CPD day for London computing teachers at the CAS London annual conference

Teaching London Computing’s Paul Curzon and William Marsh will be presenting at the CPD day for London computing teachers at this year’s CAS London conference, £25 for London teachers, £60 for those outside London (BOOK TICKETS). Read on for more information…

Sat 27 Feb

When: Saturday 27th February
Where: London (Gladesmore Community School, Crowland Rd, N15 6EB)
Tickets: £25 (London), £60 (elsewhere) – BOOK HERE
Event flyer: DOWNLOAD and please share with colleagues

Approximate timings of Paul’s and William’s sessions (note timings may change by +/- 10mins).

Paul Curzon
Unplugged Sorting algorithms – 10:00pm

Using Magic to teach computing – 2:30pm

William Marsh
Python Advanced GUI – 12:30pm
LMC 1 – Introduction Afternoon – 2:30pm

Here’s the information from CAS London about the conference –

CAS London’s Regional Conference, a day of CPD for primary and secondary teachers of computing

For those who need to gain confidence to teach programming, those who are brushing up on skills and those looking to find out about recent developments in computer science education.

HANDS ON Workshops, ready to use resources.

  • Select 4 x hour long workshops from 7 workstreams of  more than 28 workshops.
  • Introductory and advanced programming on Scratch, Kodu, Python, Visual Basic, LMC, Java and more.
  • Pedagogy, assessment, exam boards,  magic to teach algorithms, computational thinking, unplugged sorting …
  • Introductory physical computing with BBC Micro:bit, Raspberry Pi and Engduino.
  • Cross curriclar Maths and Scratch, DT and Crumbles.
  • Workshops led by Paul Curzon, Phil Bagge, Mark Dorling, Sue Sentance, Michael Kölling, Rob Leeman (OCR), Matt Walker (AQA) and many other leading CPD providers.

Nominal charge to cover lunch and admin.

We are funded by the Department for Education to support teachers in London, hence the reduced fee for London educators.

Teachers from further afield are very welcome, as are educators working with CLCs, boroughs and Coding Clubs.

Trainee teachers and University/ITT representatives are most welcome and also invited to attend.

At lunch time there will be a market place where voluntary groups, industry and other suppliers will be on hand to share their resources and ideas on careers, coding clubs, ed tech products etc.

If you would like to showcase at the market place please contact jane.waite@computingatschool.org.uk

About CAS London
CAS London, the Computing At School regional centre for London, is run by King’s College London and Queen Mary University of London. It co-ordinates CAS activity in London, supporting teachers of Computing through CAS Master Teachers, Hubs and Lead Schools.

Find out more about CAS and CAS London.

 

miniCPD course / workshop on GUI Programming in Python

We have a new free workshop aimed at A-level Computing teachers in London. It is being run (twice) by William Marsh at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).

The first is running on Monday 29 June (5.30-7pm) and, due to popular demand, a second run of this event is happening on Monday 13 July (5.30-7pm). [Note that the two sessions are identical, please register for one OR the other].

Eventbrite - QMUL: GUI Programming in Python - FREE workshop from Teaching London Computing for a place on the Monday 29 June free workshop.

Eventbrite - QMUL: GUI Programming in Python (rpt) - FREE workshop from Teaching London Computing for a place on the Monday 13 July free workshop.

Course details
Python is a popular language for elementary programming but it not so easy to write programs with a graphical user interface (GUI). This workshop will introduce GUI programming in Python, covering:

  • the concepts common to all GUI frameworks: events, widgets and attributes
  • the role of object-oriented programming in GUIs
  • the choice of GUI frameworks (but looking mainly at tkinter, the default framework)

Time will be spent on practical work: computers are provided but bring your own laptop (with Python 3 installed) if you wish.

Eligibility
The workshop assumes knowledge of basic Python and is aimed at those with an interest in A level computing.
Because we are funded by the Mayor of London we prioritise London teachers on our events but all teachers are welcome.

Cost
FREE

Contact
Jo Brodie

Two free Computing workshops for London teachers on Tuesday 26 May @QMUL / @QMEECS

We have another two workshops happening next week, on the afternoon of Tuesday 26 May, at Queen Mary University of London. Both are free and you are welcome to attend either or both (but you will need to register for each separately) – there is a half hour break between the two workshops.

Thanks to funding from the Mayor of London we are able to offer these workshops at no charge but we do prioritise London Computing teachers though other Computing teachers are welcome too. The workshops are not suitable for school pupils however.

For more information please contact Jo Brodie (j.brodie@qmul.ac.uk)

The workshops below are named ‘2’ and ‘3’ as they are part of a series of three, however the first one “Explorers need maps: Abstraction, Representations and Graphs” (last Monday) has finished but the information and slides are available on the workshop website.


Workshop QMUL2: Tue 26 May 2015, 1.30 to 3pm

Primary Computing Unplugged

Overview

Computing doesn’t need to be taught at a computer and in fact to get across key concepts it is often better (and more fun) not to. This is especially true of the early stages of learning programming and computing more generally. A core idea behind the new computing syllabus is computational thinking. We will give you a deeper understanding of computational thinking and give practical ways to teach both it and other computing topics such as programming away from computers. Computational thinking is a fundamental skill set that students learn by studying computing. We will demonstrate a range of activities that show how core ideas and concepts can be introduced using fun unplugged activities and games. We will show that computing can be fun for everyone and that it doesn’t have to be taught at a computer.

