Free talk for teachers this Wed 4.30pm (20 May) w Prof Paul Curzon on Semantic Waves ^JB

Prof Paul Curzon’s will be running online versions of his popular workshops for teachers through Teaching London Computing with support from the National Centre for Computing, BCS, Institute of Coding and Queen Mary of London.


The second of his free lockdown lectures will be on Wednesday 20th May at 4.30pm – all are welcome (the talk is aimed at teachers) and the maximum capacity is 100.

Improving Computing activities using Semantic Waves
Wednesday 20th May
4.30 – 5.30pm
Online (Zoom link to be shared with registrants)

Please register for your free ticket and I (Jo) will email all registrants before the talk with a link to the Zoom channel we’ll be using.

Talk abstract
Programming is a very technical subject with lots of jargon to learn with precise technical meaning. To master the subject you have to both master the terminology and gain a deep and precise understanding of the concepts.

If explanations and activities just use more jargon to explain, building complex concepts on top of complex concepts then it is very hard to learn. The secret to providing good learning experiences is to make your explanations and learning activities follow a semantic wave structure (Maton, 2013). This involves introducing terminology or concepts but then using everyday language to explain their meaning (not just more jargon) and also using everyday contexts that students have already mastered and are familiar with. This is why metaphors, analogies and unplugged computing are powerful ways to teach (if used well). You must also however then actively help students link those everyday meanings introduced directly back to the technical concepts and language if students are going to really understand the technical meanings.

Further information about the talk and accompanying resources here

Additional reading
Unplugged Computing and Semantic Waves: Analysing Crazy Characters
Jane Waite, Paul Curzon, Karl Maton and Lucinda Tuttiett
September 2019

Attending the meeting with Zoom

Note that we will record Paul’s talk for sharing later so please join with

  • video / camera OFF (or just stick a plaster over the camera!)
  • microphone audio MUTED
  • amended screen name if you don’t want your current screen name to appear

There will be an opportunity for questions so please don’t unmute your microphone until then. We’ll also have a Google Doc open for questions (things can get lost in the chat window).

There’s a maximum of 100 participants, if you’re no longer able to attend please let Jo know to allow another to attend.

Please test in advance that you’ll be able to hear the talk. You can test settings and familiarise yourself with the layout by joining a test room (you’ll be the only participant) here – there are more detailed instructions and screenshots (from a Macbook laptop) on our Using Zoom for our Online Lectures page.


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Image credit: Graphic design wave element curves image by David Zydd from Pixabay