Having just returned from The Education Show, in Birmingham, we're all abuzz with the latest trends for programming in Education. We spent three solid days talking to teachers and educators of all kinds at this major educational event, and came away with a real sense of excitement about the way education in this sector is going.
I spoke to dozens of teachers who all told me a similar story. There is a sea change in the air. After thirty years of teaching powerpoint and excel spreadsheets, schools are finally returning to the idea that we really need to teach the next generation how to program - but where are the tools to do it? Suddenly ICT teachers up and down the country are being told, "from next year you must teach programming principles" but they have been given no training, tools or guidance on how to achieve this. With little time to learn and a very limited range of choices, these teachers were delighted to discover LiveCode. It seems to be exactly what they are looking for. Easy to learn for both teachers and students, real programming without the limitations of "snap together" tools like scratch or logo, no arcane or hard to understand syntax or symbols, and best of all, it lets the students deploy the end results on their iPad, iPhone or Android device.
"This is perfect, where do I get it and how can I learn it?" was the commonest response we got. Happily, we were able to point teachers at our upcoming Educational Academy, which is now open for signups. We expect to run this in the summer, and it will cover aspects of teaching and learning with LiveCode, with the mix of online videos, downloadable materials and forum participation we've found so successful in the recently completed Game Academy.
In time for the show we put together a new Education mini-site, bringing together a bunch of useful educational resources for you. Do go and take a look at it, here.
Feedback from the show and other contact with educators has shown us that most educational establishments prefer a fixed cost per year for purchasing software, so that they can budget for it, so with the release of LiveCode 5.5 we have converted our Educational licensing to a subscription model. You will now pay $500 annually for a 20 seat K12 license, or $1000 for a 20 seat University license. This entitles you to all releases on all platforms, all year, with the usual educational restriction that the product is used for educational purposes only, and any apps made with an educational license may not be sold or profited from.
I was hoping to bring you some photographs and even a video from the show, but unfortunately on the way back one of our suitcases, with all the equipment in it, decided to go walkabout. We are still hoping it will find its way home. Until it does, all I can do is leave you with our Commitment to Education, very much reinforced by our experience at the show.
As software industry professionals, we believe it is vital that Computer Studies teaching is relevant and engaging. Students need to understand more than just how to use Apps, they need to know what goes on under the hood of the devices they use every day.
Technology is a big part of the future of every student out there. Our aim here at RunRev is to open doors with techology and we pride ourselves on creating a platform that fully engages today's students.