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rurwin
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Re: Worried about teaching Computing? I can help.

Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:32 pm

I'd like to help. So if there are any teachers that want to be able to teach computing but feel themselves under- or non-qualified, I will teach them everything they need to know before these changes come in, free of charge. That's a thorough grounding in what their pupils will learn; you'll probably still need training on how to deliver and assess it.

It would be  distance learning, so email, wiki, forums plus an hour or two a week on Skype with a shared whiteboard or screen sharing. I will make it RPi friendly, but the RPi will probably not be a requirement. I'll be using Linux, but everything I use should be available free of charge on Windows.

It would also be pupil-driven to a large extent; I have no teaching qualifications or experience, but I do have a degree and thirty years of programming experience. Hence I'd be happy teaching teachers -- who will be motivated to ask questions, offer alternative approaches and be willing to work -- but not teaching children. I can put together a curriculum, maybe based on the new GCSE computing stuff, and I have a solid grasp of the subject, but lesson planning and the psychology of learning are black arts to me. My mother, sister, aunt and uncle were all teachers so I appreciate the task better than most engineers, and I have advice sources to fall back on if necessary.

My aim would be to get you to a level where you could teach GCSE, so rather beyond and in more depth than that syllabus but based on it. That means more than two years of work in eight months, but if you put the work in it is quite practicable.

I have one taker already, so I'm looking for three or four others to get synergy.

I dare say this will be as much of an education for me as it is for you, but I'm pretty sure we can get there together.

Mscantle
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Re: Worried about teaching Computing? I can help.

Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:55 pm

I'd like to join in if possible, however, I'm a little worried about the amount of spare time I have to devote to this at present. If you can put up with someone working at a snail's pace, then count me in.

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rurwin
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Re: Worried about teaching Computing? I can help.

Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:04 pm

<sesame street> THREE!!! HA HA HA! </sesame street>

Pardon me, but I've wanted to say this for thirty five years.

If you don't put the work in, it's you that will suffer, not me.


mccp
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Re: Worried about teaching Computing? I can help.

Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:16 pm

What a remarkably generous offer!

As gnarly old programmer (too old to be a developer even) I'm not your target audience, but I think this is a great idea.

Create a wiki or some other way for collaborators to communicate and I'm sure that you'll be able to crowd source learning materials. There must be plenty of time poor but experienced professionals like me who would be happy to contribute how tos, code examples, text, diagrams, answers to questions, etc. to somewhere that was curated in even a rudimentary fashion.

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rurwin
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Re: Worried about teaching Computing? I can help.

Fri Jan 13, 2012 5:42 pm

Mscantle said:


?


Sorry, I was messing about. What I meant to say is


Welcome Aboard


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n3tw0rk5
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Re: Worried about teaching Computing? I can help.

Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:11 pm

It's an excellent idea and a very kind offer, the biggest problem with getting programming into schools, especially primary schools as there isnt always a dedicated IT person never mind someone with programming experience.

Alas i'm not a teacher, but have been a unix admin for a few good years and i've experience of IT in primary schools (used to help teach IT as a volunteer in my lads old school). So if you need a hand with anything give me a shout.

JulieMilliner
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Re: Worried about teaching Computing? I can help.

Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:35 pm

I am an ICT teacher with a Computer Science degree (1989-1992) about 10 years experience in industry (software support).  Retrained when I had my children as an ICT teacher I am now completely brain dead by the curriculum and would love to take you up on your offer to brush up my skills.

However you would need to give me some idea of the times that the training would occur as I have two young children but am free most evenings, and am very very very keen.  Experience in Basic, Modula 2, fortran, pascal, C, Cobol, having said that this was some time ago.

Thank you

timmyclub
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Re: Worried about teaching Computing? I can help.

Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:06 am

Hi all. I"m hoping to take advantage of this kind offer.

I think having a wiki or some way of storing and making accessible what we are learning to a wider audience is a good idea. I was wondering about an instance of Moodle with guest access or open registration but maybe this is over complex.

Sure, the Skype sessions are only practical for the lucky few, but any written instruction could be useful to anyone at any time..

I had even wondered if this could be made into a wider project which connects under qualified or under confident teachers of Computer Science with generous industry programmers and qualified/confident teachers. There are thousands of websites out there to help beginning programmers but we could be a bit more specifically teaching-orientated, with lesson and uk curriculum ideas alongside what would effectively be "cheat sheets" for teachers on the concepts they"re supposed to be imparting!

I realise this suddenly sounds quite involved but if people feel it"s a Good Idea, I"m happy to host the site/wiki/Moodle and do a fair amount of the content management.

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rurwin
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Re: Worried about teaching Computing? I can help.

Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:08 pm

Hi Julie, you're welcome to join if you want. I'd be concerned that we might bore you to death with all the "what is a computer", "binary logic" and "how to program" stuff, but I dare say for those bits an assistant tutor may be an advantage. Especially one that can put up with IT support for ten years

As for times, it would have to be evenings, and I expect that getting everyone for one evening a week is probably all that we could do. For social as well as pedagogic reasons, I think we should try hard to get some regular personal interaction at least by teleconferencing. My initial offer would be Wednesdays, subject to everyone's availability.

