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Allen Tsui

Allen Tsui

Life long Londoner, born and educated. Working as a specialist Primary and Secondary Computing teacher.

Location London, United Kingdom



  • Allen Tsui made a comment

    These are all such fantastic recommendations. But as I've already said, while centrally produced resources are a really useful starting point, the critical element to remember for all of us who regularly work in classrooms is to ensure that how teaching practice and the resources we use are adapted to meet the needs of every learner.

  • Allen Tsui made a comment

    In looking at the resources of others, I'm always mindful that they will need to be adapted to suit the needs of the learners I am working with. Even with the resources and teaching materials I use and produce for the lessons I deliver, I have to adapt what I teach and how I teach to different classes within the same year group.

  • I make all of the resources and teaching materials I produce publicly available through my Wakelet account. Here's the link:

  • Building programmable buggies using kits like VexGo or Lego. Just so brilliant.

  • I use a visualiser to model the experiences. Becoming a Google Workspace for Education also means hooking up or connecting devices to create a Google Meet setting in the classroom so that learners can show and share their work from their desktops as it were when using micro-controllers.

  • For those who follow me on social media Twitter: @TsuiAllen will know that I am a huge fan of a programmable device produced by a company called Robotical Ltd. I am not paid by them to say this other than an honourarium for expenses to present my practice at TeachMeet events where I'll be on 6 January 2023 for example.

  • There are so many learning opportunities and expected outcomes from the suggested resources. One of the challenges however is that learners will then become fixated on a particular aspect and not move from that. For example, when introducing or encouraging learners to look at a gaming example, they may want to play the game more than actually focus on the...

  • Allen Tsui made a comment

    This week has been so brilliant. So edifying to know that the techniques and methods described, resources referenced are all already part of my existing teaching practice. Just a matter now of being able to evidence this teaching practice for "governance" purposes to senior colleagues.

  • As I said for the previous step, really useful in forming my "goverance" discussion with senior colleagues given my experience and practice with already using these various resources.

  • All brilliant suggestions. Once again, comforted by the fact that all of these resources are sources I am already familiar with and regularly using in my own teaching practice. This course has nevertheless been useful consolidation and a way of being able to formulate my "governance" discussion with senior colleagues of why such techniques are so important and...

  • This can be quite tricky to achieve in a classroom context since paired programming or collaborative project work is difficult to evidence who might have done the work and who simply sat back and watched the work being done or made a very limited contribution. I therefore prefer the approach of peer evaluation where in week 1 for example, each learner...

  • Allen Tsui made a comment

    So, so brilliant. I use all of these techniques right across the age ranges I work with. Thank you for being so succinct in reminding me how much of my teaching practice is actually informed by established Action Research.

  • Playing games and learning dance moves. This is where I find the 'jam sandwich' model of Phil Bagge's a little bit limiting. What I prefer my learners to focus on is being able to learn and remember terms like forward, backward, left, right, up and down. Using a simple programmable robot to scaffold these concepts helps too I think or find.

  • This is the wonderful aspect of the role that I have at the schools I work for. As I have previously mentioned, being Primary based but expected to teach into Secondary all the way to KS5 University matriculation standards, I see the practical aspects of how varying tasks to support the learning needs of all are essential. Unplugged activities have their place...

  • Allen Tsui made a comment

    Looking forward to this.

  • Allen Tsui made a comment

    Absolutely everything. This course has been so brilliant. I'm ashamed to say that I actually enrolled on this course some time ago but haven't had the time to take part. Now that I'm on my Christmas New Year break and having the time and cognitive capacity to join in, I've realised and seen how useful this course is not just for Secondary school teachers but...

  • Not only do I use all of the techniques described, but this is part of the Computing curriculum I deliver at the schools I work for since I want learners to understand the assistive technology available and be able to evaluate their effectiveness.

  • I do this already. At the risk of repeating myself, before teaching I was a Civil Servant for nearly 24 years where one of my roles for half of that time was providing and managing infrastructure to meet the core working needs of colleagues. This meant that I've been mindful and aware of adaptive technologies for some time such as modified keyboards,...

  • These are all fabulous suggestions and ideas. Thank you. I'm so pleased to have enrolled on this Futurelearn course.

  • What do you think folks? I've been mindful of these design guidelines ever since I previously read information produced by the British Dyslexia Association. I have to say too that I work for a Multi-Academy Trust who like to have their own house style which includes the use of Georgia or one of the 'classic' looking fonts which I try to avoid using. I've never...

