TLC Newsletter – Nov / Dec 2018

An early merry Christmas from Teaching London Computing (TLC) with our second newsletter (previous newsletters can be found here). There are more details of the free Christmas talk taking place on Wednesday 5 December 2018 and plenty of festive resources for your classroom.

Table of Contents

  1. Free Christmas evening lecture on Game AI for schools and families
  2. New issue of CS4FN – out now!
  3. Christmas classroom resources
  4. E4L2C – Exercises for Learning to Code, new from TLC / CAS London Master Teachers – an online course
  5. NCCE – National Centre for Computing Education
  6. Free course from CAS and Microsoft on Creative Computing
  7. iDEA – the Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award – online learning supported by the Duke of York
  8. Rocket Fund – £5,000 match funding available for projects starting after 2 Dec 2018

1. FREE schools talk – Game AI Unleashed! IET / QMUL Christmas talk – 5 Dec


Next Wednesday (5 December 2018) we have a free family-friendly twilight talk on Game AI, aimed at secondary-aged kids but all welcome. There will be free mince pies afterwards too. The talk will be held at QMUL in the People’s Palace’s Great Hall (this building is next to the main Queen’s Building, on Mile End Road). Nearest tube station is Stepney Green (buses 25/205), talk starts at 5.30pm. Bring your class!
[Register for free tickets][Full details][Flyer]

2. CS4FN issue 25 on wearable computing is here


The magazines have been printed and subscribers should be receiving copies this week so keep an eye out for them. You can also download free PDF copies (and sign up to be on the mailing list) here. We are grateful to the Institute of Coding and to King’s College London for their support for this issue. Let us know the articles you like most and share some pics with us on Twitter @cs4fn / #cs4fn

3. TLC Christmas classroom resources – download and print, and adapt for your classroom

We have Christmas pixel puzzles, Doodle art algorithms to draw a Christmas tree, or get your class to edit a Christmas greeting program in Python. We also have some computing-themed cracker mottos and are always on the lookout for more… have a look at our ‘at a glance’ Christmas computing for more.

4. E4L2C – Exercises for Learning to Code – free on Teaching London Computing

CAS London Master Teachers have created E4L2C (Exercises for Learning to Code) a range of free exercises to help people gain skills and confidence in using Python. There are beginners, intermediate and advanced exercises – Beginner exercises (Sequence, Selection, Iteration), Intermediate exercises (Arrays, Functions, File Handling), Advanced exercises (Databases). All are free to access but in order to get feedback and find out how people are using them we are asking people to contact Trevor Bragg for a password.

5. New NCCE website – National Centre for Computing Education

https://teachcomputing.org/ – scroll down the page to find out how you can sign up to hear more and get involved.

“The Centre will start working with schools across England later this year, improving teaching and driving up participation in computer science at GCSE and A-Level.

The Centre will operate virtually through a national network of up to 40 school-led computing hubs to provide training and resources to primary and secondary schools, and an intensive training programme for secondary teachers without a post A-Level qualification in computer science.” [Press release]

6. Creative Computing for KS3 – courses in London and elsewhere

Computing At School, in association with Microsoft UK, is delighted to announce a two-day funded* course which will enable new and aspiring Heads of Computing in secondary schools to develop the skills and techniques to build a creative and innovative curriculum accessible for all and to lead a thriving subject in their school.

*Teachers in Category 5 and Category 6 opportunity areas qualify for FREE places, including cover.  To apply for one of these places please use the registration form here. Funding is only available for state-funded schools. For teachers applying from outside these areas the cost will be £200 (plus booking fee) for both days of the course.

The London course starts on Friday 11 January 2019 and takes place at BCS offices in Southampton Street.

A little more detail is at the end of this email [full details on CAS website]

7. iDEA – Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award

https://idea.org.uk/  – the free scheme, supported by the Duke of York, helps people enhance their chances in the job market with digital and enterprise skills. Online challenges are split into four main categories, each with its own series of badges to be won – citizen, worker, maker, entrepreneur and gamer.

8. Rocket Fund – £5,000 available for IT projects launched this half-term

A match funding pot is available from Rocket Fund for ICT related projects this term – with 20x £250 boost available.

Rocket Fund is a free fundraising platform for schools. So far they have helped 250 schools raise over £200,000. They have just launched a new campaign with 20x £250 boosts available for tech projects launched after 3rd December. Is there any tech you’d like to buy? See Rocket Fund’s website for more details.

More detail on the Creative Computing courses

“We all want our pupils to experience an aspirational curriculum for computing that develops their knowledge, their skills and above all their interest in the subject but this can be hard when we’re struggling to keep abreast of the subject ourselves! This two-day course will help to plug some of those gaps and will help teachers who are in the early days of establishing the subject in their school to encounter engaging lessons and how they can be integrated into an inspirational scheme of work.

The course will be delivered across two days (the first in the early Spring term; the second in the Summer term) in a number of locations in England.”

If you’d like to receive a copy of the newsletter in future please use the orange form on this page.

 

 

TLC newsletter – October 2018

We’re trialling a newsletter for those who’ve signed up to be kept informed of Teaching London Computing’s activities and resources. This is sent to our subscribers* and added to the website for everyone.

*To subscribe, use the orange form here.

1. Black History Month

Screenshot 2018-10-29 09.20.11

Our current resource celebrates Black History Month with information about several black computer scientists. You might also like this infographic – 7 Black Pioneers in Computer Science, by Jordan Streeter. Find out more about diversity in computing.

