Supporting Computer Science in Schools

Teaser: 
What do educators consider to be enabling factors and barriers to wider adoption of Computer Science activities?
Presenter: 
Margaret Low
Co-presenter: 
Peter W Donaldson
Claire Rocks
Clare McInerney
Frank Sabaté
Genevieve Smith-Nunes
Summary: 

What do educators consider to be enabling factors and barriers to wider adoption of Computer Science activities? An exploration of how educational frameworks enable and support CS activities in schools, and exploration of strategies to remove barriers.

Peter Donaldson, Margaret Low, Claire Rocks and Genevieve Smith-Nunes are active members of the Computing At School (CAS) group in the UK, which supports the teaching of Computer Science in schools. CAS combines a grass roots network (of teachers, academics and industry professionals) with political lobbying at a national level. The group has grown rapidly and now has >4000 members, creating a network of over 30 regional hubs across the UK. Hubs hold regular informal meetings for local teachers where they can discuss, share ideas, resources and best practice.

In Ireland, Clare McInerney is actively involved in computer science education in schools. She has been introducing programming to primary and secondary schools for a number of years and she supports teachers through materials development (scratch.ie) and teacher training. The 2013/2014 reform of the junior cycle will enable computer science to feature on the Irish curriculum as a short course (100 hours) that will be assessed.

Frank Sabaté from Catalonia (Spain) is member of the Catalan Scratch community. He has been involved in the Scratch project since 2007 and has developed several video tutorials, teacher training sessions and conferences. He also promotes CS in primary schools by introducing robotics and programming languages at early ages.

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