  • These techniques are so relevant not only for Secondary learners but for Primary learners too. My bosses have encouraged me this school year to secure my teaching practice mindful of cognitive load. Seeing Nicola C and Rebecca Miller's posts is exactly why these FutureLearn courses are so brilliant - being able to magpie ideas from others experiences. Thank...

  • This is brilliant Nicola C. Thank you for sharing.

  • I use all of the techniques described. It is hard though sometimes when the school sets expectations for a "stimulating learning environment" by really busy classroom displays, working walls and washing lines". I have taken to using classrooms and being peripetetic (hope I've spelt that correctly) so children can feel I am taking learning into their regular...

  • These are all points and experiences I have personally worked with in the ten years I've been teaching. I would want to add that there are also learners who have needs which mean that they excel at Computing or Computer Science while they may experience difficulties with their time and the way they are expected to interactive in school.

  • Sorry if I'm repeating myself but I've just realised what I typed in the previous page was meant to be here. Anway, hello again, I'm Allen from London. Prolific on Twitter @TsuiAllen On this course as part of the Teach Computing Secondary Certification. Although I'm Primary based where I qualified in 2012, I've been Computing subject lead since 2020 where I am...

  • Hello. You can see from my FutureLearn profile who I am. I'm very prolific on Twitter @TsuiAllen for those who are on this course who might also be connected through that platform. I'm on this course as part of the Teach Computing Secondary Certificate. I'm actually based in a Primary school where this course is still very relevant to my role as Computing...

  • Allen Tsui made a comment

    This is a brilliantly silly way of learning not only how to code in Python but understanding a wider range of Computing concepts as well as cross curricular with Primary English. So fantastic.

  • Allen Tsui made a comment

    OK! Let’s Go!

  • Allen Tsui made a comment

    This is simply brilliant and brilliantly simple to follow. I must admit, I am quite experienced in terms of the topics covered so haven’t found it as daunting as I thought I might. The way the topics have been covered are fantastic and would be suitable for anybody with an interest in learning how to up level their Scratch programming skills to Python -…

  • Absolutely all of this. This is what impressed my colleagues when they have been observing my programming in text based languages. Not only are learners achieving or working towards programming skills but keyboard fluency and digital literacy skills too.

  • Getting the code to work as expected. Checking for typographical errors. Understanding the structure of the code - esssentially what each line of code does and how it is expressed - which is why block coding in Scratch is easier to understand - from the menu of options - that the conditional blocks are exactly what they say they are. So when teaching Python,…

  • Hello again. I’ve been using Trinket successfully at my school this school year. It is fabulous. Not programming in Python but my Year 4 classes have enjoyed using it for learning about html and CSS.

  • Allen Tsui made a comment

    I’m using Trinket. Excited to have reached this point on this FutureLearn course. Let’s go!

  • Why are there different data rates for upload and download over ADSL? I would say the simple way to describing the difference is how the data is 'packaged'. To 'download' music or a video on demand might be thought of as being based on the data being parcelled in a way that is ready to be taken off the shelf as it were. By contrast when uploading data, the...

  • Allen Tsui made a comment

    With parity bits, what happens if two errors occur in a byte? There would either be an error in the data transfer or worse the two errors could cancel each other out.
    What might limit the amount of data we can send down a wire? So many factors. The quality of the wire. The wire's capacity. Even down to the physical intergrity of the system that the data is...

  • Hello. I'm Allen. You'll be able to find me on Twitter @TsuiAllen. I'm the subject lead for Computing in a Primary School as well as spending 40 percent of my time working at a Secondary School. Having recently completed the Teach Primary Computing Certificate, I thought I should have the complete set and am working on or towards the NCCE CS Accelerator Teach...

  • Hello. I'm Allen. You'll be able to find me on Twitter @TsuiAllen. I'm the subject lead for Computing in a Primary School as well as spending 40 percent of my time working at a Secondary School. Having recently completed the Teach Primary Computing Certificate, I thought I should have the complete set and am working on or towards the NCCE CS Accelerator Teach...

  • Well, that was easy to follow.

  • Well this was very easy to install on the laptop computer I use.

  • I first got interested in computers in 1982 with a Commodore Vic-20. My first experience of programming or coding was buying those magazines with lines of code to copy-type into the Vic-20 then wait a month for the magazine publisher to print amendments so that the program worked properly instead of the 'syntax error' message that would occasionally appear....

  • Hello. I'm a little late joining this course but really excited that I have been able to through the flexibility of virtual learning. You'll be able to find me on Twitter @TsuiAllen. I've been a Primary teacher since 2012 and this school year - September 2020 I've been tasked with expanding my role to become Head of Primary Computing but with additional...

