A Map of the Legality of Home schooling around the world. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Homeschool_Legality-World.svg

ALT Members suggested resources for computer home schooling

Recently a member of the public asked for some guidance on home schooling resources for computing:

“Greetings I’m a home educator and my son is very interested in all forms of technology. Would it be possible to send any resources that we could use with in a lesson it would be appreciated … my son is at keystage 3 he is 12 years old he loves how games are created how computers are constructed and the science behind it all”

ALT as a membership organisation doesn’t hold lists like this but with our charitable objective in mind, “to advance education through increasing, exploring and disseminating knowledge in the field of learning technology for the benefit of the general public”, see the 2014-2017 ALT strategy http://repository.alt.ac.uk/2330, I thought it was a question the ALT-MEMBERS list could help with. Perhaps not surprisingly very quickly the thread had over a dozen responses. Here’s the edited list I returned to the enquirer:

Kahn Academy – https://www.khanacademy.org/ 

Mainly based around educational videos and interactive content. Loads of free courses to take at your own pace. Guidance on how to use with home schooling.

Codecademy – http://www.codecademy.com/

Codecademy have a number of teaching resources  that map onto the nation curriculum. The site allows you to interactive explore coding concepts. For web making/coding check out Mozilla Webmaker. The sites includes a range of bite-sized resources/activities/challenges etc. and offer reward & recognition through badges

 Computing at School – http://www.computingatschool.org.uk/

you might want to join Computing at School as an organisation it is free to join and you will find  a wealth of  online resources which you can download free and use to teach computing, computing science and technology you can also get help and support too for teaching and learning and events.

 Offer of help – Arron Martin Zeus-Brown – Digital forensics Expert – Teeside University.

As a digital forensics programme leader I’m constantly writing up taster sessions in introduce 12 to 16 year old in to the field of Digital forensics, with the pack I produce teachers notes to aid the visiting academics and I’d be more than happy to offer my services free of charge to put a small collection of worksheet bespoke for them

 Raspberry Pi (~£24-30)

Raspberry Pi, perhaps with one of the associated kits/bundles. Plus one of the introductory guides  and a learning Python book would make an introduction.  Robot arms and lego stuff could then be added as necessary.

For the case mentioned I’d be tempted to cherry pick bits of the new Computing curriculum – perhaps look at learning how to use the Raspberry Pi to achieve his interests – whilst addressing my concerns about a structure by trying to meet some of the KS2/3 learning outcomes of the Computing curriculum.

 Scratch – programming language for kids 

Following on from suggestion about the Raspberry Pi and the 12-year-old’s interest in what lies behind games and computers, what about Scratch, as an introduction to programming? Here’s a link to the page on their website with information specifically for parents: http://scratch.mit.edu/parents/

If he is too young for scratch, maybe he can try scratchjr?    http://www.scratchjr.org/

 Lego Mindstorms (~£200)

We had a lot of fun over Christmas with Lego Mindstorms. Well worth £200. The programming in Mindstorms is basically the same as Scratch (in fact I think it is Scratch)

digital eagles

Barclay’s Bank have launched a computing for children initiative called ‘digital eagles’. I’ve seen it advertised on TV and there are details here http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240238203/Barclays-bank-launches-kids-coding-site

The have an online site called Code Playground (http://www.barclays.co.uk/DigitalEagles/BarclaysCodePlayground/P1242686640999) and they are also advertising workshops in addition to online resources.


If the family live anywhere near Cambridge, these events look relevant:


There has been quite a focus on IT in most of the responses. However, I notice that the young person in question seems to have a broader interest in the STEM subjects. In that case, I would definitely recommend the Royal Society of Chemistry’s site http://www.rsc.org/resources-tools/ .
The ‘Learn Chemistry’ site does exactly what it does on the tin. It enables you to select levels and topic, and work through a seemingly endless bank of activities.

Thanks to Members for contributing on this request!

Martin Hawksey Chief Innovation, Community and Technology Officer, ALT

If you enjoyed reading this article we invite you to join the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) as an individual member, and to encourage your own organisation to join ALT as an organisational or sponsoring member

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