and after or were and will be. Time: the construct may have ceased to exist altogether. Then – will facts matter? What will matter? What does?

April 6, 2012 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

The Future – Clifford Stoll

April 5, 2012 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

#5 Set up a Virtual Business – Second Life!

Set-up a virtual business with Second Life

In the online virtual world of Second Life, you can buy and sell land, create clothes, set up a shop or anything else you can think of. Set up by Linden Labs, Second Life has experienced phenomenal growth. The ‘inworld economy’ of Second Life grew 94% between 2008 and 2009 and by the end of 2011 the equivalent value of all money held by users stood at $29.3 million.

That’s right, although Second Life is a virtual world, it has a very real economy. Ailin Graef, aka Anshe Chung, became the first person to make a real life million through Second Life. Its currency, the Linden dollar, can be exchanged at a rate of about 320 Linden dollars (L$) to £1, although it does fluctuate. If you’re handy with a keyboard and have a lot of spare time, this could be an interesting way to make some extra cash.

(from http://www.moneymagpie.com/article/best-money-making-websites)

April 3, 2012 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

#4 Trade for free -risk-free!

Trade for free on the virtual stock market

TraderPlay is a new free website offering you the chance to try your hand risk free on a virtual stock market where you compete with other aspiring traders. It mirrors real-time financial data and offers cash prizes.

Players are awarded £1,000,000 of virtual money and use this to enter live trading competitions where their profits and losses contribute to the overall leaderboard. Gamers are encouraged to challenge friends and contacts to go head-to-head using the website’s in-built Facebook app, and see who has triumphed when the markets close. For those that show a natural skill, there is even real money to be won – or potentially the opportunity to catch the eye of industry headhunters.

Unlike many gaming sites, TraderPlay is completely risk free, plus there are real prizes to be won! So if you’ve ever fancied having a go on the stock market, here’s your chance!
(from http://www.moneymagpie.com/article/best-money-making-websites)

April 3, 2012 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

#3 Cash – for your opinion

Complete online surveys for money

Here are our favourite paid survey sites. They’re completely free and have received a big thumbs-up from many of you. For maximum earnings why not set up a separate email account (so your personal one doesn’t get flooded with survey-related emails) and then register for free to all of them?:

Lightspeed – opt to receive rewards as cash (via PayPal) or as vouchers for Argos, M&S and Amazon and more
Toluna – convert points you earn into Amazon and HMV vouchers
GlobalTestMarket – pays $50 for every 1,000 points earned
Great Sites – register and complete a quick survey for the chance to win £5,000!
Valued Opinions – get entered into a prize draw to win a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 when you sign up. Surveys pay 50p – £5 and your points will earn you vouchers for the likes of Amazon, M&S, Argos, Tesco, Boots, John Lewis and Miss Selfridge
Opinion Surveys – complete a survey and be entered into a draw to win £1,000!
Surveyhead – claim your rewards in cash via PayPal
Panelbase – earn between 25p and £10 per survey

April 3, 2012 Posted by | General | 1 Comment

#2 Cash renting out your space for cash

Spareroom.co.uk – Rent out your space for cash

Got a spare room you don’t use? Or, if you really need the cash, could you move out of your bedroom and sleep in the sitting room to free it up to rent out?

April 3, 2012 Posted by | General | 1 Comment

#1 Cash designing T-Shirts

Threadless.com – Earn cash designing T-shirts

Fancy yourself as a fashion guru? Then why not try your hand at designing your own T-shirt? It’s creative and fun – plus, if your creation proves popular with others, you can make money from your hobby.

April 3, 2012 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

Websites and Money Making






and finally check out the following website’s projections: http://www.howthiswebsitemakesmoney.com/information/how-much-money-can-website-make.php

Apparently –
100 [dollars] / 17.7 [revenue per 1000 visitors] * 1000) = 5882

To make $100/day you need around 6,000 visitors a day. (This is not taking into account other revenue streams)

And: http://www.moneymagpie.com/article/best-money-making-websites

April 2, 2012 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

The Raspberry Pi

The idea behind a tiny and cheap computer for kids came in 2006, when Eben Upton and his colleagues at the University of Cambridge’s Computer Laboratory, including Rob Mullins, Jack Lang and Alan Mycroft, became concerned about the year-on-year decline in the numbers and skills levels of the A Level students applying to read Computer Science in each academic year. From a situation in the 1990s where most of the kids applying were coming to interview as experienced hobbyist programmers, the landscape in the 2000s was very different; a typical applicant might only have done a little web design.

Something had changed the way kids were interacting with computers. A number of problems were identified: the colonisation of the ICT curriculum with lessons on using Word and Excel, or writing webpages; the end of the dot-com boom; and the rise of the home PC and games console to replace the Amigas, BBC Micros, Spectrum ZX and Commodore 64 machines that people of an earlier generation learned to program on.

Read more at http://www.raspberrypi.org/about

What is it?

… a $25 computer that is powerful enough to run Quake 3, a pretty intense 3D video game. It plugs straight into a TV with an HDMI output. Oh and have I already mentioned that it costs just $25 to buy!

Read more: http://articles.businessinsider.com/2011-12-28/tech/30564049_1_computer-broadcom-foundation#ixzz1oZM1Wh7U

March 8, 2012 Posted by | General | 1 Comment

Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions

Flatland is a short, clever story that with great efficiency manages to teach some geometry, critique social values (of the period) and entertain all at once.

March 8, 2012 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

The Things that Nobody Knows – William Hartston

Unofficial Promo using Googlesearch stories- great book, great Christmas Present …

December 22, 2011 Posted by | General | 2 Comments

ICT and Enterprise – the future

Excerpt: In terms of finding the next Google, he says universities lend themselves to developing online ideas. Campuses are full of young creative people who can experiment relatively cheaply – and whose ideas can serve a growing market for digital applications.

“In IT you only need a little investment to start with, you need a laptop and access to the internet. You don’t have to buy heavy machinery like in the oil industry.”

Check this out: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12733522

December 8, 2011 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

The Future of Computers – Pen PCs

November 7, 2011 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

Who will crack the Quantum Computing challenge?

November 7, 2011 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

Education Systems: America, China, India – a comparison.

November 7, 2011 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

3D Animation. Sci Fi Funk. (Pilot Ep)

Amazing Animation (telling a powerful story) created (initially) using free program Daz studio, http://www.daz3d.com/i/products/studio but more recently, Carrara http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrara_(software)



November 5, 2011 Posted by | General | Leave a comment