Taking the next step with Teach Computing
13 May 2021
Rob Wilks, a specialist Computing teacher from Leeds, explains his motivation for engaging in the Teach secondary computing certificate and the benefits for others.
As a teacher of computing and IT for many years, originally from a ‘non-specialist’ background, I have always taken the opportunity to look into expanding my computing knowledge and pedagogical approaches to the subject.
A follow up to the Computer Science Accelerator, the Teach secondary computing certificate not only gets you to reflect on your current practices but also think about how to enhance the appeal of computing to different groups. Even for the most experienced of teachers, it is interesting to find the academic labels that have been given to your classroom practices and analyse why and how you can approach teaching in the classroom.
As with other NCCE certificates, there is flexibility in how to fulfil the criteria making sure it is tailored to your needs. The FutureLearn online courses are well resourced and provide practical examples which can be used in the classroom.
I chose the Programming pedagogy in secondary schools: inspiring computing teaching course which I would recommend to everyone, but there are a wide range of other subject areas including specific Python modules (I’ve taken the opportunity to do several of these – all good). Whilst you can do these courses independently, registering via the NCCE website allows you to gain the certificate upgrade for free (and upload to your CPD files!)
The timing of my course was during lockdown and the remotely delivered content was both challenging and thought provoking. There was a particularly good emphasis on improving the participation of girls in computing, and I walked away from with resources and lots of ideas.
If you are looking for motivation and a way to focus your CPD, this certificate structures its challenges well. There is a blend of face to face and online elements as well as getting you to think about interacting with the wider teaching community. I would recommend it to all computing teachers, regardless of your experience.
To find out more about the Teach secondary computing certificate visit teachcomputing.org/secondary-certificate.