10 January 2020

Monday 13 January 2020

This week, our homework is Practice Makes Perfect: I can use computing vocabulary.  This half-term, we’re becoming computer programmers during our computing topic. In the world of computing, there are many words that sound really complicated but actually are just a fancy way of saying something we already know. This week, for their homework, children should use the vocab sheet they’ve been given to learn the words and their definitions (there’s a short task to complete on the sheet, too). If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to speak to your class teacher.

Children should have completed the task, and more importantly learnt the words, by Thursday 16 January 2020.

This week, our homework is Practice Makes Perfect: I can use computing vocabulary.  This half-term, we’re becoming computer programmers during our computing topic. In the world of computing, there are many words that sound really complicated but actually are just a fancy way of saying something we already know. This week, for their homework, children should use the vocab sheet they’ve been given to learn the words and their definitions (there’s a short task to complete on the sheet, too). If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to speak to your class teacher.

Your child has a paper copy of the vocab and the definitions – this is also below.

An algorithm is a set of instructions written for a computer to achieve a certain goal.
It’s like making a cake. The instructions need to be clear so that you don’t put whole eggs into a bowl – shells taste awful! It’s the same as a computer: if you’re not precise enough, the BeeBot might fall off the table or your game in Scratch might never end and you’d still be playing it when you’re old and wrinkly!

A variable is a feature that keeps track of changes in a program.

It might vary! It could be a health bar, a points system or a timer. In Scratch, for example, it might make the program more difficult but it’s definitely more entertaining!

Decomposition simply means to break down a problem into smaller steps.

Think of decomposition as breaking down a task into smaller steps or tasks. For example, imagine there’s something that you really want someone to buy you. First, you’ve got to plan what you’re going to say and how. Then, you’ve got to practise your puppy dog eyes in the mirror. Finally, you’ve got to prepare for their reasons why you can’t have it so you’re ready with what to say next. That’s just like Kodu – you’ve got to design and create the maze, design and create the main character and program any other features you’d like.

A simulation is a way we can replicate (copy) real-life situations in a computer to see how they’d play out.

Imagine you’re planning a holiday to Mars. Would you just pack your bags and head to the local rocket launch pad? NO! You’d first set up a simulation of how the rocket would be effected in that kind of situation to ensure that we can get there and back safely. At school, we could link our simulation learning to setting up an animation of the water cycle or maybe to show how the moon orbits the Earth.

Sequence and selection is how we tell a computer what to do and when.

Think of it like sequence meaning the order something happens in and selection is the algorithm choosing which path to take. It’s easier to think of the words “If… Then…”. For example:
If I dance in the rain… Then my hair will get wet.
If I dance in the rain and I have an umbrella… Then my hair will stay dry.
If I poke the cat hard… Then it’s going to bite me.
You get the idea.

Your digital footprint is the mark you make on the internet.

You must think carefully about what you post online as it is difficult to remove it once it’s out there. This could potentially have damaging consequences to your future. Do you want to be rejected from a job interview in ten years because you kept posting videos of you singing “I Will Always Love You” to your pet whilst bouncing on your trampoline wearing a shower cap? Didn’t think so. Each to their own, you know, but just be really, really careful about what you post, OK?

Content is anything that exists digitally.

Digital content is anything stored as digital data. This could include information that is broadcast online, anything that is streamed or contained in computer files. Or, for you whippersnappers, it could be classed as memes, ‘How to guides’ or any of your favourite YouTube channels. Digital content is pretty much what it says on the tin – anything contained online or on a computer.

Disinformation is when someone deliberately shares false information to trick other people.

Say a chicken farmer is losing money to their rival who is an avocado grower. They might start false rumours (also known as hoaxes) on the internet that avocados can turn your feet bright green. This is done on purpose to make people think and act in a certain way which in this case would be to stop buying avocados so they can start buying chickens again. This section is a buy one get one free because misinformation is where someone shares false information by accident, like the people who shared articles about mouldy green feet in this story. Sadly, sometimes it’s really difficult to tell which information is FAKE NEWS and which is actually genuine.

Phishing is when someone sends you an email or message pretending to be someone else to find out your personal information (eg. password, address, bank details, etc.)

Think of it like they’re fishing for your information by pretending to be a company you trust. These scammers may send an email or message with a link attached that tricks you into giving up your personal information like passwords, images or bank details. You should never click on anything or respond to anyone you don’t trust. Check the email address, the trustworthiness of the website or contact the company directly. Remember: if something’s too good to be true, it probably is.

Now, cover up the information above and put our computing vocab into the table below (from memory if you can!).

  is the mark you make on the internet which can be really difficult to remove.
  is anything that exists digitally.
  is when someone sends you an email trying to gain access to your personal information.
  is a set of instructions for a computer.
  is how we tell a computer what to do and when.
  is false information that is shared on purpose to try and trick people.

(_________________ means they shared it by accident.)

  is when a complex problem is broken down into smaller steps.
  is a way for us to replicate situations in a computer to see how they’d play out.
  is something that changes in a game (or other program) like lives, a timer or points.