Room for one more then.

Timothy, I took a look at Moodle, and my impression is that it is rather a sledge-hammer to crack a nut. There is a lot of stuff in there that we wouldn't use, and a fair amount of stuff we might want that isn't there -- whiteboards and teleconferencing for example. So it is not a compelling case. I have a platform that should be able to do most of what we need. Take a look at http://lrg.wikidot.com/start. That's a demo site I built for another purpose, but gives the first ideas what is possible. There is much more, including solutions for calendaring and chat, and it is 100% tailorable.

Which brings me to a game everyone can play. We need a group name, if only for the Wiki/Forum/etc site.

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lobster
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Re: Worried about teaching Computing? I can help.

Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:28 pm

I started this a few days ago in response to the need for Rpi enabled
learning . . .
Puppy School Programming

If you record material or provide innovative materials then
please consider yourself enrolled and creating for a new generation of
raspberry teachers . . .
Would be great to create some joint improvement of our respective initiatives?

Which language will be your focus (if any particular one)?

Good Luck

Mscantle
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Re: Worried about teaching Computing? I can help.

Sat Jan 14, 2012 3:48 pm

rurwin said:


Mscantle said:


?


Sorry, I was messing about. What I meant to say is


Welcome Aboard




Phew! I'm not sure I could commit to a day because my workload is very heavy at present. I'm doing an assistant head's job with the free time of a head of department. I am an Advanced Skills Teacher of Physics and ICT, having had 7 years as a software engineer (mostly VBA with bits of Perl). I have some experience of Linux but need some refreshing - anything I could follow in my own time, with a bit of email support would be great.

pythagoras
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Re: Worried about teaching Computing? I can help.

Sun Jan 15, 2012 6:53 pm

Not sure if you have reached your numbers yet, if not I would love to take you up on your offer. I'm a secondary Maths teacher who plans on teaching coding using the raspberry pi from September. I was going to follow as many tutorials as I could find online, but your offer sounds like a much better idea.

Regards

Jphn

alshapton
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Re: Worried about teaching Computing? I can help.

Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:27 pm

I'd like to help too - Software Development Architect with a large multinational services company - IT quals - HND 1986-1989, OU PostGrad (IT), MSc (Internet Engineering) - I have 20+ yeats professional programming and systems design/architecture experience - now writing Android mobile apps in my spare time!!

Happy to help the next generation out - after all - I was lucky and had a ZX Spectrum - what do today's youngsters have ??????

RPi ??

Let me know if theres anything I can help with....

A\:>

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rurwin
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Re: Worried about teaching Computing? I can help.

Mon Jan 16, 2012 12:25 am

OK Pythagoras, You're in as the doors close. Welcome on board.

I'll PM all of you my email address, then try to get started this week or next. First we'll have to sort the modalities of course. I'll let this forum know any public websites and so forth so people can follow along.

And thanks for the offers of help too. I may take you up on them.

I have no idea where this will lead; it might be the start of something big, it might fizzle. But if I can make a difference for a few, that's enough for now.

Preliminary Reading list

Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance: 25th Anniversary Edition: An Inquiry into Values

The Timeless Way of Building (Center for Environmental Structure Series)

The first is cheap, the second is horribly expensive (maybe a library?) Both are well worth reading, but they wont be in the exam.

(I've put my Amazon associate code in those links, it wont cost you more, but you may decide that's unreasonable. In which case don't buy from the links.)

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rurwin
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Re: Worried about teaching Computing? I can help.

Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:41 pm

PMs sent. (It's the little red box at the top right).

bredman
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Re: Worried about teaching Computing? I can help.

Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:05 pm

A great initiative, glad to see this is getting people moving.

However, please don't focus to much on software and programming, this is very tedious for kids. Remember that Raspberry Pi is about trying a new approach to education. You need to get kids engaged before they will invest the effort needed to learn the tough stuff.

Therefore, I suggest some modules to get kids interacting with their new computer.

1. Build a new case every week. Choose a theme every week like "something from the trash can", "hidden where you wouldn't expect to find a computer", "soft and fluffy", "crazy box".

2. Experiment with screen resolutions to find the best match for various output devices, such as HDMI to a flat-screen TV or RCA to an old SCART TV. Try different things like editing a document, browsing the web, watching a movie clip to see what the different resolutions are useful for.

3. Record a short clip on a camcorder and transfer it to a USB stick for playback on the Raspberry Pi.

4. Join 2 Raspberry Pi's together in a network. Use one as a VNC server and the other as a VNC client to demonstrate how to remotely control a desktop.

5. Join 2 Raspberry Pi's together in a network. Use one as a Samba server and the other as a Samba client to demonstrate that files do not have to be stored on the local machine.

