Welcome to the spring 2014 newsletter

This newsletter contains details of changes that have been made to the icthomework site over the past term.

Site name change

The ICT Homework site has now been renamed to Computing Homework. An alert was displayed on the site in December to give schools some early notice of the name change.

This change of name reflects the change of the subject's name to Computing within the National Curriculum.

In future, users should enter the URL: www.computinghomework.com into their browser's address bar.

The URL: www.icthomework.com will continue to work as normal until August 2014.

Schools will be able to continue to use the site without having to make any changes until August 2014.

New report: View browser and PDF log file by date

This diagnostic report enables teachers to view some information about the browsers and PDF readers that students are using to access the Computing Homework site.

During the school day, this tends to be fairly consistent but outside of school hours students may have a wide range of software configurations. This report should help school to support students who may be experiencing problems in using the site.

The PDF Reader column in the report should contain a reference to Adobe Acrobat or to an Adobe Acrobat Plugin; other PDF readers including the Chrome PDF Viewer are not supported. See Fig 1:

Sample data from the browser and PDF data log file

Fig. 1

Teacher's Guide

An animated teacher's guide has been added to the site. This covers all of the functionality exposed through a teacher's menu options.

New exercises

We have added a second batch of five exercises on Python. These are designed to introduce students to conditional statements. The exercises are listed below:

Conditional statements 5 minutes 52 seconds
Quiz 1 - Asking a Question 3 minutes 11 seconds
Quiz 2 - Checking Input 3 minutes 11 seconds
Quiz 3 - Adding a Scoring Mechanism 2 minutes 52 seconds
Quiz 4 - Three Question Quiz 3 minutes 13 seconds

These exercises are movie-based. Flash is required to use these exercises; HTML 5 based versions of these exercises will be released later this year.

The exercises can be used as a stand-alone introduction to Python but should ideally be used to support a class-based introduction to the Python language.

These exercises contain a link on the first screen to enable students to jump directly to the test section at the end of each exercise. This feature has been included to make it easier for students to use the material where students are attempting an exercise for a second, or perhaps for a third time. The existing Python exercises have also been updated to include this feature.

New Developments

A third batch of Python exercises on repetition will be released later this year.

Over the course of this year we will be releasing HTML 5 based versions of the site's exercises This will mean that users will no longer be required to have Flash to access the site's materials.

We would welcome your suggestions on further developments. To do this, you can either use the suggestions page on the site or you can email directly to: