The New UK National Computing Curriculum
Logiblocs is a learning system based, as the name implies, on logic – the relentless logic that is required to create algorithms and to code computer programs to do stuff. So you may think that Logiblocs would be a “must have” item for every teacher, specialist or non-specialist, to help them teach the scary new subject of Computing that was introduced into Primary Schools in September 2014 for Key Stages 1, ...2 and 3.
The new Computing Curriculum is great for helping children organise their thoughts logically which will definitely help them in all walks of life. User friendly programs like Logo and Scratch have helped make the process accessible to most children and there are other products that interface the on-screen results to the physical world almost seamlessly which help too – particularly the Raspberry Pi credit card sized computer. Whether it is possible to go the next step and create a nation of programmers is doubtful. Some people seem to be hard-wired to be programmers, but to many people the very idea of coding is anathema. Maybe eventually these stereotypical attitudes will evaporate?
Logiblocs has for many years been a useful resource for teaching the subject of Control which is still an element of the teaching requirements now but, it is true to say, that if you can get away with a simulation on screen of (say) a set of traffic lights working in the correct sequence or a carpark barrier rising automatically when triggered by a sensor without actually building the physical models, then life in the classroom is a whole lot simpler – but maybe not as much fun!
If teachers want to combine the need to demonstrate the subject of Control with Design & Technology projects like building a controllable or autonomous buggy, Logiblocs is always worth consideration. Not only are they a fraction of the cost of other available systems, but crucially they do not require to be linked to a computer which makes classroom management miles easier. Children obtain results easily and swiftly which boosts their self-confidence and avoids boredom and frustration setting in.
The Logiblocs modules themselves can be viewed as a kind of physical and electronic embodiment of algorithms. They have been used to teach logic at all levels. Despite this, it is probably true to say that only teachers who are really on top of this new subject of Computing and have a technical leaning will be able to incorporate the power of Logiblocs successfully into their teaching while still helping their pupils to get to grips with the basics of computing – Logic, Algorithms, Evaluation, Debugging, Tinkering, Creating, Decomposition and Persevering – but all these attributes are exactly what Logiblocs are all about.