There is a steady increase in the number of students in computing courses over the last couple of years. The course is known to be rigorous and heavy on programming. Computing is also a very abstract course, that requires students to be strong in analytical thinking and problem-solving.
How do we overcome the respective challenges faced in the IGCSE computing curriculum?
Here are several ways that can help students to overcome the hurdles they are facing in the IGCSE computing curriculum.
1 – Be practical and realistic
Due to the complexity and abstract nature of computing, many students may find it difficult to grasp the concepts at the beginning. Some of the programming languages such as C sharp and C++ have very different coding languages. Their machine languages are not as easily understandable as compared to Python and other programming languages. However, many students start by learning C sharp and C+/++. However, they are great for learning and building a foundation in coding.
Hence, students should view Computing from a different perspective, such as implementing real-life and realistic projects. Make your projects relatable to you and forget about creating a code for something you barely have any knowledge about. This way, you will find yourself understanding the purpose of your code better and find even better and more efficient ways to the problem you are solving.
2 – This is more than classroom theory, these are life skills
This is a mindset, computing is more than the theories you are learning in class, it is a life skill. Computing and programming are the next generations of evolution. Technology will continue to improve and programming will be there to speed up the advancement.
Programming and computing are starting to change lives with automation. More and more mundane jobs are taken over by robots and automation. Hence, to thrive and overcome the challenges and struggles you are going through, you need to start realizing the benefits you can reap from computing. It is a lifetime skill. The theories you learn are to build and strengthen the fundamentals of computing.
3 – Every school has technology and computing experts
Every learner and student will struggle, but what comforts us, is knowing that every school has the technology and computing experts. If you are struggling in class, you can always seek help from your friends and teachers. You are not alone in the IGCSE computing curriculum, the teachers are there to o guide students through the curriculum.
4 – You create what you want to see
Computing essentially solves problems. It reads in the data you give it and computes a solution or end product for you the way you need it to. That is the beauty of computing. You code your robots and machine in a way that they solve problems for you, repeatedly for you. Programmers can agree with the fact that the sense of achievement and accomplishment you feel after you have created something is powerful and motivating.
Hence, do not give up and keep trying. Start by creating what you wish to see and what you want the machine to do for you.
5 – Find a deeper meaning in the IGCSE computing curriculum
Did you hop into the course thinking it is an essential skill to learn now that you are young? Did you take the course because you want a good career path in the future? You are not wrong to think this way, except these reasons will not suffice. It is simply not enough to keep you motivated and determined, you need to be passionate or at least, be glad about what you are learning.
If you find yourself lacking motivation and on the verge of giving up, maybe redirect yourself to find a new starting point in this course. Find a better and more motivating reason to keep you going.
6 – Use the internet! There are so many good tools out there
Perhaps you are growing tired of what you are learning in class, the same few programming languages, the same few problems and questions you need to solve.
Try to look for other languages to explore, there are too many programming languages you can learn in this day and age. Additionally, there is also much coding software that allows you to practice your knowledge.
Perhaps try building a website using HTML or build your own mobile application with android studios! The internet has too many resources for you to choose from!
7 – Seek different ways to spice up the coding and programming experience
If you find that coding and programming only with your computer is not so satisfying as seeing it come to life, try actually automating an object, a machine, or a robot. Use different programming tools such as Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and other similar products to program with. The good part about this is that you can reuse them over and over again. They are very difficult to break and if you simply mess up, you can wipe the program and start again. Products like this are a great way to move beyond what you are learning in the classroom and get yourself involved.