Teaching London Computing – Newsletter #11 – November 2022

This is the full text of the 11th newsletter which I (Jo B) email to all the UK teachers on our Teaching London Computing subscription list. Despite the name we support teachers across the UK and our resources can be freely downloaded by anyone anywhere in the world.

Details in the text below on how you can sign up if you’re reading this for the first time and would like to get the emailed version in future. It’s all free :)

  1. Courses
  2. Events – talks
  3. Events – other
  4. Christmas-themed classroom activities and gift ideas
  5. Computing-themed careers resource
A series of grey metal mailboxes, one has a red flag raised indicating new messages.
Newsletter https://pixabay.com/photos/mail-newsletter-home-mailbox-1048452/ image by Anne-Onyme from Pixabay

TLC Newsletter 11 – November 2022

Good afternoon everyone

This is the November 2022 issue of the Teaching London Computing newsletter, a copy of which can also be found on our website [here = this post], our previous issues live here.

As always please feel free to share this newsletter by forwarding it to colleagues in case they’d like to sign up too – new readers can sign up using the orange form on this page.

You are receiving this email because you’ve previously signed up to the ‘TLC mailing list’ to hear about new courses and resources etc but if you no longer want to hear from us please let me know and I’ll remove you. Follow us on Twitter @cas_london_crc or @cs4fn.

1. Courses

Online learning cartoon showing a screen ready to teach

Isaac Computer Science has a range of online CPD courses for A level computing teachers, including a ‘New to A level’ course (though the latest one has already begun). They also have short online events for A level and GCSE students.

Teach Computing (the National Centre for Computing Education funded by the Department for Education) also have a wide range of online and in-person courses for teachers which you can filter by level and topic (financial support may be available for your school too).

The UK Government’s National Careers Service also keeps a list of free courses as part of its Skills Toolkit, which includes sections at the bottom of the page in Computer Science and in Coding. See also freeCodeCamp.

2. Events – talks

A line drawing of an audience whose members are looking at the 'camera'.
Audience image by Augusto Ordóñez from Pixabay

TONIGHT – in person or online
Love, Trust & Crypto (Gresham College): Mon 14 Nov, 6pm
“Crypto is underpinned by public-private key encryption, hashing and mining and allows a completely decentralised system to write enforceable contracts that cannot be altered once written. But how does the technology actually work? How would the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet have played out had crypto been around in the sixteenth century?”

In-person (London) and online, free

TONIGHT – in person or online
Brain-inspired computing: What’s next? (Royal Institution): Mon 14 Nov, 7-8.30pm
Exploring organic materials used for brain-inspired systems.

In-person (London) £7-£20 +booking fee and optional donation, online (£0-£20 (+bkg fee / don as before).

There are two opportunities to hear about ‘Voices in the Code‘ from David G Robinson this week –

Voices in the Code: A practical story about democratizing AI (Oxford Internet Institute): Wed 16 November, 12-1pm
Online and in-person, free.

Voices in the Code: A Story about People, Their Values, and the Algorithm They Made (Ada Lovelace Institute): Wed 16 Nov, 5-6pm

Between 2004 and 2014, a diverse group of patients, surgeons, clinicians, data scientists, public officials and advocates collaborated and compromised to build a new transplant matching algorithm – a system to offer donated kidneys to patients from the US waiting list.

Online-only, free.

The Turing Lectures: How much can we limit the rising of the seas? (Turing Inst + Royal Inst): Wed 16 Nov, 7-8.30pm
Using AI to predict the fate of our planet’s glaciers and ice sheets
In-person (London) £7-£20 +booking fee and optional donation, online (£0-£20, as before)

Species survival: How AI can help conservation (Royal Institution): Tue 22 Nov, 7-8.30pm
Discover digital solutions that could help in wildlife conservation.
In-person only (London), £7-£16.

Countering misinformation in partnership with diaspora communities by Dr Scott Hale (Oxford Internet Institute): Wed 23 November, 5-6pm
Online and in-person, free.

