GCSE Resources

www.codecademy.com

This is an excellent online training resource from codecademy.com. It is completely free and there are regular updates and tutorials. I have heard a number of arguments that say it is difficult to learn only from using it, but it is still great for students to use for progress outside of the classroom. Currently only has tutorials for Javascript, but there are plans to expand into other languages at a later date.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

www.w3schools.com

An excellent website for learning anything web related. W3Schools cover everything from HTML to PHP in a very clear and easy to use manner. It’s a great reference site and a definite must have bookmark.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

www.codeavengers.com

Code Avengers is a website which aims to help teach Javascript (and soon HTML) to students. Designed by Michael Walmsley, Code Avengers is aimed at GCSE level students at was initially designed to cover the New Zealand curriculum.

The first thing you will notice is that the format is very similar to the popular Codecademy. However, Code Avengers does go out of its way to make the format more fun and interactive for young users including a number of graphical exercises and the odd game break after you complete certain levels.

The lessons are well structured and slowly introduce the programmer to basic maths followed by variables and prompts. There are also a number of questions which are useful to check the learners understanding. I particularly liked Lesson 9 which checked how strings and variables are handled. Compared to Codecademy I found Code Avengers to have a friendlier approach and it also went over a number of points a few times meaning that it is more likely to be understood by students. The idea that they can seek help, but it will cost them points is also nice. Not only will it cause a good competitive nature between students, but it will give you an idea as a teacher which students are struggling and which are flying.

Once Code Avengers starts supporting other languages, I would certainly consider raising it to a 5* resource.

Full review can be read here.

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Teach-ICT GCSE Computing

The very popular website, Teach-ICT have their own collection of resources. As online resources go this is probably the best available for any GCSE computing course. However, as with a lot of websites offering educational resources, the presentation is a little tired and dated.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

www.playmycode.com


Play My Code is a website by Studio Fortress offering a browser based development environment to program games.

It uses its own unique language called Quby which is very similar to Ruby syntax.

There is good documentation available to get you started, but the forum is a little quiet with not much daily action.

Play My Code certainly has potential. However its main aim is to create an environment that is easy for people with little programming experience and I do not think Quby manages this. It would be very difficult for a beginner to sign up and get started.

The future does look bright though. The developers are still very active in the project and they are open to ideas. The next release is said to include touch support allowing for mobile game development – if this works well, it could be the spark needed to get Play My Code a community it needs.

I certainly would recommend taking a look at the site and what it has to offer. If they can get a community going it could take off. The promise of touch support is certainly exciting.

Rating: ★★★½☆ 


Binary Grid Game

A nice little game to help with revision of binary numbers.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

www.coderace.me

Code Race is a website that pits you against other coders in a race to solve HTML and CSS problems.

To be able to use it you need to already have a good understanding of HTML and CSS – it would be too difficult for beginners. However the concept is quite fun and certainly gets you using HTML quickly and accurately.

This website comes from the team behind the online code learning site www.teamtreehouse.com. Their website is sadly subscription only for the majority of their tutorials, but their HTML content is free and a good resource for classes.

Sources
www.coderace.me
www.teamtreehouse.com

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

www.gcsecomputing.org.uk

A large resource website which has been put together for the OCR Computing course. We plan to bring you a full review of this in May 2012.

Not yet reviewed

Mr. Clarkson Talks About Computers

A Youtube channel by a teacher called Mr Clarkson. There are currently 10 videos available at the moment ranging from HTML to binary logic. A nice collection for any computer science course.

Not yet reviewed

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