Welcome

This is a new website for teachers and pupils in Computing created in 2019. In particular, this site proposes to support Computational thinking directed towards creative problem-solving and design in programming with the help of open source software freely available on browsers so that users can access the software on different devices including mobile phones. The first project to be made available is an experimental version of the children's game 'Hangman'. It is intended as project work for KS3/4 teachers and pupils.

In a nutshell, the concept behind this project is to introduce the idea of starting with an individual human solution to the problem and expressing it as an algorithm. We use guided discovery and enquiry-based learning with some computer aids to help with the design of a human computer-aided solution and finally this should lead to the development of an algorithm and program for the computer to play the game. This is a practical approach to understanding Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learining.


The Traditional Game of Hangman, Algorithms, Artificial Intelligence and Beyond...

You are invited to test your creativity and ability in design and problem-solving in Hangman. But read the introduction first.

Introduction

  1. Play the traditional game first to develop your own strategy to help you to be a more successful player of the game. The computer hosts this game for you. Can you express your strategy for finding the random word chosen in an explicit algorithm for your human solution? When you have given it a go, press 'Hints' for help and discussion and how to use the 'Scanner' and 'Reduce Dictionary' buttons.
  2. The small dictionary (shown on the Hangman page when you press 'New Game'), from which the computer chooses its random word, consists largely of words used in Computing. You can consult this dictionary to help you in designing your human strategy.
  3. You can enlist the computer's help in the task in a variety of ways, see the'Hints' button on the Hangman page . You may now have started to develop, possibly, a more effective algorithm as your human but computer-aided algorithm.
  4. Finally, with, or without, the Hints and discussion, can you devise an algorithm for the computer to play hangman and so build a program (in Python 3?) where the user selects a word from the computing dictionary and the user gives the appropriate responses to the computer guesses. We hope to have a working 'intelligent computer' version accessible on a browser soon.
  5. There are many different solutions to this problem. Can you improve your computer algorithm so that it does better than a human? Is this a good example of Artificial Intelligence? Is the computer able to learn from its experience in your program? More to follow.
Ready to give it a go? Play Hangman!