The Computer Science Teachers’ Association of Ireland (CSTAI) was founded in November 2017 and already has over 430 members and 36 of the 40 Leaving Certificate Computer Science pilot schools have joined.
The CSTAI offers a free collection of resources for Computer Science, Coding, Digital Media, Computing and IT/ICT on a Google Drive where the members can access, download and modify for their classes needs. These resources cover from the early primary level to Junior Certificate (GCSE-equivalent) Coding/ Digital Media to Leaving Certificate (A-Level equivalent) Computer Science.
The Junior Certificate coding short course aims to develop the student’s ability to formulate problems logically; to design, write and test code through the development of programs, apps, games, animations or websites; and, through their chosen learning activities, to learn about computer science.
There are 3 strands to the Junior Certificate Coding:
Strand 1: Computer science introduction.
Students explore the range of uses computers have in today’s world and learn to understand the hardware and basic software which operates them. This includes learning to write, test and evaluate code.
Strand 2: Let’s get connected.
This strand deepens the student’s understanding of the computer as a communications tool through the storage and manipulation of data. Students also have the opportunity to identify, research, present and receive feedback on a topic or challenge in computer science that inspires them.
Strand 3: Coding at the next level.
In this strand, students are introduced to more complex levels of coding where they can demonstrate their understanding through documentation, discussion and feedback .
The Junior Certificate Short Course in Digital Media literacy aims to extend and refine students’ ability to use digital technology, communication tools, and the internet creatively, critically and safely, in support of their development, learning and capacity to participate effectively in social and community life.
There are four strands to this short course:
Strand 1: My digital world.
In this strand, students explore how and why to use digital technologies; investigate the ethical and legal issues around downloading media from the internet and develop an understanding of online safety for themselves and others.
Strand 2: Following my interests online.
In this strand, students will explore how digital texts are published and their various purposes; they will compare how similar information is presented in different formats and explore how to represent information using digital imagery.
Strand 3: Checking the facts.
In this strand, students will investigate how the choice of digital media influences and impacts on consumer patterns and explore the notion of bias and influence online.
Strand 4: Publishing myself.
In this strand, students investigate online rights and risks, demonstrate good standards and protocols for online sharing of information and learn to cite and reference accurately when using online sources.
The Leaving Certificate Computer Science resources are currently being created and aligned with our specification. In order to fill the gap that currently exists, the CSTAI has made links with other Computer Science teacher organisations in England, Northern Ireland, America, Australia and New Zealand to provide resources for Irish teachers.
The CSTAI places a strong emphasis on the Irish Language and offers a set of hundreds of technical computing terminology translated into Irish.
One of the main reasons the CSTAI was established was to promote sharing of ideas and resources between teachers. The resources are free to take with no obligation to contribute but we do ask if you have something appropriate to give, you do share it with us to help the CSTAI grow.
Overall, we have collected hundreds of coding, computer science and digital media examples, exercises and presentations that are shared and organized by topic to facilitate easy access by our members. The graphic below shows the top level organization of our collection
If you would like to get involved in this exchange of teaching resources, please email: