Teaching London Computing – Newsletter #9 – May 2021

This is the full text of the 9th newsletter which I (Jo B) normally send to all London-based teachers on our Teaching London Computing subscription list. Teachers outside London usually get a shorter version with anything geographically irrelevant (ie things happening in London) removed, however during lockdown this is less clear.

I also send an occasional version to our international subscribers. 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 :)

 


Dear colleagues

Welcome to May 2021’s Newsletter 9 (previous newsletters live here).

We are currently working on the next issue of CS4FN magazine, on Smart Health, which should be arriving online imminently, and physically in subscribing schools in a few weeks. Changes to working practices during coronavirus made it impossible to publish an issue last year. All of our previous issues are free to download as PDFs and if you’d like to sign up to receive printed copies please see [1] below.

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.

Table of Contents
1. New CS4FN magazine – Issue 27 – Smart Health
2. CS4FN blog (new) and Teaching London Computing blog
3. Resources
4. Computing Education Research

1. New CS4FN magazine – Issue 27 – Smart Health
CS4FN (Computer Science For Fun) is the computing magazine for schools from Queen Mary University of London’s Computer Science department. It was co-founded by Profs Paul Curzon and Peter McOwan in 2005 and all back issues can be downloaded here.

In our next issue we look at how computer scientists are creating intelligent programs and tools to support medical decision-making, supporting patients and doctors, with a particular focus on the Pambayesian research project (patient managed decision-support using Bayesian Networks).

1a. Last call for subscribers! (for this issue)
We send around 24,000 copies to 2,400 subscribing UK schools (some subscribers have 1 copy for the library, some have 30 for a class set etc) and if you’re not yet among them but would like to be please use the purple form here. If you’re not sure if you’re already subscribed please email Jo to check. Please sign up by midday Friday 14th May for this issue.

2. CS4FN blog (new) and Teaching London Computing blog
As a new way to access CS4FN articles we are posting both new and archive articles from the magazine on our new blog site at https://cs4fn.blog/. Read fun, accessible articles about research and leading-edge technology, learn as you go, and become inspired about Computer Science, Audio and Electronic Engineering.

We publish articles for teachers on our sister site, Teaching London Computing, which is also packed full of free classroom resources.

Some recently added articles on the CS4FN blog

From last year on the Teaching London Computing (TLC) blog for teachers

 

3. Resources
3a. Greek translation of The Chocolate Turing Machine’ talk
For any Greek speakers Paul gave his workshop on ‘The Chocolate Turing Machine’ at the online Computing at School Festival in Greece (to hundreds of Greek schools) a recording of which is available on YouTube, which had a live translator. The main presentation begins at around 28min 40s. More on the Chocolate Turing Machine.

3b. STEM Learning eLibrary
The STEM Learning eLibrary has added another three of our teacher resources to its curated collection of CS4FN / TLC resources.

  • Roman numeral pixel puzzle [TLC page | STEM Learning eLibrary page] – learn about pixels and Roman numerals in this colour-by-number puzzle from which a mosaic-style picture will emerge (printable or spreadsheet version available)

  • Hieroglyphs pixel puzzle [TLC page | STEM Learning eLibrary page] – this time hieroglyphs provide the code to colour in an Egyptian-style picture (can be done on paper or on a computer)

  • Sequencing / looping puzzle (frogs & tadpoles) [TLC page | STEM Learning eLibrary page] – introduce sequences and loops by putting five stages of a frog’s life cycle in the right order – a printer is needed for this one but the cartoon drawings are simple enough to copy by hand if one isn’t available.

3c. Command Line Heroes Podcast – Dr Clarence Ellis
Prof Paul Curzon was one of the guests on the latest (S6E5) episode of the Command LIne Heroes podcast, talking about the work of Dr Clarence Ellis who was the first Black man to earn a PhD in Computer Science (and whose CS4FN article by Paul you can read here). Dr Ellis developed ‘Operational Transformation’, a tool which lets multiple people edit a document all at the same time without interfering with each other’s work (we use this a lot in Google Docs). Paul also talks about his own approach to CS4FN (Computer Science For Fun) and inspiring young people to find out more about computer science and its history.

4. Computing Education Research
For educators interested in computing education research Jane Waite organises a monthly ‘book club’ at 7.30pm on the first Thursday of every month for CAS (Computing At School). The events are free, organised via a Facebook group, ticketed by Eventbrite and held on Gather Town – find out more here, in particular the Joining In button.

Back issues of (some of) our cs4fn magazines available – free for UK schools

Our CS4FN magazines and Teaching London Computing booklets are hugely popular and read by school students for interest and enjoyment, as well as being used by teachers in computing classes and after-school clubs. We typically post out around 20,000 copies to subscribing UK schools (some schools take 1 copy, others have a class set) and we also send one-off boxes of magazines to UK schools and school-related events to give to visitors or to put in delegate bags.

We keep a few more copies of some of our back issues to give away to UK schools and if you’d like to order some please fill in the blue form below.

Note that this form won’t subscribe you to our mailing list(s) – if you’d like to subscribe to start receiving future cs4fn magazines and booklets please fill in [purple form 2] here, and if you’re a teacher based in London interested in our local events please fill in [orange form 1] on the same page. We’d also recommend familiarising yourself with CAS, Computing At School (it’s free to join) and particularly the CAS London Regional Centre (which is run by the same staff at QMUL and KCL that run Teaching London Computing).