New Easter CPD courses for Computing teachers in London: GCSE courses, at King’s College London

I’m delighted to announce that we have TWO new GCSE courses running soon and they will be held at King’s College London, Waterloo Campus and led by Margaret Derrington. These courses are aimed at experienced ICT teachers who would like to develop their subject knowledge in order to teach the new Computing Curriculum and the new Computing GCSEs.

Tickets are on sale now. The courses cost £300 but thanks to funding from the Mayor of London we can offer a 50% discount to London schools (get in touch if you’re not sure if your school qualifies).

More information and a guide syllabus is available from the links below and from our GCSE Computing page.

Course One

The first course is split into five sessions running over two weeks from the end of March to the second week of April:

Computing CPD GCSE Easter Holidays March 30 – April 10
Teaching London Computing
Monday, 30 March 2015 at 10:00 to Friday, 10 April 2015 at 16:00

5 sessions over two weeks, each class runs from 10am to 4pm.

  • Monday, March 30
  • Wednesday, April 1
  • Wednesday, April 8
  • Thursday, April 9
  • Friday, April 10

Eventbrite - Computing CPD GCSE Easter Holidays March 30 - April 10

 

Course Two

The second course is a one-week intensive in the third week of April:

Computing CPD GCSE Easter Holidays (1-week intensive) April 13 -17
Teaching London Computing
Monday, 13 April 2015 at 10:00 to Friday, 17 April 2015 at 16:00

Eventbrite - Computing CPD GCSE Easter Holidays (1-week intensive) April 13 -17

Paul Curzon’s doing two free workshops next Friday afternoon (20th) for Computing teachers in London cc @cs4fn

Paul Curzon’s free workshops, held at Queen Mary University of London’s Mile End campus, are fun and informal and support teachers who want to introduce programming concepts and computational thinking into the classroom in an engaging way. Each workshop is accompanied by downloadable classroom activities (also free) – these can be downloaded from the links below.

Next week’s (Friday 20th February) is a double session but you can choose to come to one workshop, or both.

The first workshop is at 2pm then there will be a half hour break with the second starting at 4pm, we aim to finish at 5.30pm.

Do I have to be a London computing teacher to attend?
The workshops are aimed at those who are currently (or who are about to begin) teaching the Computing curricula (particularly GCSE and A-level, though the information in the workshops has been used with younger children). As we’re funded by the Mayor of London we prioritise those who are currently teaching in London schools. The workshops are not suitable for school pupils though as the events are about how to introduce computing concepts into the classroom. Contact Jo Brodie (j.brodie@qmul.ac.uk) for further information.

Biography
Paul Curzon is a Professor of Computer Science at Queen Mary, University of London. He runs the cs4fn ‘Computer Science for Fun’ (cs4fn) project, www.cs4fn.org. It aims to inspire school students about computer science through a series of free magazines, website and school shows. He regularly gives such shows around the UK as well as continuous professional development talks to teachers about the cs4fn approach to teaching. He is Director of the Teaching London Computing Project. He was made a UK National Teaching Fellow in 2010 in recognition of his excellence in teaching and outreach, was a finalist in the 2009 Times Higher Education Innovative Teacher of the year award and has twice won the student nominated Queen Mary award for excellence in teaching.

Workshop A:
Programming unplugged: learning programming without computers

2.00-3.30pm (free Eventbrite tickets)

Overview
It’s easy to assume that programming is something you have to learn at a computer but if you want your students to deeply understand programming concepts, rather than blindly getting programs to work then unplugged techniques can work really well to get students started. We will see how to program a robot face that is made of students, look at a simple way to give a deep understanding of how variables work by making them physical, and see how to compile programs onto your class instead of onto a computer.

Session material This session will cover:

  • Inspiring ways to introduce programming away from computers.
  • What is a variable?
  • How does assignment work?
  • Programming simple objects
  • Introducing flow of control and if statements

Workshop B:
Computational thinking: it’s about people too

4pm-5.30pm (free Eventbrite tickets)

Overview
Computing is not just about technology, it is about understanding people too. When we solve computing problems we are solving them for people. Computational thinking is the general group of problem solving skills that students learn as a result of studying computing. Often this is equated with algorithmic thinking – a direct result of learning to program. However it just as important to make programs usable by people – or they won’t be used. We will see how magic gives a fun way to introduce these ideas and how a simple game demonstrates why graphical user interfaces are effective.

This session is in collaboration with CHI+MED: an EPSRC-funded project about making medical devices safer.

Session material This session will cover:

  • computational thinking: understanding people
  • human computer interaction
  • why GUIs are better than text-based interfaces
  • The importance of data structures

Surveying schools and Computing teachers – do they need training, and if so what format?

As part of the evaluation of the Teaching London Project (funded by the Mayor of London and the Department for Education to support London teachers who’ll be teaching the new Computing curricula) we have been asking Head Teachers about their perceptions of the need (or not) for training for Computing teachers. We want our courses to be helpful to teachers, as part of their CPD, and also to be available to them in a useful format (short courses versus longer ones, in-school hours versus out of hours classes).

We’ve conducted a study, with 32 respondents so far, and the summary of feedback is below, but we’re keen to hear from more teachers and head teachers in London about how schools are thinking about training needs for those teaching the new GCSE or A-level Computing.

Please visit http://bit.ly/TLCsurvey2015a to take part in our survey and pass this link on to colleagues.

In the text below ‘Computing’ refers also to ‘Computer Science’ as both terms are used in the curricula. The survey results were analysed by Nicola Plant, who also wrote the information below.

Summary Results of the Teaching London Computing teachers’ survey

We’ve had 32 responses to our survey so far.

1. Courses currently offered or planned

The majority of schools (60%) already offer GCSE Computing and a third of responding schools plan to offer the subject in the next two years with only a small proportion of schools opting not to offer the subject.

Updated graphs by Nicola

y-axis is the number of respondents, out of 32 in total

In contrast, the majority of schools (78%) do not currently offer A-Level Computing, of which two thirds plan to offer the subject in the next 2 years, and a third opts not to offer the subject. (This could be explained by the fact that the new GCSE curriculum has only recently begun to be offered and so there are no students past year 11 to continue).

2. Training requirements

31 of 32 respondents thought that teachers need subject knowledge training. For the GCSE Computing curriculum around half of schools expected that teachers would attend training both inside and outside of school time. A third of schools also expect teachers to pick up the subject as they go along.  For the A-Level perceptions were different, where only 5 schools expected teachers to pick it up as they go along, a third expected teachers to train in their own time, but half would have teachers training inside school hours. However, informal comments explained that cover is a problem as covered students don’t feel supported by cover teachers.

2 graphs

Click to enlarge

3. Format of training

There was no significant difference between GCSE and A-level Computing for a preferred format for training. Around a third to a half of schools (that would encourage staff to attend training) were split equally among workshops, shorter courses and longer CPD courses.

Schools rated staff time, course costs, choosing courses that offered subject knowledge, and choosing courses that offered knowledge of the curricula an equally important consideration for both GCSE and A-level Computing training courses. Just over 50% of schools would provide cover when staff were on training courses.

4. Recruitment

To teach GCSE Computing 40% of schools are looking to recruit more experienced staff but to teach A-Level Computing half of schools were looking to recruit more experienced staff.

5. A-level

Around 80% of schools do not offer A-level Computing because there is a lack of experienced staff and facilities.

2nd FREE workshop with Paul Curzon – NEW: Interdisciplinary Computational Thinking through Modelling (26 Jan)

Our second free workshop of the year with Prof Paul Curzon will also be a brand new one. “Interdisciplinary Computational Thinking through Modelling” takes place on Monday 26 January from 5.30pm at Queen Mary University of London.

These workshops are aimed at Computing teachers in London and demonstrate a number of ways that teachers might introduce computational thinking and computer programming topics into the classroom, as such a workshop is not a ‘show’ (not suitable for pupils for example) and there will probably be some audience participation.

There is also another workshop, Computational Thinking: Searching to Speak, running the week before on Monday 19 January at 5.30 to 7pm at QMUL.


Next workshop: Interdisciplinary Computational Thinking through Modelling
Monday 26 January 2015, 5.30pm, at QMUL
Eventbrite - Free workshop for Computing teachers in London, with Paul Curzon - Interdisciplinary Computational Thinking through Modelling


Interdisciplinary Computational Thinking through Modelling

Monday 26 January 2015, 5.30pm to 7pm
QMUL
Eventbrite tickets
Nearest tube: Stepney Green, Mile End also close by
Buses: 25 and 205 to ‘Ocean Estate

For full details of the workshop and to download some accompanying free classroom resources please take a look at the workshop’s page: Interdisciplinary Computational Thinking through Modelling

Overview
Is computational thinking just for computer scientists? Actually no. It has already revolutionised the way scientists, mathematicians and many others do their jobs.

Computing has changed the way science is done not just because of the availability of more powerful computers, but because it has given scientists a whole new toolset for thinking. In particular algorithmic thinking gives a new way of doing science. We will use  cs4fn activities, games and magic tricks to illustrate how computational modelling can be used both to do and learn about other subjects. We will also use a magic trick to show how algebra plays an important role in logical thinking for computer scientists.

Session material
This session will cover:

  • How Computational Thinking supports other subjects.
  • What is computational modelling and how does it link to algorithmic thinking?
  • How interdisciplinary Computational Thinking can be used to teach topics in Biology, Physics and Mathematics in a powerful and fun way.

Activities are suitable for all age groups and can be adapted to fit your teaching needs.

Biography
Paul Curzon is a Professor of Computer Science at Queen Mary, University of London. He runs the cs4fn ‘Computer Science for Fun’ (cs4fn) project, www.cs4fn.org. It aims to inspire school students about computer science through a series of free magazines, website and school shows. He regularly gives such shows around the UK as well as continuous professional development talks to teachers about the cs4fn approach to teaching. He is Director of the Teaching London Computing Project. He was made a UK National Teaching Fellow in 2010 in recognition of his excellence in teaching and outreach, was a finalist in the 2009 Times Higher Education Innovative Teacher of the year award and has twice won the student nominated Queen Mary award for excellence in teaching.

 

FREE: Paul Curzon ‘Computational Thinking’ workshop @QMUL for Computing teachers, 19 January

Our first free workshop of the year will be Paul’s exploration of ‘Searching to Speak’. This uses the example of a case of locked-in syndrome to explore the use of computational thinking in solving human problems (human-computer interaction) as well as considering when a technological approach might not actually be the most appropriate solution.

The workshop will take place on Monday 19 January from 5.30pm to 7pm at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL, Mile End Campus) and is free.

These workshops are aimed at Computing teachers in London and demonstrate a number of ways that teachers might introduce computational thinking and computer programming topics into the classroom, as such a workshop is not a ‘show’ (not suitable for pupils for example) and there will probably be some audience participation. There will also be a second workshop, with details to be confirmed, which will take place on Monday 26 January also at 5.30 to 7pm at the same venue.

Computational thinking: searching to speak

Monday 19 January 2015, 5.30pm to 7pm
QMUL
Eventbrite tickets
Nearest tube: Stepney Green, Mile End also close by
Buses: 25 and 205 to ‘Ocean Estate

For full details of the workshop and to download some accompanying free classroom resources please take a look at the workshop’s page: Computational thinking: searching to speak

‘Save Santa’ Christmas game in Scratch, shoot the bats that are trying to interfere with his gift delivering :) via @CompAtSch

Computing At School (CAS) is a free resource hub (with info about events and classroom resources) for computer science teachers in the UK. There’s a thriving community section in which people can share their ideas for activities, and one of them is this game ‘Santa Shoot’ game, from Conor Grimes. Players need to shoot down bats that are getting in Santa’s way.

It’s free to become a CAS member and once you’ve done so you’ll be able to access the Scratch game and play it in your classroom.

The game was written in 2012 but thanks to a comment posted more recently the thread has resurfaced.

Game details: Santa Shoot Christmas Game

savesanta

Short description:
Simple Scratch Christmas Activity

Full description:
Key Stage 3 Programming Activity
Level: (Beginner / Intermediate/)
Duration: (1 – 2 Periods)
Teaches: (Basic Scratch programming)

 

 

Secondary computing teachers eligible for Teacher Industrial Partners’ Scheme (TIPS) from @ntlstemcentre

Teachers may be interested in TIPS (the Teacher Industrial Partners’ Scheme) which gives STEM teachers an authentic experience of what takes place in modern engineering and technology organisations. The aim is to enable teachers to link their subject to the range of careers open to their students.

The National Science Learning Network, which runs the scheme, has arranged work placements with BP during the spring term.

Become a BP Partner School – 3 places available
BP is looking for three secondary teachers of science, technology, engineering, mathematics or computing to undertake a two-week work placement during the spring term 2015.

The placement is part of the Teacher Industrial Partners’ Scheme (TIPS), linking engineering and technology employers with local schools. By giving you an authentic experience of what takes place in modern engineering and technology organisations, you can help your students understand how your subject links to a diverse range of career opportunities at all levels.

The main base will be at the International Centre for Business & Technology at Sunbury with visits to the oil trading headquarters at Canary Wharf, a supply depot on the south coast and a fuel development centre near Reading.

What will it cost and are there any bursaries?
The fee to take part in TIPS is £360.

Teachers from state-funded schools, academies and colleges can receive an ENTHUSE Award bursary of £1400 to help with supply cover and other costs.

How to apply
To participate, you must be available to leave the classroom from the 6 to 23 of February 2015.

For information on how to apply, visit the website below to register:
www.sciencelearningcentres.org.uk/consortia/national/teacher-industrial-partners-scheme

About the NSLN
The National Science Learning Network is the UK’s largest provider of subject-specific CPD. It comprises the National Science Learning Centre in York, and a wider network of 50 Science Learning Partnerships across England.

 

 

What are London teachers’ needs for the new Computing curricula? We have a survey…

Teaching London Computing is a project that is run jointly from Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) and King’s College London (KCL). We’re funded by the Mayor of London and Department for Education to provide support to teachers in London who are delivering the new Computing curricula (GCSE and A-level).

This includes computing subject knowledge and pedagogical support through a range of continuing professional development courses, free workshops (with fun unplugged-style activities) and free printable resources for use in the classroom.


***London Computing teachers*** – please fill in our short survey
We would like to understand more about the training needs that Computing teachers in London have and we’ve developed a short survey to help us find out more. If you are a Computing teacher based in London your participation will be very helpful. There’s an opportunity to sign up for class sets of free booklets once you’ve completed the survey which should take no more than five minutes to complete.

Please visit http://bit.ly/TLCsurvey2015a to take part in our survey and pass this link on to colleagues.


About us
The Teaching London project developed from cs4fn (Computer Science for Fun, a popular outreach project from QMUL to enthuse schoolchildren about computer science) and, in partnership with the Education department at KCL, we are providing resources for teachers who are introducing programming concepts and computational thinking into the classroom. We aim to nurture an inspiring Computing education for pupils across London.

Next courses
We’ve two new courses starting in the New Year.

Research
We’ve published a number of research articles about computer science education, selected examples below.

Black J, Brodie J, Curzon P, Myketiak C, McOwan PW and Meagher LR (2013). Making computing interesting to school students: teachers’ perspectives. Proceedings of the 2013 Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer
Science Education (ITiCSE 2013), 255–260. New York: ACM.

Myketiak C, Curzon P, Black J, McOwan PW and Meagher LR (2012) cs4fn: a flexible model for computer science outreach. In Proceedings of ITiCSE ’12 Proceedings of the 17th ACM annual conference on Innovation and technology in computer science education, Pages 297-302, ACM New York. DOI: 10.1145/2325296.2325366

Bell T, Curzon P, Cutts Q et al. (2011) . Introducing Students to Computer Science With Programmes That Don’t Emphasise Programming. Proceedings of ITiCSE 2011, The 16th Annual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education ACM SIGCSE. 391-391.
10.1145/1999747.1999904

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Website: http://teachinglondoncomputing.org Twitter: http://twitter.com/TeachingLDNComp

New A-level CPD Computing course at QMUL – January 2015

Teaching London Computing will be running a new CPD course for A-level Computing teachers at QMUL, details below.

Eventbrite - QMUL: 2015 - A-level Computing CPD - from Teaching London Computing for this course.

New A-level CPD computing course
Starting on Wednesday 14 January 2015 and running for 10 weeks (with a break at half term) this will be the third outing for this popular advanced CPD course which equips Computing teachers with the programming subject knowledge and skills to teach the new A-level Computing curricula.

Full details on our page for the A-level course.

The 10-week course costs £300 but thanks to funding from the Mayor of London we’re able to offer a 50% discount (ie £150) to London teachers.

Course dates – all on Wednesdays
Week 1: 14 January 2015
Week 2: 21 January
Week 3: 28 January
Week 4: 4 February 2015
Week 5: 11 February
Half-term: 18 February 2015 (no class)
Week 6: 25 February
Week 7: 4 March 2015
Week 8: 11 March
Week 9: 18 March
Week 10: 25 March 2015

Full details on our page for the A-level course.

