Revision notes, activities, lesson plans, teaching ideas, and other resources for GCSE, A-Level, and IB Computer Science teachers and students.
Examples of Local Cryptocurrencies
Digital Money for Local Communities covers three examples of country-wide c...
A hash function takes arbitrary sized input data (e.g. a fil...
Cryptocurrencies vs regular currencies
What is Bitcoin and How Does it Work? is a high level overview of the Bitco...
Examples of Cryptocurrencies
Bitcoin is by far the most well known cryptocurrency. The Bitcoin website w...
Practice paper 3 exam questions
One of the drawbacks of the yearly case study is that there are no past p...
Emergency Management System Explainer Video
This short video gives an overview of some EMIS features. It includes many ...
Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
For some functionality, an EMIS may also be connected to a GIS (Geographic ...
Programming languages - from Scratch to machine code
The CS Field Guide has a very comprehensive guide to different types of pro...
Assembly language simulators
There are several assembly language simulators available for use online. Si...
Click here for recommended Cambridge A-Level Computer Science textbooks.
Characters, Symbols and the Unicode Miracle
Characters, Symbols and the Unicode Miracle explains how ASCII arose from the need to communicate data in a compatible manner between computer systems, and the problems that arise with this apparently simple task. It then discusses the creation of the Unicode system.
Unicode table is a nice scrollable web page which lists all of the unicode characters. The title and a brief description of each section is presented while you scroll. This page is useful for helping students realise just how many different characters need to be represented by computer systems, and the problems this would cause with a standard like Unicode.
VisuAlgo: Sorting Algorithms
Visu Algo is another site which offers animated visualizations of common computing algorithms. The great thing about their animated sorting algorithms is the ability to display pseudo-code next to the animation and have it run step-by-step, following each line of code as it is processed. Really useful for helping students better understand code.
Algorithms in pseudocode and flow diagrams
This video from Cambridge GCSE Computing is an excellent introduction to algorithms, helping students understand what they are and how they are used. It also briefly introduces the idea of pseudo-code as a language for writing algorithms.
Bubble sort and Merge sort
Using a combination of playing cards and simple computer animations, this video clearly explains the bubble sort and merge sort algorithms step by step. It also compares the speed of each algorithm of data sets of different sizes.
The second half of the video examines the complexity of the algorithms, introducing 'Big O' notation and highlighting how bubble sort's complexity is a major drawback on large lists.
This is another interactive to help students learn about sorting algorithms. They must use a set of virtual scales to test and compare the weights of 10 jars. Students must then line the jars up in the correct order at the bottom of the page. There are, of course, multiple ways to solve the problem - some more efficient than others. CS Field Guide have a similar game.
Advanced ICT: Sorting algorithms
Another page with animated examples of various sorting algorithms, including bubble sort (standard and optimised versions), merge sort, and insertion sort. The animation speed can be increased or decreased to help visualise the process.
Linear search / sequential search algorithm
The linear search or sequential search algorithm is very straightforward, but this video explains it. It also makes an important point that students often forget: that is, while we can see all of the numbers on display at the same time in our examples, a computer cannot. Therefore no algorithm can make 'jumps' or 'assumptions' about the data - it must be searched item by item if it is unsorted. The video also includes pseudo code for the algorithm
This Harvard CS50 video tells you everything you might want to know about the binary search algorithm. The video includes a detailed step by step explanation, plus pseudo code, and an example data set.
This Bubble Sort video does exactly as its name suggests - explaining the algorithm clearing with the aid of diagrams. Although it is labelled as "Java", it is relevant to all computer science students.
There is also a good explanation of the algorithm (including why it is very inefficient) plus step by step diagrams here.