• MAMIC: a visual programming library for amalgamating Mathematics and Coding through Music

      Dalgleish, Mat; Payne, Chris (Group for Learning in Art & Design (GLAD), 2015-12)
      The role of computing within the National Curriculum framework has changed dramatically in recent times. Traditionally, the computing curriculum in schools focussed on software competency and proficiency in common but basic tasks such as word processing, delivered through the subject of Information Communication Technology (ICT). In other words, students became perfunctory but perhaps uninspired end users, closely tied to ubiquitous commercial packages such as Microsoft Office. However, in September 2014, then Education Secretary Michael Gove made significant changes to the National Curriculum that affected both primary and secondary education in the UK. This has consisted in essence of an enforced shift from the prior ICT model to one that, at least in theory, embraces coding as a fundamental tenet of computing (i.e. active creation rather than end use, closely related to Rushkoff’s notion of “programmed or be programmed” [7]) and promotes computational thinking more broadly [1]. For instance, Key Stage 1 now asks that students actively consider program structure and sequential design as well as demonstrate core competency [2]. The inclusion of computational thinking seems particularly prescient and important: if the ability to cheaply outsource the drudgery of basic software development (particularly to the far east) may mean that the ability to code is, in and of itself, becoming less important from a UK labour perspective, it could be argued that students able to adopt a computational mindset, may be better prepared to apply computing principles to a range of scenarios.