Session material

This session presents a variety of activities from the other workshops. It will cover:

  • What is Computational Thinking?
  • Inspiring ways to teach Computational Thinking.
  • What is an algorithm
  • Writing your first program

Eventbrite - QMUL 02: Paul Curzon workshop - Primary Computing Unplugged for Workshop 2 – Primary computing unplugged
More information about this workshop on our page for Primary computing unplugged.

Workshop QMUL3: Tue 26 May 2015, 3.30 to 5pm

The Magic of Computer Science

Overview

When you learn to be a magician, it turns out you are learning the skills needed to be a great computer scientist too: computational thinking. Just like software, magic is a combination of algorithms and presentation. In this workshop we will demonstrate some simple to do but strong magic tricks. We teach the group how they are done so they can do the tricks themselves and then use the magic to illustrate the linked basics of computing. Overall we will show what computational thinking is all about and how both magicians and computer scientists rely on it.

Session material

This session will demonstrate a variety of activities from the other workshops. It will cover:

  • What is Computational Thinking?
  • Inspiring ways to teach Computational Thinking using easy to learn magic tricks.

Eventbrite - QMUL 03: Paul Curzon workshop - The Magic of Computing for Workshop 3 – The magic of computing
More information about this workshop on our page for The magic of computing.

*New course* A-level CPD Computing for London teachers, from @TeachingLDNComp

Our new A-level CPD course will run over Spring and Summer at King’s College London (Waterloo Campus). The course will run on Tuesday evenings from Tuesday 28 April and run for 10 weeks (with a break for half term) until 7 July 2015. William Marsh from QMUL will be the tutor and all materials will be made available to course delegates at the start of the course.

The course dates are below, full course content information is available from our A-level CPD Computing page and tickets are available from Eventbrite.

You might also be interested in the new free material we’ve added to our section on Interdisciplinary Computational Thinking – lots of classroom activity sheets to download and other free resources.


 

Next A-level CPD course(s): Our next 10 week A-level CPD course will begin on Tuesday 28 April 2015.
Eventbrite - KCL: Summer 2015 - A-level Computing CPD - from Teaching London Computing

Fees
Our courses are reduced by 50% to £150 for London teachers, thanks to our funding, the full price for non-London teachers is £300 – please see our Fees and Funding page for more information. London teachers have priority on our courses.

Eligibility requirements
This course is a follow-on from our GCSE Computing CPD courses. The course assumes that you will be familiar with programming in Python or a similar language.

More information?
Please contact Jo Brodie (j.brodie@qmul.ac.uk)

Course dates: all on Tuesdays

Week 1: 28 April 2015
Week 2: 5 May 2015
Week 3: 12 May 2015
Week 4: 19 May 2015
Half-term: 26 May 2015 (no class)
Week 5: 2 June 2015
Week 6: 9 June 2015
Week 7: 16 June 2015
Week 8: 23 June 2015
Week 9: 30 June 2015
Week 10: 7 July 2015

Please sign-up to be kept informed of future courses.

 

 

 

 

Computational creativity – free PDF magazine (issue 18) from @cs4fn

From our sister project cs4fn (Computer Science for Fun) here’s the latest issue (#18) of the magazine, which is all about Computational Creativity. Download your free PDF copy or read some of the example articles at the magazine’s microsite for issue 18.

cs4fn magazine is published by Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) and is aimed at school pupils. QMUL has partnered with King’s College London to provide CPD courses for teachers who are teaching the new Computing curricula at GCSE and A-level. Thanks to funding from the Mayor of London we’re able to offer a 50% discount (£150) on our courses for teachers in London. More about our funding here.

Our next two courses for Computing teachers are happening over Easter – one is a one-week intensive and the other is the same length but spread over a few days.

GCSE Easter

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

Friday 20 February 2015 @QMUL – two free workshops for computing teachers, with Paul Curzon

On Friday 20 February we have a double workshop session for computing teachers in London*. These demonstrate ways of introducing programming and computational thinking topics to the classroom in a fun way, without the need to use computers. You are welcome to attend either or both sessions, which are FREE. These will be held at Queen Mary University of London (Mile End Campus).

Next workshops
• Friday 20 February 2015, 2.00-3.30pm – Programming unplugged: learning programming without computers (click to see more information)
Eventbrite - Paul Curzon's free workshop for computing teachers (A): Programming unplugged: learning programming without computers for the first workshop ‘Programming unplugged: learning programming with computers’ at 2pm on 20 February.

• Friday 20 February 2015, 4.00-5.30pm – Computational thinking: it’s about people too (click to see more information)
Eventbrite - Paul Curzon's free workshop for computing teachers (B): Computational Thinking: it’s about people too for the second workshop ‘Computational thinking: it’s about people too’ at 4pm on 20 February.

Sign-up to hear about our workshops as they are advertised.

 

*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.

 

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