Monday, October 28, 2013

C@SS Conference - Keynote 2

Professional Learning And Networking for Computing- Scotland’s PLAN C
Dr Quintin Cutts (Senior Lecturer at Glasgow University)

There is a problem with many new school buildings where there is no staffroom - no place to meet together and share practice. Many teachers are as a result increasingly isolated.

Quintin Cutts Photo by
David Muir
Creative Commons License
Proposal for CPD that came from grassroots. The ADiCOST group was given as an example of teachers working together and supporting… and sharing. (Can’t find web presence another than this Scratch page)

One of the key aims of PLAN C is therefore Community Building. Lead teachers have already been identified and local groups are being formed. Sharing between the groups can also take place. Some sharing can already take place. For example, between people with Information Systems experience and people with Computing experience coming together to build expertise for Nat 5. CPD does not have to come from the expert at the front - there are many people in the classroom with knowledge and experience.

Hope is that local hubs will start in March/April 2014. There will be local sharing and community, but there will be more formal sessions too.

Important questions have to be addressed. For example, why teach Computing Science in schools? Our subject is under threat, we have to be able to articulate what we do and why. One reason is connected to problem solving. Often our approach to problem solving is to use intuition. The problem with that is that the real world has hidden mechanisms and is not always very intuitive. If the way things work is so hidden, we need a method of creation and testing of hypotheses - Computational Thinking gives us a model for doing this. Computing can deliver a skill set that is useful across the curriculum.

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