2a. Hallowe’en fun
There are lots of free activities to download on our site with new ones being added every month as time permits. From the Hallowe’en vaults we have some slightly spooky puzzles for younger children including a colour-in pumpkin (a Pixel Puzzle) and a word puzzle (Kriss-Kross).

Screenshot 2018-10-29 09.22.06

2b. Other resources

Maths Kriss-Kross puzzles involve multiplication to get the answer – “Solve these maths puzzles as a way to develop logical thinking and pattern matching skills needed to enjoy both computing and maths, while practising maths too.

3. New issue of CS4FN – out soon
The latest issue of CS4FN magazine (issue 25) will be on Wearable Computing and should be out next month. PDF copies of the magazine will be posted online soon.

Currently you can catch up with issue 24 (and all our back issues) here.

If you’re not already receiving FREE copies of CS4FN at your school please sign up here (UK schools only), and pass on the info to a colleague. We have a few back issues too (you can use the same page to request them) and we’re happy to send some out while stocks last.

For primary-aged pupils (~9-12) we also have copies to give away to UK schools of issues 1, 2 and 3 of A Bit of CS4FN.

4. New computing courses from King’s College London
The BlueJ outreach team based at Kings College, London (run by Michael Kolling and Neil Brown) is offering FREE CPD workshops to teachers of KS3 and KS4 and KS5 pupils. These need a minimum of six teachers to run and require a venue with computers / laptops, internet connection and a projector / screen.

Summary
There are 3 Workshops available and they require a minimum of 6 attendees:
• Teaching Greenfoot with Stride – Programming after Blocks (KS3)
• Teaching Java with Greenfoot (KS4)
• Teaching Java with BlueJ (KS4/5)

More details about each workshop and what Greenfoot, Stride and BlueJ are available here. To book a workshop please email team@bluej.org with three dates/times.

5. Christmas Lecture – save the date: 5 December 2018
Each year the Computer Science department at Queen Mary University of London has a celebratory free (Eventbrite ticketed for catering purposes) Christmas Lecture for schools and families, with mince pies. This year the topic will be Game AI – we’ll add a link to this page when the tickets go live and there’s more information.

Game AI Unleashed!
Wed 5 Dec 2018
FREE (attendance is free but please register in advance)
Doors: 5pm, lecture 5:30-6:30pm, drinks and mince pies afterwards
More info and tickets: http://www.eecs.qmul.ac.uk/news-and-events/events/items/game-ai-unleashed.html

Flyer (PDF): IET-QMUL Christmas Lecture 2018

Information about our previous Christmas lectures: 2017, 2015

[London] Primary computing CPD events coming up this Spring

Obviously there’s our CAS London Conference on 24 February 2018 (for both primary and secondary teachers) but the following may interest too.

1 Feb 2018: How to use Scratch at KS2 with Nic Hughes – two afternoon sessions, one from 1.30-3.30pm and one from 4-6pm, both £40.

7 Feb 2018: BBC micro:bit in computing, 1 day – ENTHUSE funding available to make this a FREE course.

10 Feb 2018: Makey Makey – 1 day course –  only £15 with Tom Heck from the US Makey team, includes a free Makey Makey

28 February 2018: Teach Algorithms and Data Structures to A-Level using Python 2018 – 5 week twilight course for teachers of A level computer science.
Course now FULLY BOOKED. Contact Jo for a place on the waiting list.

from 5 March 2018: Diving deep for Primary Programming with Jane Waite – only £100 and FREE for Master Teachers, CAS Hub leader and NoE University Contacts. Three day course over two months. [5 March, 19 March and 16 April]

15-16 March: Assessment and progression in primary computing with Phil Bagge – 2 day course – ENTHUSE funding available to make this a FREE course.

Surveying computing teachers – primary programming and micro:bit use in secondary classes

If you’re a Computer Science or Computing teacher at secondary or primary level we’d be very grateful for your input in any of the surveys below please 🙂

PRIMARY TEACHERS

1. Using Design in Primary Programming – Research Project
This survey is run by Jane Waite as part of her research at Queen Mary University of London (one of the two universities which forms the CAS London Regional Centre).

Jane says…

Last year, I started research looking for a magic bullet for teaching abstraction in primary schools. However, I discovered that research requires you to look at one tiny aspect of a big subject in order to gradually build a solid body of evidence. So now I am focusing on one aspect of abstraction, how we use design when teaching programming, and how we might reuse our expertise in teaching writing when we teach programming.

My work builds on research from across the world, but all of it with older pupils. From Israel to the US via Scotland, Netherlands and Germany I am knitting threads of theory and practise together but for teaching younger learners.

If you teach programming to primary children, in school, out of school, formally or informally and have 15 minutes to spare, I would be indebted if you could complete our survey, the link is https://goo.gl/forms/EQFaZvBBPjOeZNin2 or https://tinyurl.com/design-JW

2. Please tell us what you thought of A Bit of CS4FN
abitofcs4fn front cover screenshotSome of you will have subscribed to receive printed copies of our newest version of CS4FN magazine – the mini ‘A bit of CS4FN’ edition for primary schools. We’ve posted them out and would love to know what you think of them. This survey is also from Queen Mary University of London.
Please tell us how you found the magazine and website:
https://bit.ly/abitofcs4fnsurvey

SECONDARY TEACHERS

BBC_MicrobitThe research survey below is from the CAS London team at King’s College London, looking at how teachers are using the BBC micro:bit in their classroom.

TEACHING WITH THE BBC MICRO:BIT
You are invited to participate in a web-based online survey on using the BBC micro:bit in your programming classes. This is a research project being conducted by Filiz Kalelioğlu and Sue Sentance at King’s College London. It should take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete.