New Year, New Passwords: Or how to create a password you can remember, but not get hacked!

XKCD: Password Strength

Security and Complexity are NOT the same thing, as this comic from XKCD attests…

It’s a new year, so for many schools (and other organisations) it’s time for new passwords. Remember, these are the first, last and only line of defence between your files, your internet use, your music, and others, so it’s kind of important that your password is fairly strong. The issue? Security versus Complexity.

Continue reading

Problem Based Learning: iSquish – learning to program

I thought I’d try my hand at leading my 10 ICT class through a problem based learning scenario. This is the result.

We began a journey of exploring programming via working through a simple little game, called iSquish. Essentially, this is a FlySwat style game, where you click on an image (in this case an iPad) you get a point, if you miss, you lose a point.

We worked (and are still working) through it, step by step. You can follow along too…

NOTE: all these are videos, and are designed to be watched in 720p definition, full screen (or similar).

Continue reading

Learn to program, project style

Problem Based Learning (PBL) is all the rage at the moment. I thought I’d try my hand at leading my 10 ICT class through a problem based scenario. This is the result.

We came up with the idea of a FlySwat type game (mine uses iPads, just because…), as it teaches a huge swathe of programming basics, from using text in labels, all the way through to (eventually) reading and writing to text files for the High Score.

We’re partly through the problem (currently used timers, variables  and added sound effects), and I’ve gone back and made videos based on where our discussions went.

So, if you’re interested in programming, and want to see how our class has journeyed, have a look at this post:  Problem Based Learning: iSquish – learning to program

Tutorial: Visual Basic Express 2010 – Create Your Own Procedure

As per the previous post, my IPT students have been working along quite steadily, exploring the wonders of writing rich and fulfilling code. At one point, though, one of my students asked, “Sir, is there a way that I can avoid writing the same code over and over again?”.

The long answer began with, “Yes – as we’ve covered in class multiple times, like… enter string of classes” – but the answer is still, YES!

Continue reading

Tutorial: Visual Basic Express 2010 – working with listboxes

My IPT students (young programmers) are constructing an address book using text files as their data file. One of the ways to sort through it is to use Listboxes (particularly since they haven’t discovered arrays yet).

Now, I’m not about to give them the answers for their project, but, if they use a combination of the following 4 techniques, they can construct a working address book which allows them to read from a data file, add new contacts, edit contacts, remove contacts and keep their data up to date.

Example 1: Adding an item to a listbox.

This will also demonstrate how to read from a file into the listbox, display an item’s text in a text box and append the new item to the end of the data file (append means put on the end).


Zip file containing project:

Continue reading