27 April What the Research Says: Computing in schools

Time to Re-Load? What The Research Says Briefing 27April 2012



To code or not to code, that is the question…


England’s ‘rusty’ ICT curriculum is history, sent on its way to the scrapheap with the help of numerous individuals including Google chair Eric Schmidt and Education Secretary Michael Gove.

Now we are told to seize the moment to prepare our pupils properly for the future. This surge of enthusiasm for change has generated important questions that must be addressed by thinkers from across disciplines and sectors, including students and teachers, as well as technologists and academics: people to whom the answers matter.

The London Knowledge Lab will be hosting a debate on Friday 27th April to explore questions such as:

  • What does it mean to think computationally and is this the new literacy for 21st century learners?
  • Do learners really need to understand how to code or program a computer?
  • What kind of computational thinking takes place in the class room already?
  • If coding is king, then what flavour should we teach and what tools should we use?
  • How does computer science contribute and what can it learn from culture and the arts?
  • How do we make machines behave intelligently and what makes a software application engaging and easy to use?

Attendees will also be able to take part in a computational challenge, talk to school students about their computer science skills and try out popular tools like Scratch and ToonTalk as well as research products like Mission Maker.

This will be an interdisciplinary meeting of minds with speakers, demonstrations and contributions from organisations including Apps for Good, the BBC, the Educational Games Network, Epic, Game Maker, University of Newcastle, the Open University and the London Knowledge Lab, plus the Observer’s John Naughton.

The event will further the debate about how best to equip young people with the computational skills they need both to understand the evolving digital environment and to create the innovations that will drive society forward.

‘What the research says’ has been organised by academics from the London Knowledge Lab at the Institute of Education, working with colleagues from the Open University and the Learning Sciences Research Institute at the University of Nottingham. It is sponsored by the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) Research Programme and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

If you would like to attend the launch at the London Knowledge Lab on 27 April, 2012, from 1-3.30pm please contact Professor Rosemary Luckin, r.luckin@ioe.ac.uk.

A full program is available on the London Knowledge Lab website at http://www.lkl.ac.uk/cms/index.php

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