Your new computing education podcast: Teach Computing
23 September 2019
Earlier this month, we launched our Pedagogy Quick Reads series, and last week, the latest issue of Research Bytes landed in you inbox. To round off September, we’re completing a pedagogical hat trick by sharing the very first episode of our brand-new computing education-focused podcast: Teach Computing.
The podcast will connect you and other teacher with discussions about how and why we teach computing, all in an engaging and time-saving format. Each month, we’ll explore a different question, challenge, or practice related to the teaching of computing by talking to experts, teachers from the frontlines, and members of various NCCE project teams. You can (and should) also contribute your thoughts and expertise by emailing the team or by leaving us a voice message, which we may include in future episodes.
You can find the podcast via these popular services:
We want to make a show that is both interesting and useful to computing educators, to do that we need your help. Complete this feedback form to tell us what you liked (or didn’t) and what you’d like to see more of.
Episode #1: Why teach computing?
To kick off our podcast series, we’re exploring the reasons why computing education is so important to the lives and education of all our students. There are many reasons why we might want our young people to be confident and literate, not only in how to use technology, but also in how it works and is created.
- First and foremost, computing should be tremendous fun and is one of the most creative disciplines; it enables our learners to create, invent, explore and simulate the world around them.
- Exposing students to computing skills and concepts is incredibly empowering, giving them new ways to solve problems, represent their world, and express their ideas.
“Computing is one of the richest, deepest, most fascinating, most creative, most ingenious playgrounds of the mind.” – Simon Peyton Jones
- Computing is a broad, rich, and deep discipline that has something for everyone; beyond its core concepts and ideas it connects with almost every other subject, making it truly multidisciplinary.
- It is an academically rigorous discipline which promotes maths, logic, creativity, and problem-solving skills.
- Computing is already pervasive within society and the workplace, so the workforce of tomorrow (across all sectors) will need a solid level of computing literacy. This will enable them to understand and harness the power of computing to make good decisions and solve new problems.
In order to explore the question “Why teach computing?”, we spoke to a number of experts and practitioners of computing education to find out why they think computing is so important. If you want to find out more about the topics we discuss in the episode, you’ll find some useful links below. You can also download a full transcript of this episode.
Welcome to the podcast by this month’s hosts James Robinson and Carrie Anne Philbin, where they share their motivations and passion for teaching computing.
Simon Peyton Jones, Chair of the NCCE, discusses why computing is such an engaging and valuable discipline, shares some of his experiences in computing, and is generally passionate and inspiring.
During our conversation, Simon mentions the following ideas, books, and activities:
- PRIMM is a pedagogical approach for teaching programming concepts standing for Predict, Run, Investigate, Modify, Make
- Computing universe
- Blown to Bits: Your Life, Liberty, and Happiness After the Digital Explosion
- Nine Algorithms That Changed the Future: The Ingenious Ideas That Drive Today's Computers
- Computational Fairy Tales
- Hello World magazine, written by educators for educators
- CS4FN – Computer Science for Fun, activities and publications produced by Queen Mary University
- Research Bytes – a research-focused newsletter published half-termly by the NCCE
- Find and join your local CAS community of practice
- Register with the National Centre for Computing education and find an in-person or online courseThere are 30+ school-based hubs Local NCCE Hubs starting up around the country — find your nearest one
Educators working at the Raspberry Pi Foundation discuss their early experiences of computing and they reasons they’re so passionate about teaching computing.
In our final conversation in this episode we hear from Georgia Mercer, a primary school teacher of Computing. Georgia shares her passion for teaching computing, it’s cross-curricular nature, and its importance in primary school.
James and Carrie Anne wrap up the show and discuss next month’s episode: “Computing — the big ideas”