  • Hopefully I've done this correctly. I accepted the 'invitation' from the National Centre for Computing Education website as I am on the CS Accelerator programme. Really excited to be able to take part on this course.

  • A desktop publishing application - GUI
    A photo sharing application - GUI
    Programs to performing complex file operations on a large system - CLI
    A web browser for a visually impaired user - CLI
    Having had experience of CLI many years ago when I was first interested in computing I can see the benefits and disadvantages of CLI and GUI. CLI has definite...

  • Hello. I'm Allen. You can find me on Twitter @TsuiAllen I have been teaching in Primary schools since 2012 and from September 2020 I will be expanding my role as lead teacher for Computing to teaching Secondary Computing which will include working with A-Level students. So I am taking the course to make sure my subject knowledge for Secondary Computing is the...

  • I'm really pleased to have taken part on this course. Thank you! Wish I had been able to do this weeks if not months ago but for reasons of timing, I just haven't been able to make time or have the commitment to do so. Will be recommending to all those I speak to that everybody should do this irrespective of whether they are specialist subject leads for...

  • Thank you so much. I didn't enjoy week 3 so much but found this week so much more engaging.

  • Thank you for sharing. My story is very similar.

  • Have you tried out any of these techniques with your learners? How did they respond? Yes and they have made some brilliant remixes as well as created some excellent original examples of animation.
    What tips could you give to fellow educators? Just give it a go and don't as I've done overthink things.
    Are there any common pitfalls, or tips that your learners...

  • Thank you. Have already done this and set up a Scratch Educator account so that I can get the learners I'm working with to save and share their work as well as provide some examples of my own for them to remix.

  • These are great ideas - especially for introduction to properties of shapes as @HannahStapleton suggested. Thank you!

  • Thank you. Think I'm getting the hang of this.

  • Sorry I'm going to be a bit more factually precise about this so have added some sprites to show three options to choose from to make the 'if' 'then' 'else' routine make factual sense.

  • Like @SarahaMatthews easier than I initially thought. More sorting than identification.

  • OK. This looks interesting. Reminds me of a newspaper article I saw in July 2020 about the use of AI to identify birds.

  • Did you choose a different theme for your quiz? What other areas of the curriculum could be used as a basis for a quiz? Totally agree with @JamieEdmondson Maths and specifically arithmetic questions would work best with this type of format.
    Did you make any improvements to your quiz, for example animating a sprite when the correct answer is given? No sorry I...

  • Just added two questions. Haven't added a scoring system yet.

  • Allen Tsui made a comment

    Seems straightforward but as @BrentU says how to cope with spelling errors. Guess this type of quiz would be better for some sort of arithmetic challenge rather than text based quiz - unless it was for more advanced learners to play.

  • This is great. Looking forward to doing this having used Kahoot to create my quizzes before.

  • Thank you. All of the other examples from others are excellent. Can see as @JamieEdmonson has identified going to be introducing the 'if' 'then' and 'else' function.

  • Since 2016 I've been using Google Forms to offer a drop down menu of options to 'measure' pupil or student satisfaction.

  • Sorry, I'm always pleased to take learning to a new level with a little bit of experiential and thought provoking concepts but I'm under considerable time pressure as a teacher with a busy family life so wasn't amused by the fact that the link provided went to...

  • Really looking forward to completing this course. Have learnt so much.

  • Allen Tsui made a comment

    I'll be honest as I've found this week really tough. Hopefully will find next week easier.

  • Thank you for all of these great ideas.

  • I've also done this in the Code Club I've co-hosted.

  • Thank you. Still getting to grisps with the different features of Scratch.

  • Absolutely love the quiz idea.

  • Using some of the coding ideas from the previous polling task, could make the sprite change position after it has asked each question.

  • Allen Tsui made a comment

    This is a really useful and important part of any 'coders' skills so thank you for including this topic.

  • Did you make any additional improvements to your voting app? No - I found it hard enough to follow or remixing the original blocks of code.
    Did you create a voting app on a theme other than ‘favourite animals’? Are there any opportunities for cross-curricular learning? Of course there are plenty of cross-curricular learning opportunities. Thinking Maths...

  • Thanks. Always looks easy with the solution.

  • I've realisd from my attempt that I might have been overthinking how to use Scratch. I founded adding the third creature and the voting buttons really easy to do. Just can't quite get the click counter to display correctly nor the reset button to change all the values. Guess I just need to experiment a little more.

  • Thank you. I'm looking forward to having a go myself.

  • Allen Tsui made a comment

    This looks pretty cool.

