Support for remote teaching of computing
18 November 2020
These are challenging times for teachers of all subjects and phases of education. Disruption has become the norm, with learners sometimes unable to attend school in-person and schools now having a legal obligation to provide remote education. Teachers have worked hard to adjust to new realities, and schools have performed minor miracles to keep children learning. As things stand, the return to normal operations remains a distant goal.
Schools are now past the ‘emergency response’ phase of remote teaching and into more regular patterns of provision. How, then, can teachers of computing achieve the best possible teaching and learning outcomes for students through online lessons, and maintain the recent progress made in this important subject?
There is a wealth of generic advice and guidance for teachers, supporting teachers of any subject to optimise remote learning:
- The EdTech Demonstrator Programme offers a wealth of advice, for school policy and practice. Several digital platforms are supported, including widely-used Google and Microsoft packages. You’ll find guidance to keep students safe; how to improve accessibility and support students with SEND; and learn about successful approaches from other schools.
- United Learning Trust share the story of their adoption of remote learning practices through YouTube, accessible through this DfE post.
- The Department for Education regularly updates its guidance on safeguarding issues relating to remote education during the pandemic, as well as the expectations for schools in providing education to students at home. The Department has also published some example remote lessons – while computing isn’t explicitly covered, many of the approaches to use of learning technologies are relevant.
There’s lots of subject-specific advice and resources for remote teaching of computing, too through the National Centre for Computing Education (NCCE):
- We've been busy adapting our teach computing curriculum to Oak National Academy. The lessons are video-rich; are freely-available; and require no registration. The teacher hub for computing, with suggested units, can be accessed here and contains lessons for KS2, KS3 and KS4.
- For A-level Computer Science teachers the Isaac Computer Science platform provides learning materials and videos, as well as self-assessments and online student master classes, to support the full curriculum.
- Our Home Teaching support is live, once more, on the Teach Computing website including resources and lesson plans covering key stages 1-5.
- CAS Support for home teaching is part of the CAS Inspire programme and includes live webinars, videos and useful resources, as well as support from a network of computing teachers via Community of Practice meetings and across social media, including weekly #CASChat sessions.
There’s plenty to read and hear on the subject of remote teaching of computing, such as
- This blog and pedagogy quick-read on ‘Planning and reflecting on remote learning’
- A special episode of the Teach Computing Podcast entitled ‘Moving Teaching Online: challenges and opportunities
- The Hello World issue ‘Learning under lockdown’ on remote learning includes this article signposting free resources linked to the computing curriculum.
To help schools develop a curriculum implementation plan, which may include remote teaching, our team of subject matter experts is ready and willing to work with schools upon request.
We’d love to hear about what works best for you, so please join the weekly #CASchat, find us on Facebook or get in touch directly. And keep doing what you’re doing, as we’re extremely grateful.
Senior Computing & Technology Specialist, STEM Learning