Welcome to our first newsletter of 2019 (previous editions live here). It contains a mix of free resources from our Teaching London Computing website and pointers to some other resources and information which we hope you find useful.
If a colleague has forwarded this email to you and you’d like to receive a copy of the newsletter in future please use the orange form on this page.
Table of contents
- Free course on teaching networks from Techpathways London
- New free resources from TLC – Valentine’s Day pseudocode poems and Happy Times cards
- Diversity in Computing posters
- NCCE Hubs – apply for your school to be 1 of 40 Hubs in England
- Discount code for The Power of Computational Thinking
- Applications open (for Sep 2019) to join Digital Schoolhouse
- QMUL is part of the Institute of Coding (IoC)
- LGBT History Month
- Royal Society funding for schools’ STEM projects
1. Free course on teaching networks from Techpathways London
QMUL is jointly running TechPathways London which is a new programme of free training and professional development for (formal and informal) educators of London’s young people aged 11-24.
Sign up here for a FREE course on 28 June 2018 on networking. This is for any teacher who teaches networks to learners of 11 to 24 years of age. Educators from non-formal settings who teach this topic are welcome too. This is a 1.5 day course split over Autumn and Summer terms, download a flyer for more. We expect this to sell out as only 15 places are available.
What digital skills do people need? Techpathways London survey for educators
In order to support educators to better equip their students to enter the digital workforce we (QMUL, CS4FN, Teaching London Computing and London CLC) are working with the Mayor of London to develop some CPD material and would like to hear from teachers/educators and people from industry in London to help us shape, and benchmark this.
(There’s also a survey for industry people too, more information here).
2. New free resources from TLC
Valentine’s Day pseudocode poems & Happy Times cards
Created by Paul Curzon, pseudocode poems are poems that work both as an algorithm/program and as a poem. They incorporate sequencing, selection or repetition constructs and other kinds of statements. You can implement them as an actual program – see what you think of our poems and have a go with your class to create some other ones https://teachinglondoncomputing.org/pseudocode-poems/.
As it’s Valentine’s Day on Thursday how about some Valentine Computing.
Created with Paul’s son Daniel ‘Happy Times’ is a fun Happy families / Rummy style card game where you collect sets of cards in the same times table to win. Playing helps younger children learn about the fun of numbers with a focus on times tables, multiplication, division and prime numbers. It also helps young children start to gain an understanding of the patterns in numbers. This is part of our expanding range of interdisciplinary computational thinking pages which cover the links between CT and other subjects, or look for Mix subjects in our website’s main menu.
3. Diversity in Computing posters
We have a set, free to download, of 30 ‘Diversity in Computing’ posters featuring a range of computer scientists from different backgrounds. There’s also a powerpoint slide stack of the posters which could be used as a looping presentation. We’ve had some lovely feedback from teachers about them and we’d love to know what you think of them. Jane Waite, their creator, wrote about the thinking behind them here https://equalities.eecs.qmul.ac.uk/2019/01/16/posters-celebrating-diversity-in-computer-science/
4. NCCE Hubs – apply for your school to be 1 of 40 Hubs in England
“The National Centre for Computing Education (NCCE) invites proposals from interested parties to become one of around 40 Computing Hubs in England, supporting the work of the NCCE to July 2022. The final number will be determined by the need to provide a geographical spread across England, and will lead the delivery of computing CPD in local areas.”
If your school would like to become one of the 40 NCCE Hubs you’ll need to get your tender application in by 25th February 2019.
5. Discount code for The Power of Computational Thinking
Paul Curzon and Peter McOwan’s book featuring “Games, magic and puzzles to help you become a computational thinker” published by World Scientific has a 30% discount code WSTPOCT30, available from https://doi.org/10.1142/q0054. Hardcover £48, softcover £20 before discount.
6. Applications open (for Sep 2019) to join Digital Schoolhouse
Ukie’s Digital Schoolhouse uses play-based learning to engage the next generation of pupils and teachers with the Computing curriculum. They are looking to expand their network of 34 Schoolhouses to total 50 across the country. The programme aims to reach 25,000 students and 5,000 teachers in 2019 and schools and colleges from across the country are invited to join them. More information in this PDF, and from their website. Applications close on 31 March 2019.
7. QMUL is part of the Institute of Coding (IoC)
The Institute of Coding (IoC) is an exciting, new nationwide initiative, bringing together a range of universities, industry, and training providers to develop computing skills for a rapidly changing and increasingly digital workplace.
