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Pycon - A teacher's perspective


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Title Pycon - A teacher's perspective
Title of Series EuroPython 2015
Part Number 02
Number of Parts 173
Author Robinson, James
License CC Attribution - NonCommercial - ShareAlike 3.0 Unported:
You are free to use, adapt and copy, distribute and transmit the work or content in adapted or unchanged form for any legal and non-commercial purpose as long as the work is attributed to the author in the manner specified by the author or licensor and the work or content is shared also in adapted form only under the conditions of this license.
DOI 10.5446/20133
Publisher EuroPython
Release Date 2015
Language English
Production Place Bilbao, Euskadi, Spain

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Subject Area Computer Science
Abstract James Robinson - Pycon - A teacher's perspective A perspective of the impact of the PyconUK education track from the point of view of teachers and educators. Having attended the education track at Pycon UK 2014 as a teacher, my talk will share both my experiences and those of other teachers attending. The education track bought educators and developers together in a way that allowed the teachers to get support and advice whilst developers get to support teachers in developing exciting & real applications for teaching computing. The talk will focus on two aspects of the education track. The workshops delivered for teachers by python developers and how this helps build teachers confidence. But also the breakout sessions where educators and developers with common interests can work together to develop something. This might be a program / library or a teaching resource, some developers gave a hands on and bespoke training session to a group of teachers. If we are to get more young people programming or at least having a positive experience of programming then we need to minimize obstacles to that experience. By having educators and developers working together we can identify those obstacles and eliminate them!
Keywords EuroPython Conference
EP 2015
EuroPython 2015
state on the future of their work will rustic foundations and constituted day about point when you can and particularly education trick
that I attended last year 2 August starting can't understand I'm mentioning that the majority of your audience of developers of takes on teachers are educators also reports on google image pixels so you and I want to know about quality and you can and how to do that in a minute just step back a little bit above the rim size and people was really being you know units morning and but step back how point again as as as a as a low
so you sometime in the eighties more will keep right and on was a lot of my early education and and more you from 1 moment in reverse gear supporting me which is exploring the world and for new things that she often compiling might have a theory that for about how aggressively to was always use a comma operator with both policy as his are was keen to investigate pilot playing with things and say things that informed more than the education with things like of which are I played with for hours on end follow the manuals but don't think I have set I think a coveted that's set nothing what this is more of a gene and about age right I think we got offers from computer with a cheaper version of a Commodore 64 was the torus 65 exceed technically it was a family computer but what siblings knew that read it was mulling made of read about the nuclear and only began after playing some games of started out using bases and rising summary simple programs and then I was also really intercrop anything you good scissors ColorBoard make benefit and I'll come back to this idea in a 2nd but have also progressed from basic like what progress detection a technical love it still love knowledge about technique this year forward but that was the best present I've got also we recently all hamsters packed up opposite reading extension one-legged came hours and I think we then crying thing before me the point would let was or you didn't just learn about how to connect things it told me about mechanical systems the 1st 2 point drop a differential gear and also this is amazing now understand how call works brilliant as follows so many things from leads again but set coveted and born on 24 hours would have saved so that the really informs and worries well knitting was something requirements will be quite early on a lot of skill of recently almost it's like big a recent report of meeting with me and I and II as well as starting was basic programming always I picked up some of the Osborne books which were fantastic I specifically remember this book and and battleships talking going on by the and that's what I wanna make about the educational experiences these would be before school all all sort of all on top of this depositing a school is that all of them what playful all of them in a playful way OK and every single 1 of them what to put down at any moment what could make something like and thought that of thrown away OK and this kind of compact moments of what might during keynotes and 1 of the things I want said the wants and bring up that what was that we will use an idea major project you can be committing to making a project with a you got this nice little boilerplate scratch pad style area place you play as as kids do and then just chuck it away kind the other thing about it is that it appears have with packets was something that only wanted to get out something that meant something to me it was someone telling me to do something on wanted to build all on hold the thing it's something on wanted to build a technical thing I wanted my game to work was frustrated when didn't and the final thing was it was it was progression it was always somewhere from ESA going next so I started out with print Hello world War exhausted all the examples in the entire amount of with the found somewhere else to go laid out in the 2nd place and take that and the sum across other there's always someone needs to go so those 3 things playfulness progression and purpose so I think really important in educational experiences and and the middle
section to my life quality university computer-science lots of interesting anecdotes involving the mainly using stuff that doesn't happen on 1 1 and then this was that this is me educates assortment of being alone and 2004 started up a career in teaching just on what time is math teacher and done as someone who could use a computer was never going had always already to picked up this role um and and really enjoyed doing it that was a great experience but to get quite quickly frustrated with ICT industry that occurs move once a carrier was making a lot of ways was being driven by officer based programming with limited XL my frozen formula and a lot of the engaging in difficult also want to sort this new describe is engaging and quality just what's considered difficult concept for activities were left at the end of the year of primary school teachers that I was talking to run time was only in would you let the robotics program them in like the summer sometimes we don't get a full 6 weeks lots and from the Dewey because those those things that lead to the end of the finance it is in the year and then at the end of the year all set off the end of the year in the more intuitive next year and those kind experiences were always being left to the end so as I started only was there a set of complementary for change the way always doing things in school unless school device some later about 6 we started a Lego Club went to the 1st legally and things factory is only used things factory doesn't exist anymore that's where started an hour and hanging out in a shopping mall at the temple microfuge would this system could click and play and was a drag and drop things ending put freudian press the button and around most of doubles that was your starting point and I think that developed into a into educational products use and school of regret and scratch again analysts scratched of simulating games things and we'll see and forces and page similar was a false or I could tell you more Frankie using fit is and so you had to Mao was um something that the school had previously done through like FrontPage all clean we're or something like that but I think you start using these big have ladies me stop using the basics of how about works it's not have on the external quality control in that part in 1 window the browser the window you save refresh save refresher 1st so we did some basic HTML and what on we don't want to a 2nd this school but what began collaborating this is the point where I think things change a lot from because those frustrations hands in school being the only teaching you kind of in my mind got but was really difficult to start to connect with other teachers was really important joint cows which is a group in the UK called computing a started working with local primaries helping them deliverable takes in their schools and then all of a sudden um in that it was it was a few years ago and it was possible to teach the GCSE in computer science so was a pilot phase phase where and teachers to pick it up and I was super excited by this because this is finally you know all these things on binary about whatever happens like is that I was really excited and possibly rather why she can we can delivered this what's what's more he's rooted liberties with kids and and the 1st question is what language and that sort of again what mentioned earlier on in keynote to back mind what much of experiences using basic and and points and was really the clear choice for me and the results of all how we teach them can we go about sharing this with kids yeah I know how to write a loop right a functional do this in the but to me it seems self-evident counterweight break that down and take my understanding and political across the kids and how it challenge kids I had a kid in Mali 1st GCSE class you been programming since the age of the following and never stopped a lot many of the women velocity we don't have the internet but we were very late in the internet eventually are convinced that that's 2 boys 3 month trial of this Internet thing we on there and instantly at the nearly more horizons responded people living within 30 years and C and Java and he was at the at the atomic into what he was a far better programmers don't think will ever be data so how would challenge kids on that this experience because there is unlike traditional subject there is this and this difference of experience some kids we've been doing this for years and years and years and have a wealth of experience it was clear and other kids might be aware of what the put off quite in the parts so is another subject you might have fairly level playing field you've got a whole different range of experiences so this the collaboration of teachers was imperative was really important that it was a Roman poet the like they've told that and our that carry and shortly afterward with my Academy joined Twitter and Quincy more conferences and things and that was the point at which I call the only became aware of like UK and data submitted by application currently because of the deadline to quit you free places I don't know from recover costs so a great of data and some of would to that point point you can say certainly the case was a fantastic experience for me was there last September uh and particularly education track which is where I spend my days unfortunately only just moved to France and so on a wall Waldegrave promote nocturnal something columns of the state of Florida but was a to date from the 1st day teachers that with with really not talk more about how he worked in my 2nd day with the kids die and developers will welcome to come to both of those 2 days encouraged them to buy the students if that the picture somewhere in the middle of the 1st of all in the same go to the education from you should be there and so it was fantastic was workshops them frightening discussions quadcopters toward the end of the day and carry on with the leadership which is going anyone there is all of this is the case here that I want your appetite left and the right of the Joint Board members of these are pointing and so I did stayed in the bottom right hand corner is not with us today is going the that was really talking about who is doing the space because there will be a existing in this