"The conferences in Birmingham are inspirational and have helped me improve my teaching. I have been to three and each time have learnt new things which I have been able to use in the classroom."
In 2009 Computing At School held it's first national conference for teachers of computing. We really weren't sure if anyone would turn up but over 100 came and enjoyed what has become the default format for this event. A series of talks from some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in our field supported by a number of workshops, forums, seminars and discussions led by leading teachers. All those speaking were tasked in providing "at least one thing teachers can use and take away for their classroom". This remains the primary objective nine years later. The CAS Conference is a time to meet other teachers, to network and share stories, to hear from researchers and others active in teaching computing in order to take ideas, resources and best practice back to our primary and secondary classrooms.
"It was truely inspiring! There was a mega amount of information and ideas jam packed into all the sessions. Within the first hour I reckon I got more information and help than in ten years worth of college INSETs all added together"
Over nine years The University of Birmingham has played host to over 2000 guests for the CAS Conference and for many it is a highlight of the CAS year. A chance to meet old friends and make new contacts but above all to gather inspiration for teaching computing and to develop our understanding of our subject for the benefit of our pupils.
"All the sessions I went gave me practical ideas that I could implement or build into schemes of work in the next month"
We have been fortunate to have been able to invite some quite outstanding speakers over the years including: Tim Bell (CSUnplugged), Paul Curzon (cs4fn), Conrad Wolfram (Wolfram Foundation), David Malan from Harvard, Turing award winner Tony Hoare, Steve Furber, Quintin Cutts and many more. For 2017 we delighted to invite Mark Guzdial who is one of the leading researchers from the States in the pedagogy of programming in the classroom and Linda Liukas who has been inspirational in encouraging young learners take their first steps with programming and computational thinking.
Mark will be digging deep into the pedagogy of programming and in particular the cognitive difficulties many of learners encounter as they grapple with learning a programming language. Mark will outline three examples of ways we can teach computing including prediction (helping students retain knowledge), subgoal labelling (to improve transfer and learning) and the role of Parsons problems (to provide more flexible and efficient ways to learn programming). You can find out more about Mark, his projects and research on his Georgia Tech homepage and his computing education blog.
Linda will discuss the ever important Principles of Play. if code is the colouring pens and lego blocks of our times how do we teach the curiosity, joy and wonder to our children? Linda has been looking at programming and play, creating rich experiences that go deeper than just learning logic, and has developed three principles and a number of experiments with Ruby for young learners which are being applied to both the computing curriculum in Finland as well as in training for new teachers of Computing. Linda is the author of the children's book Hello Ruby.
"I felt inspired and ready to face the teaching Computing world again."
The "workshops" are a particular highlight of the CAS Conference. These have grown in importance over the years and for 2017 there will 44 different workshops on offer covering a plethora of different topics including "Diving deep into primary programming", "Using micro:bits in the primary classroom", "Developing problem solving behaviours, attitudes and dispositions", "Tips & Tricks from a decade teaching Computer Science", "How many different ways can we find to....", "Teaching Decomposition using flowcharting", "Around the curriculum in 80 analogies" and so much more! Each one delivered by a classroom teacher with extensive experience able to earth the concepts in the classroom.
Don't miss out on your opportunity to attend the 9th Annual CAS Conference. Tickets are selling fast!