Free talk for computing teachers Wed 10 June, 4.30pm w Prof Paul Curzon – Searching to Speak: Computational Thinking unplugged ^JB

During lockdown Prof Paul Curzon is running a regular series of free online (Zoom) workshops for computing teachers, through Teaching London Computing with support from the National Centre for Computing, BCS, Institute of Coding and Queen Mary of London. You can find out more about the series on our online-live-lectures page and familiarise yourself with using / testing Zoom.

These sessions are being recorded and will be added to YouTube (participants’ discussions and contributions are removed before publication and their faces / names are not visible).

1. Searching to Speak: Computational Thinking unplugged

Prof Paul Curzon
Wed 10 June 2020 – 4.30-6pm
Online – Zoom room tbc (max capacity 100)

Registrants will be emailed a Zoom link and further info on Wednesday morning. Register on Eventbrite now for a free ticket.

Overview of talk

Computational thinking is a set of fundamental skills that students learn as a result of studying computing. It is central to the English national computing curriculum. We will demonstrate how computational thinking ideas can be introduced in a holistic way using contextually rich, CS4FN style stories, centred on ‘unplugged’ activities away from computers.

We will illustrate this using the problem of helping people who are totally paralysed with ‘locked-in’ syndrome to communicate, and see how even without technology, computational thinking helps. We will see how solving the problem draws on ideas of algorithmic thinking (thinking of the solutions to problems as being algorithms), abstraction (hiding details to make problem solving easier), generalisation and pattern matching (using solutions for more than the problem they were created for), decomposition (breaking problems down in to simpler easier to solve parts, divide and conquer), evaluation (checking solutions do the right thing, do it fast enough and are usable) and logical thinking.

Most of all we will see that computational thinking is about people not just technology. We will show that computing can be fun for everyone and that it doesn’t have to be taught at a computer.


2. Resources

Download the Computational Thinking: Searching To Speak booklet.


3. Attending via 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 (it won’t appear in the recording in any case)

The published talk will be edited so that it’s just Paul’s slides and commentary.
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.


4. Our other online talks

Online live lectures


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