We have an IoC page on our main departmental website outlining new events and courses coming up. There are a couple of 3-day ‘Introduction to Coding’ courses in June (registration isn’t open yet but keep an eye on the page).
11-13 June | 18-20 June 2019
Introduction to Coding
Join our beginner-friendly coding course. No prior coding knowledge needed! Registration opens soon.
8. LGBT History Month
To help your class celebrate LGBT History Month we have some information on LGBT computer scientists, also on that page is a link to a PDF version of the 14th issue of CS4FN magazine, which celebrated Alan Turing’s work and influence on computing.
9. Royal Society funding for schools’ STEM projects
Partnership Grants of up to £3000 are available to schools to enable students, aged 5–18, to carry out science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) projects with a STEM professional from academia or industry. Additionally we are looking to support projects on computing and data science. (emphasis added) The round will remain open until the end of the month for initial expressions of interest (Stage 1). Once the project has cleared the eligibility stage, teachers have until the end of March to submit their full application.
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An early merry Christmas from Teaching London Computing (TLC) with our second newsletter (previous newsletters can be found here). There are more details of the free Christmas talk taking place on Wednesday 5 December 2018 and plenty of festive resources for your classroom.
Table of Contents
- Free Christmas evening lecture on Game AI for schools and families
- New issue of CS4FN – out now!
- Christmas classroom resources
- E4L2C – Exercises for Learning to Code, new from TLC / CAS London Master Teachers – an online course
- NCCE – National Centre for Computing Education
- Free course from CAS and Microsoft on Creative Computing
- iDEA – the Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award – online learning supported by the Duke of York
- Rocket Fund – £5,000 match funding available for projects starting after 2 Dec 2018
1. FREE schools talk – Game AI Unleashed! IET / QMUL Christmas talk – 5 Dec
Next Wednesday (5 December 2018) we have a free family-friendly twilight talk on Game AI, aimed at secondary-aged kids but all welcome. There will be free mince pies afterwards too. The talk will be held at QMUL in the People’s Palace’s Great Hall (this building is next to the main Queen’s Building, on Mile End Road). Nearest tube station is Stepney Green (buses 25/205), talk starts at 5.30pm. Bring your class!
[Register for free tickets][Full details][Flyer]
2. CS4FN issue 25 on wearable computing is here
The magazines have been printed and subscribers should be receiving copies this week so keep an eye out for them. You can also download free PDF copies (and sign up to be on the mailing list) here. We are grateful to the Institute of Coding and to King’s College London for their support for this issue. Let us know the articles you like most and share some pics with us on Twitter @cs4fn / #cs4fn
3. TLC Christmas classroom resources – download and print, and adapt for your classroom
We have Christmas pixel puzzles, Doodle art algorithms to draw a Christmas tree, or get your class to edit a Christmas greeting program in Python. We also have some computing-themed cracker mottos and are always on the lookout for more… have a look at our ‘at a glance’ Christmas computing for more.
4. E4L2C – Exercises for Learning to Code – free on Teaching London Computing
CAS London Master Teachers have created E4L2C (Exercises for Learning to Code) a range of free exercises to help people gain skills and confidence in using Python. There are beginners, intermediate and advanced exercises – Beginner exercises (Sequence, Selection, Iteration), Intermediate exercises (Arrays, Functions, File Handling), Advanced exercises (Databases). All are free to access but in order to get feedback and find out how people are using them we are asking people to contact Trevor Bragg for a password.
5. New NCCE website – National Centre for Computing Education
https://teachcomputing.org/ – scroll down the page to find out how you can sign up to hear more and get involved.
“The Centre will start working with schools across England later this year, improving teaching and driving up participation in computer science at GCSE and A-Level.
The Centre will operate virtually through a national network of up to 40 school-led computing hubs to provide training and resources to primary and secondary schools, and an intensive training programme for secondary teachers without a post A-Level qualification in computer science.” [Press release]
6. Creative Computing for KS3 – courses in London and elsewhere
Computing At School, in association with Microsoft UK, is delighted to announce a two-day funded* course which will enable new and aspiring Heads of Computing in secondary schools to develop the skills and techniques to build a creative and innovative curriculum accessible for all and to lead a thriving subject in their school.