as well of and that is the case here so the take was amazing so 1 of of a teacher haven't met at this point and was aware of from Twitter cat she's been a of following the academy after me so we would have talking about on Twitter she was like a representation such turn this page and it just vanished the US or the beginning that there was a lot of materials I went back don't there was only 1 thing so it was it was a fantastic day at the bottom of the few things from the police excellent introduction to the point when you gave you want to have a more detailed overview of the 2 days following the but also joined by members of the community and talked about to be able to deal with this ontology you must always make them provided some last-minute along with images of used in this presentation is on the camera you should so and guess lot there's a community of people that given the metal and come along to talk about education how we educate and and and and this is the the project that we should be focusing on so this is how the
teachers that was broken down so it 1st of all we can see we have section 1 graph Paul all the teachers worshipping Minecraft they're all Nottingham ontology shown as the story you can see that the relative not is excellent website stuff about problems and and that that's not how you start his workshop with apparently know and you expect when you think that at any given a demonstration of how to use a Python library interface we 1 problem and create amazing things and if you think back to that the the 1st point made about what experiences with legs as morning cross is often described as a digital leg that is played around this this area where kids can play out and see Minecraft which the teachers I don't try and put 1 crop across as all of the gain 1 half a million education is a medium it's a way of expressing things your idea we talked about earlier on the story about what we want a data where we've got you know a set of planets and the variance and you should them all with things for 2 D graphics play games to get kids to make something graphical I never bothered with it's because which is with the was more than a level topic anyway but for the American they have to put in to get something simple graphical on the screen which is you know quite a bit more work playing without all 1 we can build all sorts of things we want to assess what kids in the winter and we said no way to build space invaders the when they did that space invaders and we turned those into flashing space invaders state space of a species especially something things on your head space and changed but he space invaders around the world and it's gonna find someone brought medium with the work fantastical loads of people the 1st experience of 1st experience all of programming and they love and we did in this section we had uh all of this computing system of things that have been just been talking about his talk was a session uh festivities using motors and Western spinning flowers and these are on yeah OK I was in that section was a bit of splitting up point as but that there was some physical computer and we also had uh a section with instruction for 2nd teachers particularly to object-orientation full lots of those teachers Object-Orientation was something they might encounter with libraries that the using and but was something that would be familiar with the wasn't something that they could use for ever known for a long time so is a great introduction or fresh I will say we have a team simple the robot learns to disappear and so the robot as long as we're now robot team Broadway's over dogs they saying that different kinds of clever things you've taken the walls they talked about their programming interface behind that and how schools should be doing more about and then the often in section where we have an unconference style sections we started off with all the teachers and developers together we pick ideas and then we'll broke up into groups and we kind of worked together as teachers and developers 2 quantities and resource development so I want a resource that helps me teach this concept let's go make it together all parts and culture so there is a lady have wanted help with features in some web stuff and she wanted some help with China God the the rings of a belt and and so she sat down with a developer to help to understand how gender works and right at the beginning of the framework for scheme of what the what the kids and the was the the people the with their talk about how to make the libraries also tools so this set the screen here and this thing for 1 of the GCSE that's project only common computer you guys aware of little which it's claimed of what it teaches us that public so that was common computer and but I think is basically it's a simulated to help you teach your kids and she had tried but I like the very low level and stuff so far a basic operations instructions and the complaint smaller teachers was at the moment this doesn't work was proposed we use in the same itself developers only ported to the OK and I was looking afternoons work for so this this being the 2nd holiday was really really valuable because of dedicated teachers the child to direct that help the support they need I think this
collaboration really important if we think about the 1st group of people that that teachers because the teachers then we write that delivery think they use periods during the when they have to take a concept to break it down into parts to work and how to deliver that explain that to get volunteer also great at that so point of progression so this your starting point we wanted to this concept was the pathway that would it take to get the great assessing knowing where kids are up to you can get a civilian really good measure of what kids and they have a grasp on what the next steps and also good engaging people that job it's possible to but we need help this is going back to the well as a closer to what we often need help with is our background retained ie I programmed as a kid I did of growing up and a computer science degree right depicts of job of that is most systems but I haven't done programming you know for a long time and so in my knowledge is his rustic so having that that support