The following places regularly host in-person or online talks and events touching on a range of computing themes:

[Ada Lovelace Institute] [Alan Turing Institute] [BCS] [Centre for Computing History – Cambridge] [Centre for Digital Education – Edinburgh] [Computer Conservation Society] [Gresham College] [Oxford Internet Institute] [Royal Institution] [Royal Society] [TNMOC] [Warwick Data]


3. Events – other

3a. Take part in Digital Schoolhouse’s 2023 Senior and Junior Esports tournaments
Registration deadline: 28 November. Regional qualifiers take place in January / February next year.

Help young people discover careers in the games industry through play-based learning
Proven to enhance students’ practical and soft skills development through first-hand experience in real job roles, the Digital Schoolhouse is back with this year’s esports tournaments. Offering cross-curricular resources for both KS2 and secondary students, these exciting junior and senior tournaments enable aspiring young people to immerse themselves in the exciting world of games whilst increasing their engagement in computing and digital careers education at the same time.
To learn more and sign up, visit https://www.digitalschoolhouse.org.uk/esports

[Junior tournament sign up | Senior tournament sign up] Note: ignore the 3 October date, this references when the first round of the tournament began.

3b. Host an Imperial College Student from Jan to March 2023
Imperial College’s Department of Computing has an optional module for its 3rd and 4th year computing students called ‘Communicating Computer Science’ where it places undergraduates within primary and secondary schools for around 8-10 weeks to support host teachers, helping with lessons and / or with activities such as code clubs (e.g. this is also suitable for schools where computing is not currently taught).  [Information for teachers | Register your interest in hosting a student]

3c. Nominate your students to attend (free) Royal Institution Masterclasses in Maths or Computing
The Royal Institution’s Masterclasses (‘Ri Masterclasses‘) scheme is a series of hands-on, interactive extracurricular workshops in maths or computer science for young people across the UK. The Computer Science Masterclasses are “designed to excite and engage young people in the creativity and practice of computer science, helping to highlight the links between this wide-reaching discipline and other subjects” and are aimed at 13-14 year olds. You can find out more and apply at the links below. QMUL regularly runs Ri Masterclasses in Computing for local schoolchildren but these take place all over the UK.
[Information for teachers | Register your interest]

3d. Take part in “I’m A Scientist, Get Me Out of Here”

I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here is an online activity where school students get to meet and interact with scientists.

Brightly coloured blue and pink text saying I'm a Scientist Get me out of here on a blue background.

It’s a competition between scientists, where the students are the judges.

Students challenge the scientists over intense, fast-paced, online live Chats. Then they Ask the scientists all the questions they want to, and Vote for their favourite scientist to win a prize of £500 to communicate their work with the public.” – you can sign up to their newsletter for updates for teachers here.

3e. CyberFirst Girls Competition
The CyberFirst Girls Competition aims to support girls interested in a career in cyber security. Registration is open and the 2023 online qualifier opens in 6 days and runs until 30 November 2022. Regional finals in February next year.

4. Christmas-themed classroom activities, and gift ideas for computing fans

We’ve put together a small list of gift ideas, including a reading list from Paul Curzon (particularly for students thinking about coming to university to study computer science). We also have lots of free Christmas-themed activities for your classroom.

A large red sack full of Christmas presents

5. Computing-themed careers resource

A compass pointing towards Career instead of North

TechDevJobs – jobs in computer science and related tech jobs
This is a browsable archive of (closed) job adverts for jobs in tech / computing, or jobs that use computers in interesting ways. The idea behind it is as a resource for anyone who supports young people thinking about future career options in (or adjacent to) computer science. It illustrates the range of jobs available, in different sectors, and lets people see what skills and experience are being asked for and pay scales. Job ads usually appear for a month or so before the position is closed and the advert disappears – this site is a way to ‘trap’ them for viewing at leisure.