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.

Teaching London Computing / CS4FN subscribers’ bulletin – November 2016

We have a number of mailing lists. One is for teachers anywhere in the UK who have signed up to receive copies of CS4FN magazines for their school, another is for teachers in London who have signed up to hear information about new courses and resources from Teaching London Computing. Some things are relevant only to London-based folk and some for anyone in the UK – the text below is the ‘full’ list which I sent out by email in November. To avoid annoying all our lovely teacher colleagues I made the email fairly basic plain text but with no restrictions on our website there are pictures, in living colour :-)

Jo Brodie, CAS London administrator

royalsoc
Royal Society’s Computing Education survey

The Royal Society has launched a ‘major survey of computing education in schools’ which offers teachers an opportunity to share how computing is taught and resourced in their schools. Please take the opportunity to contribute. The survey is part of the Royal Society’s Computing Education project and remains open until Friday 23rd December 2016.
[link with survey information] [link for Royal Society’s news release about the survey]

New CS4FN magazine
cs4fn22Currently at the printers is the latest CS4FN magazine, issue 22 on Creative Computing, copies of which will be sent to subscribing schools. You can download a free copy of the PDF of the magazine now though.
[link to PDF]
[link for UK schools who are not yet subscribed to CS4FN]

 

New videos on Teaching London Computing‘s YouTube channel

Prof Paul Curzon has run a number of free workshops for teachers about how to use unplugged techniques to bring computational thinking to the classroom and people have often asked us if we could record these and then share videos and clips. Yes we can! We’re adding these to our YouTube channel and also subtitling them as we go – we’re also linking back to information on our website where you can download the relevant classroom activity and other materials. Please take a look and share these with colleagues.
[link to our YouTube channel]

The more London-centric bits are below

swiftplayground
Swift playgrounds coding session

Apple are offering a morning (9-12pm) or afternoon (1-4pm) session to “Explore how the Swift Playgrounds app for iPad can make learning to code fun and interactive for your students” in London on Friday 13 January 2017.
[download the invitation, which includes a registration link]


CAS London Conference 2017 – SAVE THE DATE: Sat 25 Feb 2017

casconf2017
Following our successful conference earlier this year we’re delighted that Gladesmore Community College (South Tottenham, N15 6EB) will once again host the CAS London Conference on Saturday 25th February next year. This is for anyone who teachers computing from primary to secondary (including A level) and costs £25 for a whole-day event with plenaries and workshops. Tickets aren’t available yet but please put the date in your diary, bookmark this page (and download a flyer for your classroom – free registration required).
[link for more information, and a flyer][link for tickets]

soundofmusiccomputing
Free schools event – The Sound of {Music} Computing

Dr Andrew McPherson from the Centre for Digital Music at Queen Mary University of London will be giving a free twilight talk for schools at the People’s Palace at QMUL. The one hour talk is from 5.30 to 6.30pm with post-talk mince pies and takes place on Wednesday 14 December 2016. It’s aimed at secondary schools but is family-friendly and all are welcome. Andrew will be talking about how computers help us make music, and demonstrating his Magnetic Resonator Piano.
[link for free Eventbrite tickets] [event flyer] [link for more information]

Short courses for KS3, GCSE and A level Computing
We have a number of short courses taking place at King’s College London for teachers starting in 2017. Our KS3 course runs from January to March over 8 sessions, we have a 10-week Teach GCSE Computer Science course from April to July and three 5-week courses for those teaching A level computing, including modules on algorithms and data structures, object oriented programming in Python and projects with databases and Python. Full details including costs and links to Eventbrite tickets for each course below.
[link to more information about CAS London short courses]

[FREE] BBC micro:bit training for teachers at CAS East London Hub meeting

CAS East London Hub Meeting: BBC micro:bit training [tickets]

Thursday 19 November 2015 from 4:45- 6:15pm, Free.
East London Hub
City & Islington Sixth Form College

BBC micro:bit Training. Hands-on session teachers of year 7’s to find out about using the micro:bit. For further information: Ceinwen Hilton (ceinwen.hilton@candi.ac.uk)

PROGRAMME

Time Topic
16:45 Registration and Refreshments
17:00 Introduction
17:15 Practical
18:00 Feedback

Tickets for this event (free)

Our next events: [teachers] free workshop, not-free ‘Intro to Arduino’ miniCPD, [kids] free magic show

Our diary of events is as follows, everything is taking place at QMUL (Mile End Campus). Details and tickets below.

  • Saturday 21 November (1-5pm) £30/60
    Introduction to Arduino, with Nicola Plant – a ‘miniCPD’ session on programming using an Arduino with simple electronics
  • Wednesday 25 November (5-6.30pm) FREE
    Sorting Unplugged, a free workshop with Paul Curzon
  • Saturday 28 November (1-5pm) £30/60
    Introduction to Arduino, with Nicola Plant – a ‘miniCPD’ session on programming using an Arduino with simple electronics – note that this session is identical to the one on the 21st, we’re running it twice
  • Wednesday 2 December (5-7pm) FREE
    The IET Christmas Children’s Lecture on ‘The Magic of Christmas Computer Science‘ with Paul Curzon and Peter McOwan

More details and tickets
Events for Computing teachers in London

Introduction to Arduino – Aimed at teachers of pupils at KS3 and above our miniCPD session will introduce you to programming using an Arduino with simple electronics. There are two identical sessions on Saturday 21 and Saturday 28 November, from 1-5pm, both capped at 15 guests.
[Tickets for 21 Nov session] [Tickets for 28 Nov session] £30 (London teachers) / £60 for teachers outside London

Sorting Unplugged‘ – demonstrating some practical and powerful ways to teach basic sort algorithms using unplugged methods, Wednesday 25 November 2015, from 5pm.
[Get a free ticket for this workshop]

Aimed at secondary school children and young people

The Magic of Christmas Computer Science‘ – a magic show powered by hidden computer science. Profs Paul Curzon and Peter McOwan present the IET’s Christmas children’s lecture
[Get a free ticket for this magic show]

Launch event for the new CAS London Regional Centre (Computing At School) – Fri 10th July

Queen Mary University of London and King’s College London will be involved in running the new CAS London Regional Centre (this is separate from Teaching London Computing project but many of the same people are involved). There will be a launch event [free] from 4.30pm on Friday 10 July and the invitation and details are below. [Eventbrite link for the meeting]

Find out more about CAS London @cas_london_crc.