  • I work for a Primary school in London. Based on learning targets linked to the National Curriculum for schools in England, I will be introducing variables by getting the learners to create a picture using a simple piece of software like Paint then getting them to 'remix' it by changing the values of the colours they have used so they understand which part of...

  • I remember learning about variables from when I was first learning about Computer Science many, many years ago...

  • I'm actually finding there is so much to learn here and I'm not very good at following instructions on screen or to be more honest don't really have the time to so I'm also supplementing my time here with a book by Rosie Dickins, Jonathan Melmoth and Louie Stowell called 'Coding for Beginners using Scratch' published by Usborne.

  • Allen Tsui made a comment

    Thank you. This has been a great introduction to Scratch. See you next week.

  • Have you tried out any of these techniques with your learners? How did they respond? Yes - they're not too keen for some reason.
    What tips could you give to fellow educators? Give them the codes for them to either re-mix or get them to match the codes to the outputs of either shapes or songs.

  • Not quite an animation with the repeat function, but something that I remixed from another course I previously attended.

  • Allen Tsui made a comment

    OK. Fairly straightforward.

  • OK. Pretty cool.

  • Animation looks pretty cool.

  • In terms of repetition, could link it back to the drawing task to create a regular shape. For music, it would or could be creating a bass line which continuously repeats alongside another device that is programmed to play the melody. For me, this whole making sounds using Scratch activity has so many links to music and the science of sound it is brilliant.

  • Pretty cool. I like the fact that the 'code' corresponding to each of the notes, for example middle C corresponding to '60' is the same for both Scratch and Sonic Pi.

  • @HelenVallence Hello again Helen. Was also going to say too that I attended one of the first Raspberry Pi Educator workshops back in 2016 where I met James Robinson. I'm quite into Twitter where my Twitter handle is @TsuiAllen If you've had time to scroll through everybody's posts, you might have seen a video I posted of a news feature that CNN Business made...

  • @HelenVallence Thank you for replying to my original post. Apologies that I was a bit vague previously. The school I work for is part of 13 school Multi-Academy Trust which has ten Primary schools and 3 Secondaries. As far as I know, the school I'm based at is the only one that has a Code Club which has been running since 2016. Now that I'm the lead teacher...

  • I had to use this as a cheat sheet to get the rest of the notes

  • Yes - I discovered some of these features in the previous task. Think this is where my predecessor didn't really allow the learners to experiment. All I previously saw was examples of the original Scratch Cat moving around in white space. This is brilliant!

  • Seems pretty cool. Looking forward to doing this.

  • What did you create? A circle although I had wanted to start with making my own square from the bottom left hand corner of the display.
    Were you able to draw a circle? Yes, eventually.
    Did you plan what you wanted to draw in advance? Or did you prefer to tinker? I was tinkering around initially - working out and seeing what I could do. Would prefer to have a...

  • Going to be honest, it's the first time I've properly had time to use Scratch and it has taken me a little while to work out what I wanted to do and how to do it. Will need more time to explore and think about what shapes I want to create and how. Am pleased with the result though.

  • Allen Tsui made a comment

    Although I'm quite or relatively experienced at being Code Club host, am reallay pleased to have taken part on this Futurelearn course as it has given me some fresh ideas and inspiration to expand the impact of Code Club opportunities in the schools I work for or am associated with. Thank you to all those who put this course together!

  • My ambition is to expand my Code Club network so that Code Clubs are held in every school I work for or am associated with.

  • Already do all of this. I'm on Twitter @TsuiAllen and am the Community Leader for Computing at Schools Network in Waltham Forest.

  • Always involve families as a celebration of the success of every Code Club member starts with the family being supportive in their attendance and membership.

  • Allen Tsui made a comment

    Absolutely all of these ideas - especially for those older members of the school community from Secondaries who have aspirations to get into careers in Computing or teaching.

  • I'm very fortunate to have a very supportive group of parents who get involved with fund raising so have donated over 30 micro:bits and some Raspberry Pis. Also don't be afraid to ask people to make donations - just £50 will buy a decent amount of kit to run a Code Club with. Networking with other local schools might mean being able to share hardware too.

  • My USP is looking for opportunities to collaborate with other organisations - so for example am currently working with Computing at Schools as the Community Leader in Waltham Forest to expand and share ideas with other educators - potentially run a school v school hackerthon.

  • Sharing projects will always be done in full compliance with the School's esafety and social media policy or protocols in mind. Will never identify the children by name, age or whichever class group they are assigned to. I have already signed up for a Scratch Educator account by way of example and will expect Code Club members to use pseudonyms or allocate...