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ICER 2020
Sat 8 - Thu 13 August 2020

Tim Bell

…he’s the one on the right…

Brief biography

Tim Bell is a professor in the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering at the University of Canterbury. His main research interest is Computer Science education. His “Computer Science Unplugged” project, which introduces students and teachers to computer science without using computers, is widely used internationally, and has been translated into over 25 languages. He received the 2018 ACM SIGCSE Outstanding Contribution to Computer Science Education award, as well as the ETH (Zurich) ABZ International honorary medal for fundamental contributions in Computer Science education in 2013, and the IITP Excellence in IT Education award and the President’s Award for Contribution to the IT Profession in 2014. In the past his research areas have included text compression and music computing. He has been actively involved in the design and deployment of Digital Technologies as part of the New Zealand curriculum.

Keynote abstract

Teaching Teachers to Teach Computer Science

As new computing curricula are rolled out around the world, teachers are having to adjust to teaching new topics, finding new resources, and even working in a different style in the classroom. For some, this is a long-awaited change that they are more than ready for, but for many, particularly in primary school, it is unfamiliar territory and a foreign language, and it might even appear to threaten deeply-held values they have about what their learners need. Because the curriculum is new, it is unlikely to have been part of their own education or their preparation for being a teacher. So how do we reach and engage such teachers? What would motivate them to invest in this change? How do they see this mysterious new thing called “coding”? This talk will report on experience working with teachers in New Zealand, and also look at approaches used around the world. The role of CS Unplugged [1] will be considered, as well as the general issues that teachers face around identifying what and how they should teach this new curriculum area.