*Teachers in Category 5 and Category 6 opportunity areas qualify for FREE places, including cover. To apply for one of these places please use the registration form here. Funding is only available for state-funded schools. For teachers applying from outside these areas the cost will be £200 (plus booking fee) for both days of the course.
The London course starts on Friday 11 January 2019 and takes place at BCS offices in Southampton Street.
A little more detail is at the end of this email [full details on CAS website]
7. iDEA – Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award
https://idea.org.uk/ – the free scheme, supported by the Duke of York, helps people enhance their chances in the job market with digital and enterprise skills. Online challenges are split into four main categories, each with its own series of badges to be won – citizen, worker, maker, entrepreneur and gamer.
8. Rocket Fund – £5,000 available for IT projects launched this half-term
A match funding pot is available from Rocket Fund for ICT related projects this term – with 20x £250 boost available.
Rocket Fund is a free fundraising platform for schools. So far they have helped 250 schools raise over £200,000. They have just launched a new campaign with 20x £250 boosts available for tech projects launched after 3rd December. Is there any tech you’d like to buy? See Rocket Fund’s website for more details.
More detail on the Creative Computing courses
“We all want our pupils to experience an aspirational curriculum for computing that develops their knowledge, their skills and above all their interest in the subject but this can be hard when we’re struggling to keep abreast of the subject ourselves! This two-day course will help to plug some of those gaps and will help teachers who are in the early days of establishing the subject in their school to encounter engaging lessons and how they can be integrated into an inspirational scheme of work.
The course will be delivered across two days (the first in the early Spring term; the second in the Summer term) in a number of locations in England.”
If you’d like to receive a copy of the newsletter in future please use the orange form on this page.
We’re trialling a newsletter for those who’ve signed up to be kept informed of Teaching London Computing’s activities and resources. This is sent to our subscribers* and added to the website for everyone.
*To subscribe, use the orange form here.
1. Black History Month
Our current resource celebrates Black History Month with information about several black computer scientists. You might also like this infographic – 7 Black Pioneers in Computer Science, by Jordan Streeter. Find out more about diversity in computing.
2a. Hallowe’en fun
There are lots of free activities to download on our site with new ones being added every month as time permits. From the Hallowe’en vaults we have some slightly spooky puzzles for younger children including a colour-in pumpkin (a Pixel Puzzle) and a word puzzle (Kriss-Kross).
2b. Other resources
Maths Kriss-Kross puzzles involve multiplication to get the answer – “Solve these maths puzzles as a way to develop logical thinking and pattern matching skills needed to enjoy both computing and maths, while practising maths too.”
3. New issue of CS4FN – out soon
The latest issue of CS4FN magazine (issue 25) will be on Wearable Computing and should be out next month. PDF copies of the magazine will be posted online soon.
Currently you can catch up with issue 24 (and all our back issues) here.
If you’re not already receiving FREE copies of CS4FN at your school please sign up here (UK schools only), and pass on the info to a colleague. We have a few back issues too (you can use the same page to request them) and we’re happy to send some out while stocks last.
For primary-aged pupils (~9-12) we also have copies to give away to UK schools of issues 1, 2 and 3 of A Bit of CS4FN.
4. New computing courses from King’s College London
The BlueJ outreach team based at Kings College, London (run by Michael Kolling and Neil Brown) is offering FREE CPD workshops to teachers of KS3 and KS4 and KS5 pupils. These need a minimum of six teachers to run and require a venue with computers / laptops, internet connection and a projector / screen.
There are 3 Workshops available and they require a minimum of 6 attendees:
• Teaching Greenfoot with Stride – Programming after Blocks (KS3)
• Teaching Java with Greenfoot (KS4)
• Teaching Java with BlueJ (KS4/5)
5. Christmas Lecture – save the date: 5 December 2018
Each year the Computer Science department at Queen Mary University of London has a celebratory free (Eventbrite ticketed for catering purposes) Christmas Lecture for schools and families, with mince pies. This year the topic will be Game AI –
we’ll add a link to this page when the tickets go live and there’s more information.
Game AI Unleashed!
Wed 5 Dec 2018
FREE (attendance is free but please register in advance)
Doors: 5pm, lecture 5:30-6:30pm, drinks and mince pies afterwards
More info and tickets: http://www.eecs.qmul.ac.uk/news-and-events/events/items/game-ai-unleashed.html
Flyer (PDF): IET-QMUL Christmas Lecture 2018