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

List of sessions at the CAS London Conference 2018 – Sat 24th Feb

Updated 6 Feb 2018, v6

The CAS London Conference 2018 will be held on Saturday 24th February at Gladesmore Community College in North London (South Tottenham, N15 6BF). It’s an all day event with an opening keynote from Jon Nixon from Ofsted, and talks, workshops and demos exploring different aspects of Primary and Secondary Computer Science. Download a flyer.

There are four session blocks (2 in the morning, 2 in the aternoon) and you can pick one from each. The full list of workshop and talks is below the ‘plan for the day’.

Doors at 9.10am, opening keynote is at 9.40am, first morning session at 10.20am. There will be other activities and networking opportunities at lunch.

Eventbrite - CAS London Conference

CAS London Conference – plan for the day

Start End Session
09:10 09:35 Delegate registration and morning refreshments
09:40 10:15 Opening keynote John Nixon, Ofsted National Lead for Computing
10:20 11:20 Session 1
11:25 12:25 Session 2
12:30 13:30 Lunch & Drone Demonstration (Staggered lunch start 12:30 and 12:45)
13:35 14:35 Session 3
14:40 15:40 Session 4
15:45 16:15 Plenary: Cyber Schools Programme – Michael Heering (TBC) & Fireflies!

Session 1

  • Primary – Smelly code and primary programming pedagogy with Jane Waite
    In this hands of session, you will mark code and create a practical student checklist of what makes sweet code! Bring along code for marking! We will also look at two very practical methods to review your planning to reveal what pedagogy you already use. We will look at instructional approaches to scaffold learning as well as ideas for encouraging independence and mastery.
  • Primary – iPads Tried and test apps for classroom impact with Gillian Arnold
  • Secondary – pedagogy with William Lau
  • Secondary – AQA exam board session with  Chris Swan
  • Primary –  Using tangible programming to support SEN children with the computing curriculum with Jody Carter
  • Primary/Secondary – Minecraft (using virtual worlds and programming) with Simon Johnson (CLC Cimon)
  • Secondary – Python Introduction with Jon Feleppa
  • Creative projects with the micro:bit (python focus)
  • A level – Databases in Python with Hardip Mothada
  • A level – OOP with William Marsh

Session 2

  • KS2/3 – FastForward. Machine Learning & Big Data including digital identity With Paul Curzon and Jane Waite
    Are driverless cars fact or fiction? Can machines make better AI than humans can? How is our data used? Can we support our young people to understand their online (and real life) persona? Practical ideas for starters, plenaries and projects. 
  • Secondary – Algorithm writing with pseudo code and flow charts with Trevor Bragg
  • Secondary – Edexcel exam board with Atif Khan
  • Primary – Physical computing pedagogy session – not what to teach but how to teach physical – including use of spheros, microbits, bluebots, drones with Nic Hughes
  • Primary – Google classrooms/G Suite – Darren Murphey & Wendy McLeod
  • Secondary – Creating websites with HTML
  • Secondary – Stride (a framebased editor to transition from blocks to text) with Michael Koelling
  • A level – Teaching embedded systems with Arduino and Linker with Michael Jones
  • A level – Teaching Boolean Algebra & Karnaugh Maps with Eliot Williams

Session 3

  • Early Years and KS1 – Cubetto and Early Years with Helen Cheung & Eleni Vasileiadou
  • Drones with the Royal Academy of Engineering (KS3 focus but may be of interest to KS2) with Scott Atkinson & Ivan Gutowski-Smith
    This session will explore how drones work and how they can be used for civilian, humanitarian and commercial purposes. This resource is designed as an introduction to the uses of drones, aimed at dispelling the myth that they are just weapons or toys. In fact they have wider ranging practical civil, humanitarian and commercial applications. We will also explore how drones can be reverse engineered, exploring ways in which enquiring minds can build their own functioning quadcopter. All the resources are also available on our website at: https://www.raeng.org.uk/education/schools/teaching-and-learning-resources/curriculum-resources including Engineering in the Movies and RAF100 ‘Aiming for Awesome’ which will be demonstrated during this session.
  • A level – NEA project assessing/ standardisation with Garfield Godon
  • Secondary – OCR exam board with Vinay Thawait
  • Primary – Scratch Maths (Year 6 resources) with Pier Saunders (UCL)
  • KS1 to KS4 – Networks with Duncan Maidens (back by popular demand)
  • KS4 – Teaching data representation (with practical activities that involve manipulating images and sound in Python) with Alex Hawden-Bennet
  • KS3/4 – Pedagogy for programming – PRIMM with Sue Sentence
  • A level – C# with Martin Richards
  • KS4/5 Data Analysis with Jupyter Notebooks –Michel Wermelinger and Clifford French
    Michel Wermelinger will demonstrate how to use Python in Jupyter Notebooks, running in a browser, to analyse data on world diseases. Jupyter notebooks provide an intuitive, easy to use environment that integrates explanations, exercises and the output of the code so that students program incrementally and get immediate feedback. Teachers will be able to use what they learn both in computer science lessons and in Science or Geography at KS4 (or higher) with no need to install software.

