What is a CAS Hub?
The CAS Hub is a local, face-to-face meeting of Primary and/or Secondary school teachers, to share their ideas for developing the teaching of Computing in their schools, their classrooms and their community. It is a meeting of like-minded professionals with the general objective of supporting each other and the specific aim of providing (at least) one resource for attendees to take away use in the classroom.
CAS Hubs meet once, or twice, a term for a couple of hours after school. The style and format of the meeting is up to the discretion of the Hub Leader, but each will focus on an aspect of teaching the Computing curriculum and will provide plenty of opportunity for teachers to collaborate, sharing their expertise with one another.
What is the purpose of a CAS Hub?
The CAS Hub forms the foundation of much of the work of CAS, by providing the opportunity for teachers to:
- meet in a relaxed and informal atmosphere;
- share ideas and resources ;
- receive training;
- gain mutual support from discussing teaching methods with colleagues.
Furthermore, CAS derives much benefit from drawing some of its members from universities and industry as well as from schools. The CAS Hub provides a unique opportunity for you to meet local employers and colleagues from local higher education institutions.
How to find your nearest CAS Hub
To find your nearest CAS Hub visit the CAS home page and enter your postcode. You will then be able to see which CAS Hubs are closest to you. Clicking on the name of the Hub will then take you to the Hub webpage where you will find contact details. Simple!
What are the benefits of running a CAS Hub?
It is immensely rewarding to be able to direct and influence colleagues in your local area in this way. CAS Hub Leaders are typically school teachers, but those in our partner universities who wish to run a Hub are warmly welcomed to do so.
There are many benefits for teachers running CAS Hubs in their schools. For example, a recent survey of Hub Leaders received the following comments:
"I improve my own subject knowledge and teaching practice through delivering things to others."... "I promote my school while getting valuable CPD for myself and other staff." ... "It is good to be able to do something worthwhile to support others in engaging pupils in Computing." ..."I get to share ideas with other Computing teachers." ... "I genuinely enjoy it! Learning through teaching."
What does a Hub Leader do? - Exploding the myths
Running a CAS Hub has been described as 'low maintenance - high impact'. Sharing the responsibility for running a group between two or three people lowers the maintenance level even further! It takes, at most, a few hours each month to organise a CAS Hub meeting, but all – including the Hub leader – leave these meetings motivated to try something new in their classroom. It is not expected that the Hub Leader should present or provide training at any of the Hub meetings, though they may choose to do so. Rather, wherever possible, they are encouraged to call on members of the Hub and external speakers to lead and present. At the end of each meeting, any resources used should be uploaded to the CAS Community site, thereby making them available for others to use.
It does help to have a working teacher as one of the Hub leaders, to ensure that every meeting fulfils the brief of being of practical help for Computing teachers. As an absolute minimum, every meeting should offer a 'takeaway' idea or resource that could be used in the classroom the following day/week/term. We really don't want the meetings to be just 'talking shops'.
How do I become a CAS Hub Leader?
The CAS Hubs are run by teachers for teachers so if you think that you would like to run a CAS Hub, and there isn't an active hub in your area, please get in touch? You don't have to be an expert in computing as the Hub Leader is the meeting facilitator not the fount of all knowledge! Quite a lot of teachers have become Hub Leaders so that they can work with a group and learn from them. For more information about becoming a CAS Hub Leader please visit http://www.computingatschool.org.uk/cas_hub_leader//www.computingatschool.org.uk/cas_hub_leader)
Are there any resources to help me run a CAS hub?
Yes! There is the Hub Leader Toolkit, the manual and guidebook for all CAS hub leaders. There are also a number of outlines for hub meetings to help you get started whether you are running a meeting for primary or secondary teachers. These include:
- Launch Meeting
- Programming in primary school
- How the Internet works
- Planning, teaching and assessment in Primary school Computing
- Programming with Python (three meetings)
- Encouraging diversity
- ... and much more!
CAS Online provides a number of tools to help you get the meeting set up including event booking and management of attendees, your own CAS hub forum and a wiki-style area to keep all resources used in the meeting.
You are not alone!
Being a CAS Hub Leader means you are part of the CAS Community of Hub Leaders, both within your region (under the auspices of your CAS Regional Centre) and nationally (via CAS Central).
To find out more about running a CAS hub in your area please get in touch by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.