If you like Unplugged then you may be interested in the following:
Commentaries on teaching computing #
- Peter Denning’s Great Principles of Computing – developing a framework for computer science as a science and for the sciences. The “Great Principles” complements the Unplugged work because Unplugged is seeking to stimulate young people’s curiosity and excitement about computing principles, and we will be striving to cover as many of the principles as we can.
- The Code.org Advocacy Coalition is “a non-partisan group that believes computer science should be part of the core curriculum in education, and that we must increase participation and access for girls and underrepresented students of color.” The site offers a lot of information to support advocacy for computing in the curriculum, including a “Promote Computer Science” page.
- Lockhart’s Lament, an insightful discussion of the teaching of mathematics in schools, which could equally well be applied to the teaching of Computer Science.
- Alfred Thompson,Computer Science Academic Relations Manager for Microsoft, has a blog on teaching computer science at K-12 level
- CS Mythbusters – information about the realities of outsourcing and job opportunities in CS
- ACM’s education page
- IEEE’s education page
- The Imaginative Education Research Group takes a new approach to education.
- Teaching about Computers is a wiki about teaching computing concepts.
- Cisco Virtual Field Trips is a video about job oppotunities in IT related fields.
Resources for teaching Computer Science #
- The CSTA (Computer Science Teachers Association) repository
- The it2school project, a selection of activities for teaching CS for junior students (currently avaialable only in German).
- Misha Leder, a Software Engineer at Google has a list of excellent activities that can be used as extension activities to Unplugged at Classes and Presentations on CS and Technology for young children. See also Misha Leder’s techtalk at Google in 2009 called Teaching Computer science to Children.
- Google’s Educators' site, which has lots of ideas for teaching, and a free copy of the teachers' Unplugged book for download.
- The Magic of Computer Science book, a collection of magic tricks based on Computer Science, available as part of CS4FN.
- The Engineering Pathway website has lots of resources for teaching computer science.
- National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT)
- TECS (Teacher Enrichment in Computer Science)
- The SIGCSE “Non-programming resources” working group in 2000 and 2001 produced some great ideas for offline activities.
- The Center for Discrete Maths and Theoretical Computer Science at Rutgers has an education site including K-12 material.
- Integrating Mathematical Reasoning into Computer Science Curricula
- Peter Henderson’s “Math counts” column
- The “Discrete Mathematics for K-8 teachers” material
- Villanova Magic School Computer Science Education, magic illusion instruction that supports science, and particularly computer science, education.
- Microsoft’s Pre-collegiate web site, with lots of ideas for school activities relating to computing.
- Mathcasts – observe other teachers teaching
- Wikiversity is a Wikipedia related site with lesson plans.
- The MegaMath project has some early “Unplugged” activities and some mathematically related ideas.
- Sabrina Sterling’s Kinesthetic Computing site, with games and kinesthetic activities relating to computers. The games are particularly suitable for younger children, and introduce computing terms and the parts of a computer.
- Quotations for Learning and Programming
- Tech Corps: technology volunteers for US schools
- Computer Science Education Research
- Teaching About Computers is a wiki about Computer Science education in primary and secondary schools.
- The RAFT organisation in San Jose, California, has cool resources from recycled material, and worksheets with ideas for using them (e.g. coding binary numbers in a string of beads).
- Puzzle Based Learning is a website worth having a look at, and it contains this especially interesting video clip.
- Another useful website is Try Engineering which is aimed at young people aged 8 to 18
- Some very helpful information about Pre-University Education can be found here
Computer Science outreach programmes #
- CS4HS (Computer Science for High School) at CMU, UCLA and U Washington.
- CS4FN (CS for Fun) – run by Queen Mary University of London – several postings each month of CS related material, plus a magazine.
- The Purdue outreach program, including their “ROCS” (Reach Out for Computer Science) which has some great resources for school outreach.
- Glasgow’s Computer Science Inside (CSI) program
Cool books and stories #
- Lauren Ipsum is a wonderful fictional story about a girl lost in Userland. Computer Scientists will recognise lots of familiar ideas in the fantastical characters and situations that Lauren encounters.
- Computational Fairy Tales is a delightful book of computer science ideas being applied to solve problems in a fictional kingdom. With chapter titles like “The town of Bool”, “Detecting curses with Recursion”, “Sorting during the Flu outbreak”, “The NP-hard curse” and so on, you can see where it’s headed. His second book, “Best Practices of Spell Design” continues in the same vein.