Note that we have a separate Masters level computing pedagogy module which begins on 17 January 2015 at King’s College London.

*New course date* Computer Science Education: Theory & Practice (Spring 2015) @ King’s

Teaching London Computing has a new course for Computing teachers, at King’s College London. The short course is a standalone module on an MA course in Education, and is suitable for those who will be teaching Computing up to A-level.

For more details and to apply for a place please visit the course information page.

Computing

COURSE OVERVIEW

KEY FACTS
Course start date – 17 January 2015
Course duration – 11 weeks part time
Course type – Online course
Course times – Saturdays 10am-4pm on campus and online Tuesdays 7-8pm
Course recurrence – Saturday then five Tuesday evenings online, another Saturday and five more Tuesday evenings online.
Location – Waterloo Campus
Entry requirements – Qualified Teacher Status in ICT or experience of teaching ICT in a secondary school.
Credit value – 30 credits at Master’s level
Academic Lead – Sue Sentance

COURSE STRUCTURE

Saturday 1: Curriculum and Computing

Seminar 1 – Communications Unplugged
Seminar 2 – Gender and Computing
Seminar 3 – Teaching early Programming
Seminar 4 – Programming Teaching Methods
Seminar 5 – Teaching by Modelling

Saturday 2: Hardware and Assignment Workshop

Seminar 6 – Flow and Learning through Games
Seminar 7 – Motivation, Uptake and Careers in Computing
Seminar 8 – Collaboration and Group Work in Computing
Seminar 9 – Programming and Mathematics, Computational Thinking
Seminar 10 – Assignment Plans and Feedback

COURSE DESCRIPTION
The course is aimed at experienced ICT teachers and new PGCE graduates who do not have a computing background but would like to develop the capacity for teaching Computing/Computer Science up to A level.

Students on this course have access to online materials to enhance their subject knowledge and learn programming (Python 3). They can also attend workshops on the Subject Knowledge Enhancement course in order to improve their knowledge of the course content of current GCSE and A level specifications.

HOW IS THE COURSE TAUGHT?
Module teaching includes two Saturday workshops one at the beginning and one in the middle of the module together with weekly tasks, readings and discussions in ten on-line sessions. A task related to the week’s theme usually including the study of a specific aspect of programming or computing education with each student posting their reactions, comments and reflections to an on-line asynchronous discussion board for others to view and respond. Online synchronous (chat) seminars in small groups to discuss the week’s theme. These happen on the same evening (Tuesday) each week.

OTHER RELATED COURSES
The 30 credits from this Short Course could be transferred in to an MA Education programme.

We hope that course participants will be interested in the MA Computing in Education

WHAT WILL I GET OUT OF IT?
The intended outcomes are that students will develop a critical understanding of the Pedagogy of Computer Science at secondary level enabling them to make critical, informed judgements in

  • managing the introduction of computing to the curriculum from years 7 to 13
  • developing strategies for selecting appropriate public examinations for their students, at KS4&5
  • writing schemes of work and devising assessment in line with research into the learning of computer science and programming
  • selecting and designing and developing their own resources and teaching materials to enhance the understanding of key concepts

for the teaching of computer science, including programming from 11-18.

This course is offered BOTH as a 30 credit module on the Modular Education MA and here as a standalone Short Course. Students successfully completing this course will gain 30 credits towards an Education Masters.

WHO IS IT FOR?
Trained and practising teachers of secondary ICT who wish to teach Computer Science.

ADDITIONAL MATERIALS
Guide to Teaching Computer Science: an Activity-Based Approach by Lapidot and Ragonis (available from FWB library in hard copy and electronic versions).

ADDITIONAL MATERIALS PURCHASE INFORMATION
GCSE and A level text books for Computing and Computer Science.
Specifications for current GCSE and A level examinations (available online on Exam Board websites).

FEES & OTHER INFORMATION
This course is partly funded through the Teaching London Computing project run by Queen Mary University of London in collaboration with King’s College London.
A number of teachers in London schools will benefit by receiving a 50% discount on the cost of the course through funding received by the TLC project from the London Schools Excellence Fund.
Course cost £1000, less discount £500 (for London Teachers), net cost £500.

COURSE TIMES
Saturdays 10am-4pm on campus and online Tuesdays 7-8pm

COURSE LEVEL
Masters

For more details and to apply for a place please visit the course information page.