"Hello world" is the magazine for teachers of computing written by teachers of computing . It is a joint collaboration between the Raspberry Pi Foundation and Computing At School and is now into its second year of publication. We're thrilled with it, and recommend that all teachers of computing subscribe to receive their print copy or read it online.
This issue puts Continuing Professional Develop (CPD) in the spotlight.
We all recognise the need for supporting teachers to deliver a high-quality computing education for their pupils, in a school environment which sometimes seems to be working against teachers accessing the CPD they need. We frequently receive requests for CPD on particular topics but then find those teachers are unable to be released from their classrooms to attend. It's frustrating for all of us! There are CPD opportunities and CAS, through its network of Hubs and Master Teachers, is providing hundreds of events every month on a widening range of topics. Teachers are building their expertise and their confidence by way of this engagement through the locally delivered, face-to-face network.
The articles in "Hello World" review these opportunities, and also discuss and contextualise what all of us are learning about the effective delivery of CPD to teachers of computing. My take from much of the research is that, to be effective, the CPD should be sustained over time and enable teachers to collaborate, to work together, to build solutions and resources. What does effective CPD mean for you? Do you agree with the research as published in "Hello World" this month? We'd love to hear what you think!
The debate is timely,as the Chancellor announced funding for computing education in the Autumn budget last November. One of the stated goals is for every school to have someone on their staff who is qualified to teach GCSE Computer Science. It's an interesting objective and, yes, challenging. These opportunities to focus on our subject will not come around very often and we need to get it right. I'm old enough to have seen many similar initiatives proposed for teachers which failed to engage or inspire the very audience for which they were intended and which, more shamefully, had little impact on classroom practice. Whoever leads on this initiative will need to listen to the concerns of teachers, work within their constraints, and ensure that the research on what makes for effective CPD is built into the training provided. We'll watch this space with great interest.
Getting back to "Hello World" (!), I really like the additional items. Highlights in this issue for me are Greg Michaelson's article on programming paradigms, and Ben Wohl's reminder that we must not focus on programming as the end-goal of the computing curriculum. Digital literacy is important, as evidenced by the programme of study for Computing. Computer Science is the subject discipline upon which all of IT is built, and it's really important to ensure that our young people leave school with the critical thinking skills to participate in their online world as active digital citizens.
You can access the latest issue of "Hello World" here and, if you're not already a subscriber, do sign up! We are also looking for authors for future issues of the magazine; full details are in the magazine, and we look forward to hearing from you.