- Shanon Duval’s Computer Science Kindergarten Style and CS Fairy Tales provide some entertaining seasoning for teaching Computer Science.
- Andrzej Urbanski’s Alan Bit appears in a series of books, games and related activities (in Polish, although some of the website is in English).
Other programmes relating to computing and schools #
- The International Olympiad in Informatics is “The premier world-wide high school informatics (computer science) competition”. This is primarily a programming competition; it is one of several UNESCO academic Olympiads.
- Edutopia is a George Lucas educational foundation sponsored site with ideas and innovation in education.
- Michael Twidale and Dave Nichol’s work on “Computational Sense”
- Here are some podcasts of Dan Garcia from the University of California, Berkeley teaching Computer Science. Note: these podcasts require you to have Real Player installed on your computer, it can be downloaded here
Material relating to the public understanding of science #
- Matt Carlson has a series of videos about science (mainly physics) experiments that have some great examples of fun science videos – by coincidence, he also has a “games unplugged” blog.
- The “Cut the knot” web site has lots of interesting material on maths.
- Phil Tulga’s music and maths web site isn’t directly related, but has a lot of kinesthetic ideas that could be adapted for Unplugged.
Other interesting links #
If you like CS Unplugged… you may enjoy the movie “The Professor and his beloved equation”, which is a wonderful story that happens to teach an appreciation for mathematics, but will appeal to a wide range of people due to the great cinematography, intriguing plot, and great acting. The soundtrack is in Japanese, but the DVD has subtitles. It is based on abook by Yoko Ogawa. (The book and film have several translated titles, including “The Gift of Numbers”).
UK Presenter and Comedian, Alan Davies embarks on a maths odyssey with the help of mathematician Marcus du Sautoyin this series of informative videos on the importance of Mathematics and it’s applications in everyday life. These videos offer good motivation for students who are usually not interested in Mathematics. See the documentary here.
Some of the “Unplugged” material is being distributed in cooperation with the Humanity Libraries Project.
Creative teachers can use music to teach content across the curriculum – to students of all ages. Visit Songs for Teaching: The Definitive Source for Educational Music for children’s songs, lyrics, sound clips and teaching suggestions.
SNAP: Math Fairs features puzzles for different levels of students who can learn Maths using puzzles.
- Misha Leder, a Software Engineer at Google has resources to introduce children to Maths at Introducing Formulas and Variables.
-Packetville is an online community packed with educational games, lesson plans, assessment materials, information for parents, awards for students, great graphics, catchy music, and loads of student activities that will help your students meet the national standards in educational technology. You’ll find that Packetville resources fit into many subject areas, especially computer classes and social studies. Better yet, consider creating a dynamic Packetville Club in your classroom or as an after-school activity. Packetville is a fun way to teach your students how the Internet works and how they can help others through the use of technology.
- NCSS Challenge is run by the School of Information Technologies at the University of Sydney as part of the National Computer Science School (NCSS). The Challenge is unlike any other programming competition because we will teach you how to program as we go along rather than expecting you to be an expert coder already. However, if you are a seasoned coder, we have something for you too because the problems will range from relatively simple through to mind-bendingly hard. If you have questions or comments please email NCSS. -Puzzle-Based Lerarning developed by Zbigniew Michalewicz and Matthew Michalewicz is a new teaching and learning methodology that is focused on the development of problem-solving skills. Try sample puzzles at Puzzle 2.5 illustrates the Monty Hall problem and Puzzle 6.8 illustrates the well-know egg-drop experiment (purchase now required). Watch a promotional video sample.
- Tom Bradley, a Computer Science Graduate from Swansea has written a paper on Building interactive learning tools for the Computer Science Unplugged course
- Donald Knuth gives the Turing Lecture 2011. Summary: The all-pervasive nature of the general-purpose computer has made the most profound mark on almost every aspect of our lives. The central seminal figure in this computer revolution was Alan Turing, whose outstanding originality and vision was what made it possible, in work originating in the mid 1930s. Although it is now hard to see what the limits of the computer revolution might eventually be, it was Turing himself who pointed out to us the very existence of such theoretical limitations.
- Computerphile is a new YouTube Channel that interviews academics about various topics in Computer Science
Get the teacher kit #
- We have a new Teacher Kit – You can download the zip full of powerpoints here.