An inspiring unplugged session on teaching computing for teachers.
A core idea in the computing curriculum is that of algorithms and algorithmic thinking. But what is an algorithm? We will demonstrate a series of fun and intriguing ways to introduce the core ideas about algorithms. You will pit your wits against my intelligent piece of paper looking not only what an algorithm is but whether machines can ever be intelligent. You will also learn how really simple magic tricks that anyone can do, can illustrate what an algorithm is in a much more fun way than making a cup of tea (!) and you will learn the magic too!
This session will cover:
- What is an algorithm?
- Can machines be intelligent?
- Computational thinking: algorithmic thinking, abstraction
Activities are suitable for all age groups and can be adapted to fit your teaching needs.
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.
Resources (videos linked at end)
This session comes with linked activity sheets and ‘story’ write-ups that you can download:
- Activity: The Intelligent Piece of Paper [PDF]
- Slides: The Intelligent Piece of Paper [PPT]
- Applet:The cs4fn online noughts and crosses programming game [LINK]
- Activity: Magic – Invisible Palming [PDF]
- Slides: Invisible Palming [PPT]
- Activity: The Swap Puzzle [PDF]
- Slides: The Swap Puzzle [PPT]
- Applet: The online swap puzzle [LINK]
This is a self-contained evening interactive seminar session of around 60-90 minutes.
Similar sessions on other topics
Want to get up to speed on computing concepts like computational thinking or ideas for how to teach computing in a fun, inspiring way? Teaching London Computing with cs4fn run as series of free one off sessions for teachers of ICT and computing such as this one.
For our longer courses for teachers please see CPD courses.
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