Excel formula to count words in a cell

It’s reports time again – specifically UCAS references time. And I need to write up to 140 words on each of my students.

I like using Excel for such things but was surprised there was no easy way of counting the words in each cell. I knew you could count characters using LEN() but not how to count the words…. till I found this post and this useful snippet:

=LEN(TRIM(text)) - LEN(SUBSTITUTE(text, " ", "")) + 1
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Pushing ahead with Python

So this summer I’ve been coding in Python.

I’v decided to push this in my A Level classes more than learning VB.net, Javascript & PHP. Not because I don’t enjoy doing these languages, but that some students would struggle with switching between these. Perhaps code agnostism only comes with a maturity of having to learn different programming languages over the years?

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Bitesize Revision for GCSE Computer Science

I’ve created a podcast for GCSE Computer Science students to revise topics in small “bite size” chunks.

I’m slowly releasing new episodes, but I’ve committed to doing an episode a week, as I realised people were actually listening to them.

You can either listen using the embed above or go direct to the page here, https://anchor.fm/bitesize-computer-science where you can leave an audio message, which I might include in a future podcast.

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Visualise line by line code execution in Python

I stumbled across this website that allows you to visualise line by line execution ina Python program. This may be useful for students who are unclear about how a function (or blocks of code) run within a program:


This was recommended by Al Sweigart in his Automate The Boring Stuff with Python (https://automatetheboringstuff.com/)

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FutureLearn – Object Oriented Programming in Python

I came across this course on the Raspberry Pi Certified Educators Course this October. It piqued my interest as it uses a text based adventure game to introduce OOP concepts to learners.

I had previously done this with an idea of a Space Invaders game using Visual Basic.NET. This was a fun introduction to concepts and it is easy to create classes and objects in VB. However my current cohort of learners are mostly unfamiliar with VB and have a better grasp of Python.

The course is written by Laura Sach, who I finally met at PiCademy after years of following her on Twitter. And I  thouroughly recommend it as an accessible way of understanding Object Oriented Principles in Python