Do your school have robots and other programmable toys sitting in a cupboard, and no-one knows how to use them?  Are you interested in purchasing bots but don’t know what to buy?

This course is designed for individuals in both Primary and Secondary sectors who have access to robots and programmable toys and want to learn how to use them in a way that gives learners experience of the computing science curricular outcomes and develops their understanding of STEM.

The focus will be on learning how to use robots and control them using visual block-based programming languages to develop learners’ experience of Computing Science, Numeracy and STEM in an engaging, creative way.

This course is particularly suitable for non-CS subject Secondary specialists who are new to teaching Computing Science, as well as Primary and Secondary staff who have used block-based programming such as Scratch with learners previously and want to develop their skills further.

This fun and lively course will give you an opportunity to explore with colleagues the challenges of introducing and expanding the computing science experiences for learners in your school.

By the end of this course, you will:

  • try out a variety of approaches for teaching Computing Science concepts using robots and programmable toys
  • gain a better understanding of block-based programming
  • learn strategies for introducing robotics and coding with learners and getting help and support with the programming language
  • know where you can download teaching materials and borrow a range of robots and other equipment to save your school money
  • consider ways of leading, motivating and developing the staff in your school so that the Computing Science outcomes are covered throughout your school,
  • understand the difference between ICT and Digital Literacy outcomes (which focus on using computers) and Computing Science outcomes (which focus on logic, problem solving and computational thinking)
  • learn about strategies and take away materials that will be of practical value to you as a teacher/principal teacher/faculty leader.

Throughout the session, there will be opportunities to network with fellow participants, and for discussion including sharing practice, challenges and opportunities for change in schools.

Who this course is for? 

Teachers, Principal Teachers and School Leadership Teams. Suitable for Educators of First, Second and Third Level learners.  Particularly suitable for Secondary teachers without a specialism in Computing Science who are teaching Computing or Digital Literacy in BGE.

Key words/concepts:

Computing Science, computational thinking, programming, coding, learning, teaching, assessment, attainment and achievement, creativity, collaboration, curriculum development, professional learning, robotics, computational toys, physical computing, STEM, STEAM, problem solving, challenges, improvement.