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Matthew

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  • Hourly rate $46
  • Response Time 6h
  • Number of students 50+
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1st lesson is free!

1st lesson is free!

Engaging, humorous, professional and qualified Computer Science Teacher with 18 years experience, offering Python tutoring online.

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This tutor has passed all tests and is officially one of our best tutors. They proudly carries our values (...).

About the lesson

I will provide support to students outside of tutoring sessions, when necessary, using Email and Zoom.

I like to use a range of online resources, including screen sharing, coding puzzle sites, my own Kahoot quizzes, instructional videos, programming software and interactive revision sites, while providing my complete support throughout. These tools make my lessons fun, stimulating, engaging and challenging, which achieves much better results.

I base my teaching on developing a quick rapport with students, through being easy going, talkative, engaging, supportive, understanding, passionate about my subject(s), pleasant, polite and humorous - in my opinion anyway! I also have interests such as sport, gaming, science, comedy and movies, which can help deliver teaching objectives, build connections and start conversations.

I have years of experience at being able to pitch lessons at the right level for each individual student, ensuring that work is both challenging and achievable.

subjects

  • Computer programming
  • Python
  • Video game development

languages

  • English

levels

  • Elementary School
  • Junior High / Middle School
  • High School
  • +7

    College

    Adult Education

    Beginner

    Intermediate

    Advanced

    Proficient

    children

About Matthew

I`m a fully qualified Computer Science & ICT Teacher with 18 years experience of working in an independent SEMH school for 11-16 year old boys. I've recently moved on to pursue new challenges and opportunities, such as this. However, during my time at the school, I was a Senior Teacher, Head of Department for Computer Science & ICT, Supervisor, Student Teacher Mentor, Head of House, ICT Coordinator, and an IT Technician, which included some Network and Systems Administration.

I have also done tutoring in various ways, such as from my home, at a tutoring company's premises, and online - both live and on-demand, in both Computer Science and Maths. As a consequence of the lock-down, I now also have experience of teaching online from home. I used Zoom to provide live one-to-one video lessons, as well as support and feedback sessions. I also provided on-demand teaching, using a Learning Management System (LMS) called Canvas, which enabled me to create, set, receive, and mark assignments, as well as make announcements, create and moderate chat rooms, and give students feedback and support when necessary, using various methods such as recorded video, live video, comments and messages.

I currently have a particular interest in teaching Computer Programming (Coding), and in this capacity, I've used software such as Python, GameMaker, Scratch, SQL, MIT App Inventor, and the BBC Micro:bit hardware. I'm pleased to be able to say that, in an attempt to inspire my students, I published a game app, called 'One Lap Reloaded', which is available on Android and iOS via the Google Play Store and Apple's App Store. I am even more pleased to say that I thought-up, designed, programmed (coded), created and published the app, completely by myself. Although I did involve my students every step of the way, as testers, idea providers, and advertisers, which hopefully inspired them even more.

I have an excellent ability to create a fairly quick rapport with students, through being easy going, talkative, engaging, supportive, understanding, passionate about my subject(s), pleasant, polite and humorous - in my opinion anyway! I also have interests such as sport, gaming, science, comedy and movies, which can help deliver teaching objectives, build connections and start conversations.

Rates

packages

  • 5 h: $212
  • 10 h: $407

webcam

  • $ 46/h

free lessons

  • 30min

Details

My rates can vary depending on things like subject levels, goals, travel and the individual financial circumstances of the students and their parents or carers.

Video

Find out more about Matthew

  • 01

    Can you tell us about your first experience using a computer?

    I can remember two separate occasions from a very long time ago:

    When I was in Primary school in 1981-1982 (Year 5 or Year 6) , we got a BBC computer that we all queued up to play the one game that was on it 😊. The game involved an aeroplane (a black horizontal rectangle) going across the screen from left to right, and every time it reached the end, it started again but moved down a bit. There were skyscrapers (black vertical rectangles) of various heights spaced out along the bottom. You had to drop bombs (black squares) by pressing the spacebar to try and slowly destroy the buildings by hitting them with the bombs, before your plane crashed into a building - it was amazing to us back then!

    Around the same time, I somehow got a Sinclair ZX81 computer (look it up!) for Christmas. It had 1KB of memory to do everything, but you could buy extra to plug in, up to a maximum of 64KB. Just to give you an idea how much that is, my small profile picture on Superprof is 23KB.

    You plugged the ZX81 into a TV and it was just black and white characters and pictures made up of small blocks (pixels) a bit like the first Minecraft, but black and white. So, you could type things in to make things happen on the screen, which we now call coding, a bit like we still do using Python, for example. The coding we do now makes a lot more sense though!

