Creative Computing Club was originally set-up to provide 11 to 16-year-old participants in Suffolk, England with the opportunity to learn new digital skills in a fun and informal learning environment but has since grown to include weekend sessions, private tutoring, adult learning and teacher CPD training covering GCSE ICT and computing.
During the first two years (2012-2014) the Creative Computing Club (CCC) had over 45 participants aged 11 to 16-years-old from all over Suffolk. The course featured a modular learning approach comprised of computer programming, electronics, robotics, video game design, computer graphics and more. It produced a number of electronic teaching resources which have been downloaded over twenty-five thousand times by teachers and home educators all over the world.
“My son attended Creative Computing Club, he really enjoyed it and learned so much. Not only did it bring out his obvious love of all things computers it helped him believe in himself. He is now doing A level Computing and who knows hopefully next year Games Design at UCS. If he does it is largely to do with the chance he got at the club and both Joe and I are eternally gratefully for that"
Creative Computing Club’s informal approach and emphasis on making things as opposed to learning things help the participants acquire new skills through “stealth learning”; making video games helped with mathematics and group work, presenting projects helped with confidence and socialising, Electronics helped with fine motor skills and science-based curricula outside of the club.
“Our two boys joined the CCC pilot aged 12 and 14. As both were struggling at school we had recently started to home educate them and saw the CCC as a way of turning their love of computer games into a social activity and an educational opportunity. We were not disappointed. This experience has been very beneficial for both our boys, the youngest found he has an aptitude for making videos and animations, and is pursuing that as one of his main hobbies, who knows where that could lead. The oldest has staggered us. I still remember you congratulating him at CCC for gaining a place on a part-time computing degree aged just 14. Now nearly 3 years later and still not 17 he has a CertHE in computing and IT (he got a distinction), he also passed a couple of GCSE's along the way (English and maths) and this week we have just heard the results of his 2nd year Java exam. It was a really tough exam, yet he still achieved 98% and another distinction. That mark has to be one of the highest (possibly even the highest) out of nearly 700 candidates that sat the paper through his University. When he got the result notification his first comment was "this is thanks to Matt getting me interested in Processing and Java". He is right of course, and CCC experience also helped him to get on the course in the first place. Hard to believe that four years ago he was a year behind at school, yet now he is halfway through a degree and currently predicted to get a first-class honours to boot.”
Creative Computing Club provides 8 week-long modules with further resources for participants to continue using, long after that particular module has run. The courses are pitched at absolute beginners and allow for participants to develop even further outside of the sessions. The resources are published free online allowing them to download, learn and re-do the activities at home, and is key to the success of the participants rapid learning. Additionally, the range of activities from illustration to electronics, computer programming to design provides the participants with a wide and varied set of engaging activities and to develop new skills they may have otherwise overlooked.
“Ethan really enjoyed the Creative Computing Club. It was a great way to explore his interest in coding and introduce different applications, methods, and techniques. With the emphasis on creativity and fun, it helped stimulate ideas and motivate him to spend his spare time developing his skills. CCC helped with his problem-solving skills and taught him the benefits of working with a group and sharing ideas. The club also gave him the confidence within his school and even help deliver lunchtime IT clubs. CCC has also benefited in beginning to focus his mind it terms of the type of career he will want to go into and has also extended his social group with like-minded friends.”
Creative Computer Club is a continued source of outstanding young technologists for Suffolk and has an excellent track record of facilitating and accelerating students interested in technology into careers, further and higher education.
About the Founder
Matthew C. Applegate (MA / PAES / FRSA) Is an internationally renowned musician, educator, published academic author, video game designer and Ph.D. research student. He has run workshops, given lectures and performances for Cambridge University, The British Museum, the Victoria & Albert Museum and much more. He has written and delivered teacher training courses for AQA and taught of over two thousand students and teaches computer programming. Since 2006 he has released three studio albums, two large-scale musical works, four soundtracks and won several awards for both his music and design work. He is currently studying for his Ph.D. in “Educational Music Technology”.
"It is Creative Computing Club's mission to provide engaging and effective technology based learning for all ages and skill levels." - Creative Computing Club Mission Statement
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