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Technocamps: : Advancing Computer Science Education in Wales / Tom Crick; Faron Moller

10th Workshop in Primary and Secondary Computing Education, Pages: 121 - 126

Swansea University Author: Moller, Faron

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DOI (Published version): 10.1145/2818314.2818341

Abstract

Computer science education in the UK over the past five years has undergone substantial scrutiny, upheaval and reform. From September 2014, we have seen the implementation and delivery of a new computing curriculum in England, alongside long-term investment in the professional development of teacher...

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Published in: 10th Workshop in Primary and Secondary Computing Education
Published: 2015
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa28729
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Abstract: Computer science education in the UK over the past five years has undergone substantial scrutiny, upheaval and reform. From September 2014, we have seen the implementation and delivery of a new computing curriculum in England, alongside long-term investment in the professional development of teachers in Scotland. However, in Wales - one of the four devolved nation in the UK - numerous political, geographical and socio-technical issues have hindered any substantive educational policy or curriculum reform for computer science.This is despite the widespread efforts to address the failings of computer science education in schools since at least 2003 through Technocamps, a pan-Wales university-based schools outreach programme. In this paper we outline the history (and pre-history) of Technocamps, contextualised by the devolved nature of education in the UK, positioning Wales with its specific issues and challenges. Furthermore, we present evidence both in support of this university engagement and intervention model as well as its wider positive effect on promoting and supporting computer science education in Wales, a nation about to take its first steps on the path of a large-scale national curriculum review and significant educational reform.
Item Description: Originality:Co-authored by the Chair of the Welsh branch of Computing at School (CAS), this paper emphasises the need in Wales for the novel Technocamps model of school engagement outlined, distinct from the CAS model which has been successful in England but has proven to be ineffective in Wales.Significance:This paper details the work and impact of Technocamps on Welsh Education. This impact has recently been brought to the fore by the Welsh First Minister who has made repeated political pledges in the run-up to the 2016 National Assembly for Wales election to expand the Technocamps operation in order to introduce and embed the emerging Digital Competence Framework and computer science proficiency within all schools throughout Wales.Rigour:WiPSCE is a leading conference in computer science pedaogics for schools, and its proceedings are published by a highly respected academic publisher (ACM Press) with stringent refereeing criteria ensuring that only work recognised as internationally-excellent is accepted.A revised version of this work is being prepared for ACM Transactions on Computing Education.
Keywords: Computer Science Education; High School; Teachers; Professional Development, Policy, Wales, UK
College: College of Science
Start Page: 121
End Page: 126