    You could buy magazines that had code on some pages, that you could type in. I once spent a whole day typing what seemed like nonsense into my ZX81, and then spent another day trying to find and fix all the errors (debugging) because it didn't work when I ran it! When I eventually got it to work, it was an empty rectangle made out of asterixis (these: *) and you had to try a guess where an invisible object was in the rectangle by tying in a grid reference, like A8, or C2. It then told you if you got it right or not . . . . and then ended! That was the whole game I spent 2 days coding, and I LOVED IT!

    You could also load and save games by connecting a tape recorder with a cassette in. When you loaded a game by pressing play, it sent all the code using sound, like the noise a fax machine makes. Unfortunately, the volume had to be absolutely perfect, otherwise it failed☹To make it even more annoying, it only told you it had failed when the tape recording had finished, which took minutes.

    We've come a long way! And I'm lucky to have been there from the beginning. Now, I put a VR Headset on and can play an almost perfect game of table tennis in a 360-degree 3D virtual world without any cables.

    Which reminds me, I smashed a world record in 1981, when I was playing on my first games console - the amazing Atari 2600. I discovered a routine on Pac-Man that worked when the game became really difficult and very fast. I was therefore able to play one game for hours, as long as I concentrated and didn't make a wrong move. In those days, world records were printed in monthly magazines and you had to send a picture in to the magazine. However, back then you had to take the picture and then when the film in your camera was full, you had to send it to the chemist to get it developed into photographs, which I remember took days, if not weeks. So, you couldn't check if your picture was OK until you got them back! Anyway, my picture proof of me smashing the Atari 2600 version of Pac-Man world record, was a glass TV screen, with a flash covering the whole thing ☹ So, I have no evidence of my triumphant achievement in gaming history.

  • 02

    What is the technological evolution that has marked you most and what will be, in your eyes, a turning point in this field?

    The turning point will be when they perfect quantum computing. Quantum computers will basically make the most powerful supercomputers that Google and NASA use today, seem like my good old Sinclair ZX81! We have no idea what will happen then, but hopefully they'll be able to solve all the world's problems within seconds of turning them on. Or we might end up with Neo and his friends in 'The Matrix', if we're not in there already of course😎

    Computers and other devices that use microchips, have been easily the biggest technological evolutions in my lifetime. Added to that, you've got the fact that after they were invented, the scientists and engineers have managed to double computing power every two years ever since!😲That's known as Moore's Law, and it's the reason we've now got 4K UHD TV's, PlayStation 5's and Virtual Reality Headsets. It's also why we can now fit an unbelievably powerful computer like the iPhone 12 into our pockets, go on the Internet with it wherever you are, and store thousands of videos and music files on it.

    When computing power doubles, it means that you can store twice as much on the same size chip. That's why everything in computing gets smaller or more powerful, and eventually less expensive. It's also why things like pen drives have gone from 1 Gigabyte to 1 Terabyte in a very short space of time, and the difference between a billion bytes (GB) and a trillion bytes (TB) is mind blowing when you learn about it - look it up on YouTube.

  • 03

    Explain your expertise, your interest in it and, more broadly, its importance in the computer world.

    Well I've been a computer programmer for 40 years, sort of, ever since I first typed nonsense into my 1 Kilobyte ZX81.

    I've been an ICT, Computer Science, Coding, and Maths teacher for over 18 years, and I have a lot of experience in online tutoring. The demand for online teaching and learning is, in my opinion, only going to keep increasing. I have also always worked with students who have learning differences, and I'm therefore easily able to adapt my approach, teaching style, language, resources, and even personality, for example. This helps me to gain a rapport with students of any age and ability, and to ensure that whatever I teach is understood, right back to the basics if necessary, while the work remains challenging and achievable.

    Being computer literate, and more importantly, being able to code, is already in massive demand, and this will almost certainly keep increasing in the future. Computers will be in everything soon, and all those computers need to be programmed by us humans. So, if you're an adult looking for new career, or a young person wondering what jobs will be out there in an industry that we all love, such as gaming, you're going to want to take the first steps into that world, as soon as possible. I know it's the dream of many young people to work in game development, make a living as a professional game streamer, or even to be a pro gamer, getting paid to play games! I believe the first steps towards those dreams, is learning how to code, especially in Python at the present time.

    Even if you don't end up programming the next season of Fortnite, you'll have a skill that will make you valuable to society, whatever happens in the future. Your brain will also be exercised and challenged, which is proven to help you feel happier and healthier, especially if you make sure you play some sport regularly as well😊

    I also designed, created, programmed, and published my own game app on Apple's App Store and the Google Play Store. I did everything myself, which was a massive undertaking, that I didn't realise would be so difficult until I tried it. Anyway, I did it, and the first version was called 'One Lap', which I updated to 'One Lap Reloaded' after I'd learned some valuable lessons. I thought it would be the next 'Flappy Bird' because it was simple but difficult, and almost everyone that played it became addicted and frustrated 😊 Unfortunately, getting it seen by millions of people was too difficult for an individual in my position. However, I did it, it's out there in the world, and I'm proud of it.

  • 04

    Do so-called 'visionaries', such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg inspire you or do you have other role models?

    I was already in my thirties when these people did what they did. My role models when I was younger, were people like Muhammad Ali, and my grandad. Muhammad Ali because he made me realise that in sport, you can do the seemingly impossible, like beat George Foreman. But also, because he used the fame he had to try and make positive changes in the world, despite growing up in a world that treated him terribly for no other reason than the colour of his skin. Obviously, like everyone, he had his flaws and I didn't agree with everything he said and did. However, he was also amazing and extremely funny with words and rhymes - some of which I still use whenever I get chance:

    "I'm fast - last night I cut the light of in the bedroom, hit the switch, and I was in the bed before the room was dark."

    😊

    My Grandad inspired me to always try to be a better person, even if you're not always successful. I don't think he was doing that intentionally, he just led by example with the way he treated all people, and the way he conducted himself. He was a 6'6" giant of a man that never showed aggression or tried to intimidate people to do, or agree with, what he said. He loved and was married to my Nan for over 60 years, and he treated me like a son for my whole time with him. He was my hero, and I'm glad it was him that showed me how to be a man in this world.

    Phew - that was deep! Anyway, back to coding and maths😊

    People like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg changed the world for the better, at least temporarily, but we now need to try to take back their technologies from people who want to brainwash us into believing anything that they want us to believe, for reasons such as money and power. We should be using all the amazing things that scientists, engineers, programmers, and entrepreneurs bring into the world, to make life better for everyone, which it would easily do in the right hands.

  • 05

    Provide a valuable anecdote related to your subject or your days at school.

    At school, I was repeatedly told that I would never be successful in life because my handwriting and the presentation of the work in my books was terrible. Oh, and because all I wanted to do at the time was play football, but that's another story. However, when the use of computers became widespread in education, I went to college to study something I loved, Sports Science, and the presentation of my work was perfect. This also helped me to discover that I was more intelligent than I used to think I was! I then earned a 2.1 university degree, again because I was able to do all my assignments on computers. Then I ended up becoming a teacher in P.E., Maths, and ICT, and soon rediscovered my interest in computer technology, and more recently, computer programming.

    I don't have regrets as such, but I wish I'd have concentrated on computing and programming, from the day I discovered it - 40 years ago, when I was 10. However, I now try to make a living teaching computer programming, maths, and computer science to the next generation, as well as adults looking for a new career. So, I got there in the end.

  • 06

    What would you say to an uncomfortable person in front of a screen who says that "IT is too complicated"?

    I wouldn't say anything in particular, I would just try and demonstrate as many fun, useful and interesting things to them, whilst getting them to actually do them. People soon lose the feeling that they can't do 'IT' because it's too complicated, when they see what they're easily and quickly able to do, without much difficulty. Obviously, there are incredible things in IT, technology, and the universe, that are way too complicated for me, but that doesn't stop me from always wanting to learn more, and that will never end.

    Becoming confident in IT doesn't take very long in the right circumstances, and when you discover that can use your new IT skills to video call your grandchildren, when you're on the beach with your puppy, you'll just want to keep learning more skills, hopefully.

  • 07

    What are your other passions, related or non-related to computers?

    My daughter, my new-born grandson, science, sport, my puppy, and trying to pass on all the good things I've learned to whoever will listen. I am very passionate about learning as much as possible about this amazing existence I find myself in, and I'm extremely passionate about being positive and being able to laugh, no matter what life throws at you - it really is possible, and I try to encourage other people to do the same. You can still be heartbroken when your hero, your grandad dies, and try to make people laugh and feel positive before and after the funeral.

    I'm passionate about good ideas and comedy. I'm passionate about the way I behave, and trying to improve, even if not always successful.

    I'm not completely sure that these answers are what Superprof expected, but so be it😊

  • 08

    What makes you a Superprof in Coding, Computer Science, Maths and ICT?

    All the above . . . .

    As well as my teaching and tutoring experience, my pleasant and friendly personality, my ability to get on well with people of all ages, my passion for the subject, my life-long desire to pass on all the amazing stuff I learn about 'Life, the Universe and Everything', and my positive, encouraging, supportive, easy-going, and humorous teaching style.

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