Session 4

  • Primary – Assessment with Phil Bagge
  • KS3/4 – Embedding Computational Thinking with Rob Heathcote (PG Online)
  • Primary – Unplugged programming and programming with Scratch
  • Primary – LGFL cross curricula with VR with Bradely Dardis
  • KS2/3/4 – Cybersecurity with Duncan Maidens
  • KS4 – CraignDave – Challenges of teaching GCSE and flipped classroom solutions.
  • KS4/5 – Sorting and Searching Algorithms in Python with Demetrios Skamiotis
  • A level – Advanced Python e.g. Web Development Frameworks and Python with Sue Sentance
  • A level – Big O notation with Python with Ramzi Ramzi
    This session will cover what Big O is, explaining O(1), O(N), O(N^2), and O(log N). Practical online activities will get you  coding each example in Python using variously sized datasets (whilst hopefully not crashing all of computers!) By the end of the session, you will feel more confident explaining and showing students, what Big O is using Python.

Eventbrite - CAS London Conference

Two CAS London Teach A-Level Computer Science courses in Autumn 2017

Update 18 September 2017: The A2 Projects with Databases & Python course (pink in the diary image below) is now full but we have spaces on the Object Oriented Programming course at QMUL (blue in the image below). If you’re attending the A2DB course you’ll be able to attend the OOP one as well.

Screenshot 2017-10-13 10.57.40


We have two ‘Teach A Level Computer Science’ courses coming up later this year. Please bookmark this page as it will shortly be updated with details of the earlier course (to be held at Queen Mary University of London in October / Nov). The details of the later course (to be held at King’s College London Waterloo in Nov / Dec) are below. Both cost £100 and free places are available for CAS Master Teachers.

  1. Teach A-Level Computer Science: Object Oriented Programming
  2. Teach A-Level Computer Science: A2 Projects with Databases and Python

Please note that these courses are for in-service teachers who are already confident in teaching computing at GCSE level, Python will be the programming language used.

The course dates are arranged so that it will be possible for teachers to attend both courses.

 

1. Teach A-Level Computer Science: Object Oriented Programming

Find out more and book a place

Course dates

  • Wed 4 October
  • Wed 11 October
    [Break – Wed 18 Oct]
  • Wed 25 October
    [Break – 1 Nov]
  • Wed 8 Nov
  • Wed 15 Nov

Location: Queen Mary University of London
Tutor: Dr William Marsh, CAS London

2. Teach A-Level Computer Science: A2 Projects with Databases and Python

Find out more | Apply for a place

Course dates

  • Week 1 (1 Nov 2017) – Single table databases and sqlite3
    [Break – 8 Nov]
    [Break – 15 Nov]
  • Week 2 (22 Nov 2017) – Foreign keys and relationships
  • Week 3 (29 Nov 2017) – Many-many relationships
  • Week 4 (6 Dec 2017) – Developing a project for A-Level Part 1
  • Week 5 (13 Dec 2017) – Developing a project for A-Level Part 2

Location: King’s College London, Waterloo
Tutor: Dr Sue Sentance, CAS London

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

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.

Short courses at a glance

Short courses from CAS London
2017 course dates and prices are in brackets, similar prices and dates are envisaged for 2018.

  • KS3 Teach KS3 Computing – January to March
    (8 sessions, £160, 23 Jan to 20 Mar)
  • MA module in Computing Education – January to March
    (10 sessions, £1,150, 17 Jan to 28 Mar)
  • KS4 Teach GCSE Computer Science – April to July
    (10 sessions, £200, 24 Apr to 3 Jul)
  • KS5 Teach A level Computer Science: Algorithms and Data Structures – March
    (5 sessions, £100, 1 Mar to 29 Mar)
  • KS5 Teach A level Computer Science: Object Oriented Programming in Python – June to July
    (5 sessions, £100, 7 Jun to 5 Jul)
  • Diving Deep into Primary Programming – Summer / Winter
    (All-day session, £60, 9 Jun)
  • KS5 Teach A level Computer Science: A2 Projects with Databases and Python – September to November
    (5 sessions, £100, 1 Nov to 29 Nov – register of interest full, please contact Jo Brodie (j.brodie@qmul.ac.uk) for waiting list information)
  • Diving Deep into Primary Programming – Winter / Spring
    (All-day session, £60, tbc)