Primary Computer Education Spotlight in our 2023 Seminar Series

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We are excited to announce our upcoming free online seminars, which will be held monthly from January 2023 and will focus on primary school (K-5) teaching and learning computer science.

Our seminars, which have covered various topics in computer science education for the past three years, will now give you an insider look at current questions and research in primary computer science education. Through this series we want to connect the research and practice of teaching and further primary computer education worldwide.

Are these seminars for me?

Our upcoming seminars are aimed at all those interested in computer science education, not just primary school teachers – you are all cordially invited to join us. Previous seminars have featured a valuable mix of teachers, volunteers, technology professionals, and researchers, all eager to explore how research into computer science education can be put into practice.

Student using Scratch on a laptop.

Whether you’re teaching a classroom or supporting students in a coding club, you’ll discover how our youngest students develop their computer skills. You will also explore with us what this means for your learning context in practical terms.

What you can expect from online seminars

Each seminar begins with a speaker explaining, in easy-to-understand terms, some recent research they have been doing. The presentation is followed by a discussion in small groups. We then gather for a Q&A session with the host.

Participants in our previous seminars said:

“The workshop will be useful in my practice when our coding club starts.”

β€œI love this initiative, the choice of speakers was fantastic. You are creating an invaluable CPD resource for IT teachers and educators around the world. Thank you. πŸ™β€

β€œJust wanted to say a huge thank you for arranging all of this. It was great to hear the presentation but also the input from other educators in the breakout room. I currently teach in a department of one, which can be quite lonely, so mingling with other educators has been brilliant and a real encouragement.

Learn from specialists for the benefit of your students

Computer science has been taught in universities for many years, and only recently has the subject been introduced in schools. This means that there is still not much research on computer science education for school-age students, and even less research on how school-age children learn computer science.

Young students at computers in class.

That’s why we’re excited to invite you to learn with us as we listen to leading international computer science research teams share their knowledge in our online seminars:

  • Tuesday 10 January 2023: Kicking off our series are Dr. Katie Rich and Carla Strickland from Chicago with a workshop on how they developed new educational materials for didactic variables in primary school. They will particularly focus on how they have combined research with the realities of the classroom and will share experiences of using their new materials in the classroom.
  • Tuesday 7 February 2023: Dr. Jean Salac of the University of Washington is particularly interested identify and address inequalities in the computer science class, and will talk about a new learning strategy that has been found to improve students’ understanding of computer science concepts and to increase equal access to computer science.
  • Tuesday 7 March 2023: Our Dr. Bobby Whyte from the Raspberry Pi Foundation will share practical examples of how primary computing can be integrated literacy education. It will specifically examine the elements of storytelling within computer science education and discuss the benefits of combining the areas of expertise.
  • May 2023: Information coming soon
  • Tuesday 6 June 2023: In a collaborative workshop, Aim Unahalekhaka of Tufts University in Massachusetts will first present his research on how children learn to code through Gratta Jr. Participants are encouraged to bring a tablet or ScratchJr-powered device to explore hands-on project assessments and teaching strategies that can help young learners create in purposeful ways.
  • Tuesday 12 September 2023: Joining us from the University of Passau in Germany, Luisa Greifenstein will talk about having children adequate feedback which encourages positive attitudes towards computer science education. In particular, he will examine the effects of different feedback strategies and present a new Scratch tool that offers automated feedback.
  • October 2023: Information coming soon
  • Tuesday 7 November 2023: We are delighted to be joined by Dr. Aman Yadav from Michigan State University who will focus on computational thinking and its value for primary school. In his seminar, he will not only discuss the unique opportunities for computational thinking in primary school, but will also discuss the findings of a recent project focusing on teacher perspectives.

Register now to attend the seminars

All our seminars starts at 5pm UK time (6pm CET / 12pm ET / 9am PT) and will take place in an online format. Sign up now to receive a calendar invite and link to attend on the day of each workshop.

We look forward to seeing you soon and discussing with you how we can apply research findings to better support all of our students.

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