[FREE] Three new workshops for teachers from Teaching London Computing on 18 and 26 May

We’ve added another three workshops to our activities and will be running these across two sessions in a couple of weeks. Our previous workshops (at Queen Mary University of London or as part of an invited talk elsewhere) have been very popular.

Workshop One: Mon 18 May 2015, 5.30 to 7pm

Explorers need maps: Abstraction, Representations and Graphs

Overview

Abstraction – essentially just hiding information – is a core part of computational thinking that is closely linked to the choice of data representation. We will give a deeper understanding of abstraction, providing fun ways to teach it, based on cs4fn / Teaching London Computing resources. The great explorers didn’t just wander around new continents finding things. They drew maps. Maps are just abstractions of the world. Based on games and puzzles, we will see how drawing a special kind of map called a graph and a variation the finite state machine is a part of computational thinking problem solving. They are useful tools for understanding how to use, exploring and designing computer systems.

Session material
This session will cover:

  • What is Computational Thinking?
  • Inspiring ways to teach Computational Thinking.
  • What is abstraction?
  • Why does the choice of data representation matter when solving problems?
  • What is a graph and why are they useful?
  • What is a finite state machine and why are they useful?

Eventbrite - QMUL 01: Paul Curzon workshop - Abstraction, Representations and Graphs for Workshop 1 – Abstraction, Representations and Graphs
More information about this workshop on our page for Abstraction, representations and graphs.

The second and third run on the same day at half-term, on Tuesday 26 May 2015 (you can come to the first or the second or both, but you will need to register for both separately).

Workshop Two: Tue 26 May 2015, 1.30 to 3pm

Primary Computing Unplugged

Overview

Computing doesn’t need to be taught at a computer and in fact to get across key concepts it is often better (and more fun) not to. This is especially true of the early stages of learning programming and computing more generally. A core idea behind the new computing syllabus is computational thinking. We will give you a deeper understanding of computational thinking and give practical ways to teach both it and other computing topics such as programming away from computers. Computational thinking is a fundamental skill set that students learn by studying computing. We will demonstrate a range of activities that show how core ideas and concepts can be introduced using fun unplugged activities and games. We will show that computing can be fun for everyone and that it doesn’t have to be taught at a computer.

Session material

This session presents a variety of activities from the other workshops. It will cover:

  • What is Computational Thinking?
  • Inspiring ways to teach Computational Thinking.
  • What is an algorithm
  • Writing your first program

Eventbrite - QMUL 02: Paul Curzon workshop - Primary Computing Unplugged for Workshop 2 – Primary computing unplugged
More information about this workshop on our page for Primary computing unplugged.

Workshop Three: Tue 26 May 2015, 3.30 to 5pm

The Magic of Computer Science

Overview

When you learn to be a magician, it turns out you are learning the skills needed to be a great computer scientist too: computational thinking. Just like software, magic is a combination of algorithms and presentation. In this workshop we will demonstrate some simple to do but strong magic tricks. We teach the group how they are done so they can do the tricks themselves and then use the magic to illustrate the linked basics of computing. Overall we will show what computational thinking is all about and how both magicians and computer scientists rely on it.

Session material

This session will demonstrate a variety of activities from the other workshops. It will cover:

  • What is Computational Thinking?
  • Inspiring ways to teach Computational Thinking using easy to learn magic tricks.

Eventbrite - QMUL 03: Paul Curzon workshop - The Magic of Computing for Workshop 3 – The magic of computing
More information about this workshop on our page for The magic of computing.

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