Remember that this is the chance for a new start. Let's think outside the (beige) box.

Steady_Bear
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Re: Worried about teaching Computing? I can help.

Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:31 pm

I'd be happy to help out any way possible.

10 years Linux experience (Debian and Gentoo) but an electronics design engineer (I can do programming, but you all probably know a lot more than myself), so I may be of limited use.

Happy to:

Proof read, help with doc formatting to create a standardised set of 'manuals', general ideas, researching the odd curve ball they may through 'Please Sir, how do you get XYZ done under Pi?'*, or if there is anything else you can think of just say.

Bredman, you definitely have some good points there with starting with basics.

I will be offering to help run workshops - for teachers, not pupils - for one of my local schools (I know a staff member from some charity work we do together), so if I could snaffle any of your material or experience with what sort of questions they're asking I'd be grateful. That's if the school is vaguely interested.

*There's always that one thing that just takes a day or two to find in Google...

JulieMilliner
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Re: Worried about teaching Computing? I can help.

Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:59 pm

HI there

Back again, I'm glad to be onboard.  Apologies for the delay, get tied up with children, marking etc.  I have penciled in Wednesday nights, could this be after say 8.00pm ?

Am looking forward to this and you will not bore me to death, as I said I need a refresher course, a lot has happened since my uni days !

Email has been sent so you should have my home email now.

Julie

JulieMilliner
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Re: Worried about teaching Computing? I can help.

Thu Jan 19, 2012 9:03 pm

PS - could you let me know what I'm going to need hardware wise, we have laptop, dell desktop (windows 7 - soon to be), ipad, iphones.  No web cams, or mics or ever used skype.  But let me know and I'll get the kit needed for the course.

Thanks

Julie

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rurwin
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Re: Worried about teaching Computing? I can help.

Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:17 pm

Hi Julie, I replied by email.

Still waiting for Mcantle to make contact...

bob4jane
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Re: Worried about teaching Computing? I can help.

Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:50 am

Hi rurwin, others.

While I've missed the boat, but would anyway be unable to take up the offer I think the idea of more experienced coders working with teachers is a fantastic one.

I am a former ZX Spectrum addict who migrated to the dark-side of Flash and html, before doing my teacher training a couple of years ago. May I add that the Primary ICT "training" for my PGCE was a joke. Using Publisher to make websites anyone? Pah, Last year's class got along fine with html thanks.

The fact that I'm on this website means I've got a personal interest in the device, as well as proffesional one, but wouldn't it be amazing if complete laymen were able to help spread the code? If we want the revolution to hit every school, we should hope that 1 interested teacher per school could become one fairly-knowledgable teacher per school.

An online library of lesson plans (created by coders+teachers), how-tos and guides(created by coders), and tips, success stories etc (submitted by teachers) would be really amazing and I'd love to help if I can.

jonjwelch
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Re: Worried about teaching Computing? I can help.

Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:30 am

bob4jane said:


Hi rurwin, others.

While I've missed the boat, but would anyway be unable to take up the offer I think the idea of more experienced coders working with teachers is a fantastic one.

I am a former ZX Spectrum addict who migrated to the dark-side of Flash and html, before doing my teacher training a couple of years ago. May I add that the Primary ICT "training" for my PGCE was a joke. Using Publisher to make websites anyone? Pah, Last year's class got along fine with html thanks.

The fact that I'm on this website means I've got a personal interest in the device, as well as proffesional one, but wouldn't it be amazing if complete laymen were able to help spread the code? If we want the revolution to hit every school, we should hope that 1 interested teacher per school could become one fairly-knowledgable teacher per school.

An online library of lesson plans (created by coders+teachers), how-tos and guides(created by coders), and tips, success stories etc (submitted by teachers) would be really amazing and I'd love to help if I can.


Having also studied Computer Science, all be it about 15 years ago and having since gone into education (Secondary) I also see it from another perspective. Most of the teachers I have talked to it are worried sick with their ICT specifications seeming to have changed 3 or 4 times over the past 5 or so years already and then now needing to learn something that they have no idea about and therefore 'scared of'.

I just hope that it doesn't scare further people out of education as really there is not always much left to encourage them to stay.

I have run a numbr of websites over the past 10 or so years and would certainly be willing to give support help in anything that would make it easier for teachers to overcome their fears. I think that would be a fantastic idea and with the wealth of resources that people could bring to it, this could be a real hit. I have a couple of servers around the world which people would be welcome to use and of course could help in the writing of lesson plans sow's etc.

Just let me know

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rurwin
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Re: Worried about teaching Computing? I can help.

Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:07 am

I said I would post a note when there was something to look at.

I've now put the first "lesson" and book list up at http://computing101.wikidot.com

Most of it is available to view. Feel free to follow along.

Sorry bob4jane, I need to keep the group size small at least at first.

bredman
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Re: Worried about teaching Computing? I can help.

Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:50 am

Are you sure you posted the correct link?

What are we supposed to be clicking on?

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