Here is a map of the CAS regional hubs and Computing at School‘s website, and they’re @CompAtSch on Twitter.


We would like to invite you to the first CAS London Meeting. This is a regional collaboration bringing together primary and secondary teachers, Computing At School master teachers, hub leaders, lead schools, universities, boroughs and other training groups and interested parties to promote and support computing education in London. The meeting aims to start a discussion of how we can best mutually support each other, further developing our London education computing community.

The twilight event is on Friday 10th July 2015, at King’s College London.

Here is the link to eventbrite invitation.

Outline:

  • 4:30 Networking tasks & refreshments
  • 5:30 Keynote speaker Simon Humphreys
  • 5:45 Contributed presentations: What’s happening in London?
  • 6:30 Working together: Tasks
  • 7:00 Finish – more refreshments and networking

We aim to explore three questions about computing CPD and teaching computing in London schools: What is working well? What help do you need? What can you offer others?

If possible, can you create 1 or 2 slides with your answers to the above questions and send them to us. We will share your slides on a rolling display during the networking sessions and ask a number of contributors to talk through their slides in the contributed presentations session (maximum of 4 minutes per presentation).

Join us to celebrate the work done by our fantastic community of computing educators (that’s you) and to find out how we can further grow and develop the network of support and computing CPD provision across London.

For more information and to share your slides please contact Jane (jane.waite@computingatschool.org.uk) or Trevor (trevor.bragg@computingatschool.org.uk)

Many thanks
Paul Curzon, William Marsh, Jane Waite, Trevor Bragg, Sue Sentance

The CAS London meeting is supported by ‘Computing at School’ and ‘Teaching London Computing’, which is funded by the Mayor of London and Department for Education. The meeting is being organised by London’s CAS Regional Centre (CRC) a collaboration between Queen Mary University of London and King’s College London.’

miniCPD – one day Controlled Assessment and Programming skills (Sat 2 May)

One of the things we try and do is vary the format of our courses so that we can offer something to suit as many teachers as possible. Some prefer weekly classes, others prefer intensive week-long, some are able to take a day from work for study, others aren’t. One thing teachers have asked us for is help with controlled assessments and so we’re trying out new ‘miniCPD’ one-day sessions.

The first will be on Saturday 2 May and will be held at King’s College London (Waterloo Campus). The cost for the day will be £30 for London teachers thanks to funding from the Mayor of London (£60 for non-London teachers). The miniCPD course will run from 10-4pm.

The new one day course ‘Preparing Pupils for Controlled Assessment‘ uses Python to program solutions to problems of a similar type to those set in GCSE Controlled Assessments. The aim is to make teachers feel confident about tackling these problems and programming solutions themselves, so that they can pass their knowledge, experience and confidence on to their pupils. Teachers should already have some knowledge of the basics of Python; strings, arithmetic, ‘if statements’ and loops. This is not a course for complete beginners.

Eventbrite - KCL: miniCPD - Preparing Pupils for Controlled Assessment (Python) - Saturday short course at King's

About us

Teaching London Computing, is a successful partnership between Queen Mary University of London’s Computer Science Department and King’s College London’s Computing Education team which has been running courses and workshops for the past two years helping Computing and ICT teachers to deliver the new Computing Curricula at GCSE and A-level.

Introducing: free booklet “The magic of computer science: magic meets mistakes, machines and medicine”

Blogpost crossposted on both CHI+MED and Teaching London Computing sites.

We have a new booklet out which you can download as a PDF (click on the picture below to visit the book’s microsite) and find out more about where “magic meets mistakes, machines and medicine”.

The Magic of Computer Science 3: magic meets mistakes, machines and medicine
magicbookcover3cs4fn (Computer Science for Fun) is an outreach project from Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) which aims to enthuse school-aged children about computer science. There’s a website and a magazine (usually two issues a year) with special issues and booklets – this is the latest magic booklet.

Paul Curzon and Peter McOwan who set up cs4fn at QMUL are both magicians and also both work on the CHI+MED project and Teaching London Computing. Previous blog posts have referred to to CHI+MED’s use of magic in our public engagement work.

“The cs4fn magic books are collections of easy to do magic tricks (mainly simple card tricks). The twist is that every trick comes with a link to some computer science too. That means that as you learn the tricks, you will learn something about what computer scientists get up to too.

Magic is a combination of a secret method and a presentation. A computer scientist would call the method an algorithm, and that is all a computer program is too. The presentation corresponds to the interaction design of a program. For a magic trick to delight, you must get both the algorithm and presentation right. The same is true for programs.”

Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 17.22.36

This comes from page 9 of the booklet.

This booklet is published by cs4fn (Computer Science for Fun) in partnership with Teaching London Computing (TLC) and CHI+MED. CHI+MED is funded by the EPSRC and Teaching London Computing by the Mayor of London and the Department for Education.

Download the Magic books

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