A new set of free workshops and resources to support those who teach computing in London will be debuted at Queen Mary University of London on Monday 3 February.
Teaching London Computing is based on Computer Science for Fun (cs4fn), a global campaign pioneered at Queen Mary and supported by EPSRC, Google and others to excite students, teachers and parents about computer science research.
The first ‘unplugged’ workshop – on computing activities away from the computer – will use magic tricks and the problem of helping people with a medical condition, to teach computing concepts. It will equip teachers to teach ‘computational thinking’, which are problem-solving skills and techniques used by engineers to write computer programs.
Professor Paul Curzon, co-creator of the cs4fn project who will lead the session on Monday, says:
“Computer science can help with a myriad of problems. One of the worst medical conditions I can imagine is locked-in syndrome. It leaves you totally paralysed except perhaps for the blink of an eye. Your intelligent mind is locked inside a useless body, able to sense everything but unable to communicate.
“But how could a computer scientist help? We will use this condition to illustrate a way to introduce computational thinking skills, as well as core computing topics such as search algorithms and how to compare them.”
As well as the free workshops, Teaching London Computing runs a series of discounted continuing professional development (CPD) courses for London-based teachers of ICT and computing. The CPD courses focus on basic computer science principles, an introduction to programming in Python, and special issues in teaching computing at Key Stage 4.
The new initiative is a partnership between Queen Mary University of London and King’s College London, and is funded by the Mayor of London and the Department for Education.
A series of four free workshops, each with linked resources for teachers, are currently planned. The first takes place at Mile End campus, Queen Mary University of London, at 17:00-19:00 on Monday 3 February 2014. Register for a free place here:http://teachinglondoncomputing.org/free-workshops/
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