Computational thinking course for Edinburgh primary teachers

31 May 2016
Child uses an iPad

Are you a primary teacher in Edinburgh? Do you want to learn more about how to teach children computational thinking? Come to our free CPL course, starting in September 2016.

Learning about computing is recognised as essential for all children and young people. Knowing how to use technology is not enough. 21st century schooling needs to be teaching about how to use, explore, create and re-imagine, and this requires computational thinking. This course, developed by experts in the field of computer science and primary teaching, and with the support of colleagues in industry, is an innovative and exciting opportunity for professional development.

About the course

  • There will four full-day sessions on Thursday 8 September 2016, 10 November 2016, 26 January 2017, and 16 March 2017. (You will need to attend all of them.)
  • The course content is based on internationally recognised computer science education research. Led by Professor Judy Robertson and colleagues, this work has informed the new significant aspects of learning in computer science for the Curriculum for Excellence.
  • The course will be taught by Professor Judy Robertson and Dr Holly Linklater and will include collaboration with computer scientists, colleagues in industry, and educational experts.
  • Topics covered will include:
    • Computational thinking in the world around us: understanding processes and information in the real world and how to make them more effective and efficient. Step away from the computer and learn about computation through familiar tasks such as sorting toy boxes, reorganising the school library and even reading fairy tales.
    • Programming using Scratch or Hopscotch: putting computational thinking in practice by writing programs. The emphasis is on learning to read and understand code first, and on strategies for debugging.
    • Inclusion: developing strategies to ensure that every child participates meaningfully in opportunities to develop their computational thinking. We will identify digital and non-digital pedagogical approaches to teaching computational thinking, and explore how this may enrich the ways in which all learners are included in class activities. This is important to our commitment to close the attainment gap.
  • There are 12 places for teachers on the course; all Edinburgh City Council primary school teachers may submit an application for a place. Preference will be given to teachers who work in schools who are working to close the attainment gap, or to improve their technology provision.
  • Cost for classroom cover will be provided (kindly sponsored by CGI).
  • An additional 12 places will be open to software developers, computer science students and student teachers who wish to volunteer their time to partner with one of the teachers.

How to apply

  • When applying to the course, teachers must commit to: attend all sessions; try out the course materials at their school; take part in research data collection activities; and share their knowledge with other teachers.

Send us the application form by Monday 13th June 2016. You will be notified if you have a place by Monday 20th June, at which time you will receive additional details.