Friday, 26 July 2019

Are your learners ready for the Programming Olympiad?

If you haven't already done so, please enter your IT learners with a flair for programming in the Programming Olympiad, taking place between 29 July and 2 August 2019.  It is designed to challenge learners who can use a programming language like Scratch, Python, Java, C++ or Delphi. Whilst individual learners can enter, entire classes are encouraged to take part.

How does the Programming Olympiad work?

In the first round of the challenge, participants have to solve a number of problems using the programming language of their choice. The top 20% of those participating in Round 1 will be invited to take part in Round 2 where the questions become a lot harder. Round 2 problems also make use of common algorithms but include algorithms for more advanced searching, such as breadth-first and depth-first searches, and dynamic programming.

What languages can be used?

All the Round 2 problems can be answered using C++, Java, Pascal and Python. They can, of course, also be answered using Delphi and the various Java IDEs such as Netbeans. There is only one paper for all age groups, with questions available in English and Afrikaans.

What are the prizes?

Selected participants are entered into the International Olympiad in Informatics. Top learners are recognized by the Programming Olympiad, and of course all participants benefit from being exposed to fun and challenging programming opportunities.

Who marks the answers?

Round 2 is going to be marked automatically by an program evaluator.

Where can teachers and learners access resources that will assist with programming? 

It is worth investigating the Goalkicker site that contains free e-books on a variety of different programming languages. Encourage those of your learners that could get into Round 2 to work on the Programming Olympiad site and to try solve the problems. Teachers may also want to use some of the problems as one-off practical questions for their classes. 

How do you register? 

You can still register learners to participate in the 2019 Computer Programming Olympiad here 
If you aren't ready for the Programming Olympiad just yet, it is worth investigating the Talent Search offered by the Computer Olympiad to develop computational thinking skills in your learners.

Friday, 5 July 2019

Access the resources for the SchoolNet SA 2019 Digital Learning Conference

The Royal Bafokeng Institute and the Lebone II College, in partnership with NorthWest Department of Basic Education, hosted the SchoolNet SA 2019 Digital Learning Conference between 26 and 28 June 2019. Four hundred and sixty eight delegates attended the conference, including teachers with a passion for digital learning, ICT coordinators and national and provincial eLearning officials.

Conference attendees enjoyed three days of professional development aligned to the following conference themes: Digital Resources in the Classroom; Cultivating Creativity; Leadership in Digital Education; Gaming, Coding and Makerspaces and eAssessment Strategies and Tools.

We are grateful for contributions from Microsoft Philanthropies and Telkom, whose sponsorship towards the conference made it possible for more teachers from under-resourced schools to attend. We also wish to thank Lego Foundation for sponsoring keynote speaker Ollie Bray to present a range of workshops on Learning Through Play.

Read more about the conference in the SchoolNet SA Digital Learning Conference – Report and access the conference OneNote and session resources to learn more about individual sessions.