R4 programme on Ada Lovelace (2 days left to listen)

BBC Radio 4 has a two-part series on Ada Lovelace’s letters. Alas Part One of the series has already passed into the ‘programme no longer available’ territory, but Part Two (~28m) is live to listen to online for the next couple of days [at time of writing!].

Our cs4fn magazine special issue on Ada Lovelace isn’t going anywhere though, please download a free PDF at your leisure 🙂

adaletters.png

“In part two of this dramatization of The Letters of Ada Lovelace, Georgina Ferry reveals the nature of the relationship between the young heiress, Ada Lovelace (Sally Hawkins) and the crusty mathematician, Charles Babbage (Anthony Head), inventor of steam-powered calculating machines.

More info at the programme’s page.

What else are we up to?

1.Saturday 21 Nov – £30/60, 2-5pm
Introduction to Arduino [info] [tickets]
Aimed at teachers of pupils at KS3 and above our miniCPD session will introduce you to programming using an Arduino with simple electronics.

2. Wed 25 Nov – FREE, 5pm
Sorting Unplugged [info] [tickets]
This is a free workshop, aimed at computer science teachers, which introduces sorting algorithms in an ‘unplugged’ style.

3.Sat 28 Nov – £30/60, 2-5pm
Introduction to Arduino [info] [tickets]
Aimed at teachers of pupils at KS3 and above our miniCPD session will introduce you to programming using an Arduino with simple electronics.

4. Wed 2 Dec – FREE, doors 5pm, show at 5.30pm
The magic of {Christmas} Computer Science – free magic show for young people. [info] [tickets]
This is a free public talk aimed at secondary school-aged children and their families & friends. Paul Curzon and Peter McOwan will present a fun magic show powered by hidden computer science. There are rumours of mince pies too.

 

 

Draw your own hexahexaflexagon – blanks for printing and colouring in

It would have been Martin Gardner’s 101st birthday today (he was born in 1914 and died in 2010) and while he certainly didn’t invent, or even discover, hexahexaflexagons he was one of the first people to popularise them with an article in Scientific American in 1956.

We’ve used hexahexaflexagons as an example of a finite-state machine in our workshops and to illustrate computational thinking about graphs and maps.

You can find our free booklet about hexahexaflexagons, and how to use them, on our HexaHexaFlexagon Automata page where you can also download full colour printable flexagons to fold and glue at home (or at school, or at work). And now we also have some blank ones (and here’s one with three on a page) that you can print and colour in with your own designs.

For some inspiration have a look at Vi Hart’s series of YouTube videos on hexaflexagons, which are rather good fun.

If you’ve not folded a hexahexaflexagon before here’s Prof Paul Curzon showing how it’s done

Further reading
Flexagon but Not Forgotten: Celebrating Martin Gardner’s Birthday (Scientific American, 2012)

Teachers: Help your students build their own apps in the #AppsforGood course. Apply to deliver in 2015/16

AppsForGood are looking for Education Partners – here’s some information about them (and there’s a printable / shareable flyer at the end).

Print“Apps for Good is an education programme where students learn to build and pitch their own apps – helping students to become real-life entrepreneurs and digital creators.

The course meets the demands of the new curriculum in an engaging way and builds skills in teamwork, communication and problem solving.

Apps for Good provide their course framework, training and connections to tech Expert volunteers, and then let you do what you are best at – inspiring and guiding young people. Join 500 schools across the UK and apply to become an Education Partner: http://www.appsforgood.org/public/teach-apps-for-good – it’s free for non-fee paying schools.”

Follow them on Twitter  Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 17.23.02  @appsforgoodcdi

Apps for Good – Info Flyer

Computing At School (CAS) community survey – open now

Pinched from the CAS e-newsletter…


National CAS Survey 2015
01 Feb 2015

Cas-logo_bcs

Computing At School and the Network of Excellence team are conducting a short survey about the Computing At School community and Computing in schools.

National CAS Survey 2015

The survey will remain open for the whole of February 2014. To get an accurate picture of how CAS is used and how Computing in schools is developing, we would like as many CAS members as possible to complete this. The survey is open to all (including non-CAS members), although there are some questions that are specific to members of CAS and some that are specific to teachers. It should not take long to complete.

For one lucky person each week, there will be a prize of a £25 Amazon voucher!

The summary data will be published by CAS in the spring.

Thank you!


If you’re interested in the teaching of computing in schools (you might be a teacher, a university partner or in industry or just curious) have a look at http://www.computingatschool.co.uk 

Speaking of surveys, we’ve (Teaching London Computing) just published the preliminary results of our own survey which looks at Computing teachers perceptions of their training needs, more at the snappily titled Surveying schools and Computing teachers – do they need training, and if so what format?

Our survey is still open, at http://bit.ly/TLCsurvey2015a

CAS’s survey link is National CAS Survey 2015

‘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.

 

 

Other courses, events and support for Computing teachers – a mini round-up

Teaching London Computing is one of several projects that support teachers in delivering the new curriculum. If you’re new to teaching Computing, or need a refresher there are lots of sources of information online and events around the UK. Here are a few examples.
A great place to start is Computing At School (CAS) which is free to join and has an active discussion forum as well as a free listing of events.

Computing At School: http://computingatschool.org.uk/


Diversity in Computing Conference 2014 – from Computing At School
The CAS #include Diversity in Computing Conference is an opportunity for teachers, professionals and academics to meet specialists in our 5 focus strands. Our strands are Gender, Ethnicity, Disability, Socio-Economic Status and SEN. The event will be a mixture of key note speeches and workshops. You will be able to choose to attend two out of our five workshops and gain an insight into how to promote inclusion in your chosen area.

It takes place (not in London) on Saturday 15 November 2014 from 10am to 3:30pm in Kingswinford.

#include – Computer Science for everyone, @CASinclude, http://casinclude.org.uk/


There are also some one-day courses for teachers such as “Moving from GCSE to A-Level OCR Computing” from Philip Allan Events / Hodder Education which takes place on Monday 10 November 2014, in London, from 10.15 to 4pm. There will also be an AQA course running on Monday 17 November 2014.

“We have designed this workshop to make sure your students perform to their highest level in AS and A2 Computing by providing you with in-depth advice on teaching the subject.”

Philip Allan Events for Teachers (Computing): http://www.philipallanupdates.co.uk/Subjects/Computing.aspx?sid=52


If you can’t easily attend a class in person there are online courses too such as MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) – here’s one at Warwick University which started on 16 October but is still taking registrations.

Computing for Teachers MOOC: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/dcs/schools/cpd/
“This free online computer science course is aimed at teachers preparing to deliver the new computing curriculum. It will prepare you with the necessary subject knowledge and programming skills to be confident in teaching computing up to GCSE. The course provides in-depth coverage across 3 areas:
• Computing concepts,
• Programming in Python,
• How to teach the concepts”

Please note: as we do not know the detailed content of others’ courses we can’t endorse them – but we thought you might like to know about what other people and organisations are up to. We’re happy to mention free or paid-for courses and events on our pages that are relevant to London teachers (and we don’t charge for listing information, or accept any advertising ‘fee’).

For primary school computing teachers: Barefoot Computing website now live & competition

From the Computing At School website’s news page:

Barefoot Computing CAS

 

“The Barefoot Computing project is about helping primary school teachers get ready for the computer science element of the new computing curriculum.”

 
The website is now live at http://barefootcas.org.uk/ and they’re running a competition “for primary school pupils to design a mascot for the Barefoot Computing Project. There are iPads to be won! The closing date is 23rd June and more information can be found here. ”

 

An example of a job that people who code might do (at Cancer Research UK)

We often talk about coding as a skill that’s useful in a variety of jobs (as well as just being an enjoyable challenge in itself). Here’s an example of a recently posted job advert from Cancer Research UK – they’re looking for someone with a knowledge of coding. The job description is saved on this blog so you’ll be able to look at it even after the job advert has closed, for example if you want to use it in giving your students an idea of some of the jobs available, and skills wanted by employers.

 


Information Designer or Coder

Permanent link to job description: Role Profile – Information Designer

Are you a creative and analytical individual who can create infographics and interactive web content to communicate science and statistics?

We’re looking for a driven and self-starting Information Designer or Coder to…

  • Create infographics and data visualisation tools, working with our Senior Information Designer
  • Support our Statistical Information Team with the delivery of visual and interactive content for the web and production of downloadable materials
  • Contribute to new ways of presenting information for a wide range of audiences

Here at Cancer Research UK, we work to inspire volunteers, unite the scientific community, educate the public about cancer prevention and tell our story to the government to bring about change. Every day we achieve extraordinary things by being innovative, imaginative and bold in our work. Now we need an Information Designer to support the Statistical Information Team to present and communicate complex information about cancer to a variety of audiences in a smart and engaging way.

Join our collective force and help us lead the way through your…

  • Knowledge
    • of infographics and data visualisation
    • of interactive web development, design software and content management systems
    • of numbers and statistics
  • Experience (either in the work-place or during relevant qualification)
    • of graphic design, and/or front-end web development (HTML, CSS, SVG, JavaScript)
    • of assimilating, analysing and presenting information to a variety of audiences
  • Skills and Competencies
    • Good understanding of design for web, print and social media
    • Creative and visual thinker with a keen attention to detail
    • Able to understand, interpret and communicate science or statistics
    • Able to find a story or a message in complex information and bring it to life
    • Strong verbal communication skills, organisational skills, initiative and flexibility

Our passion, determination and ambition leads us to set ourselves more and more challenging targets, which means you’ll need to translate concepts and creative briefs into demonstrable solutions, to communicate complex ideas and processes visually. You’ll also provide suggestions, promote best practice and engage with a variety of teams.

Whether your background is primarily in design, science communication or web development, this is a growing area for us with enough flexibility for the right person to find their balance between these three skill sets. If this describes you, you can enjoy a great career with us as, together, we bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.

Closing Date: 18th May 2014
Interviews: 5th and 6th June 2014

Job details
Salary: £23,000 – £28,000 p.a + excellent benefits
Location: Angel Building
Contract: Permanent
Contracted Hours (per week): Full Time (35 hours)
Business Area: Health & Patient Information, PR & Communications, Web and Digital
Closing Date: 18/05/2014 23:55

Visit Cancer Research UK’s website to apply for this job.

 

From around the web: #Eastbourne teachers: Introduction to Creative Computing Fri 9 May 1-4pm £30

From Connective Culture: Tech Resort & Towner Gallery via @aidandelaney

Eastbourne Pier

Friday 9 May 2014, 1pm – 4pm, £30, Towner Gallery, Eastbourne.

Introduction to Creative Computing
If you’re an Eastbourne based teacher, we want you to attend a half-day computing training to achieve two goals:
1. develop your technical skills in programming, and
2. give you some insight into the requirements in the new computer science curriculum.
We will provide a half-day supply cover and computing subject knowledge training for a small commitment fee of £30.

This is a joint project between the ArtsWork funded Creative Computing project, Eastbourne’s own TechResort and the Computing School at the University of Brighton.

We’re delivering training on the 9th of May at the Towner Gallery in Eastbourne on developing web and mobile applications using the JavaScript programming language. This will introduce the basics of JavaScript and creative problem solving.”

More information, and tickets: Introduction to Creative Computing

Please note: this is not a Teaching London Computing event, we just like sharing what other people are up to 🙂