and some people don't have the background all we need most people and the living but it really need some help with exploring possibilities knowing what is out there to help the so they want to solve a particular problem where wonder if what can I do this with you guys the developers you want people to and relevance yeah like a lot of the teaching materials with out there 1st of all for teaching computer science was well here we're gonna do it on my study where you guess the number and we selection to see if you're right or wrong all his told the teacher told to you would write this code which if you put in the school system to tell you what a great what's which students again can rather than or is not particularly the but developers your they're writing software during includes a cool things on things that kids might be aware is reported to web interface whatever you've got relevant experience that you know you can shake his confidence and and also challenge people that 16 year old that I had that was a far better program than on you know talking to developers means all I could find ways of extending them pushing them forward and finding new ways to challenge the and an enabling learners say this kind of comes down the barriers point we talked about a little bit later on as a teacher there's lots of little frustrations that we have on this deal with network administration and the interface we use in the libraries those problems note is good for stability and the somewhere have conversation and developers take you guys a great creating solutions is what you did you know it is a problem because solution to solve OK you've got the really in-depth Detailed knowledge about how the libraries work how they interconnect how we can use the and you greater weighting libraries and tools that teachers can take in the classroom and as I mentioned you also got the relevance of experience which is covered which is relevant which is the real world and stuff the we can help with his teachers this finding new ways to engage learners so the idea that you have about how we have the schools and we could do that we we can maybe work out how to make them more engaging for and making Python more accessible and that the reason I chose Python right and for its simplicity accessibility I think that Python should be almost the de-facto language the textbooks language kids are using and in the UK kind of you know a lots of kids in utility teachers and UK have chosen Poisson based on teachers recommendations words in in the states we went recently and it's Python is we use a little bit education but not as much as see in Java and processing them jobs for which often we because they're just so syntax so it's not something that was being to those 2 groups the teachers we pointed out that it's lot progression the gossip learning experience that on the progression of how we get from a to B developers to greater bringing the packets the the project so strong but the biggest is missing is the playfulness and that's where to comes the data was the big on and this was that I saw pictures the next day all the stuff that was going on and I was really wished I could have been now rather than what down so I just decided some pictures from next presentation but you just can't change the generative kids don't but I think is his his Singampalli computer that doing some cardio other no idea what is that doing but some some parts of the modern mind profit might be he was and if the what we who was going to maybe in a couple of unsure the 1 hand on the keyboard this a few things we can notice that the this Later everyone's trying to hold people demonstrable having to go and this comes back to the point that I'm currently taking their kids all inherent sort of investigative and playful and and want to learn a trade and they probably means that there is a whole series of assault 10 photos in the set and they go through a range of motion like every human emotion you can was imagine you know this disparity will open the things going on but then we get this moment at end when they solve that problem they take all the book you always the barriers they've worked out the problem is they sold under look of satisfaction on their effects is fantastic OK and that's we should be getting together as education at educationists and developers to support these guys OK to make sure they're having this experience with the very very quickly that it did not point the 1st picture just stop the that this point when I see the value we get the gratification no idea and influence on Sunday on probability of a short on the on on the number so you have
see full you'll have to read the 1st of all it's for OK with your teacher develop all the kids coming to the appointment events it's tremendous for shooting from um we got a picture here but will the it 1 of the teachers along with of course length is 1 of shortly afterward or just read something in my in my drawer on having some fun yet but they heroes and villains who that although I get smaller and that's coming from the because doing something playful and created and and you will hear in all probably have better mutual and we talking about what should I say you could teach it will later get they coaching support confidence-building that's really important so many teachers did not have the background that I had playing with code generated having little bit of theory of and that confidence is really important to them they get ideas from lessons they collaborate with other teachers they collaborate with you guys because the case which if anything like the west of your 2 should be coming from I which is what I wanted you to have to do something that I want to do because that's why national on 1 of them to be and things are actually going to be they can a good idea was also let's make that happen right so you you want to neutralize was all context building on the work development you get to adopt teacher right which which is also the site and I had this experience that was developed and marketed wasn't particularly do you really uh scheme of word for or learning machine there is more to do with enabling more used get up in the classroom so what's was made the life that 1 wants to use only want to be able to push his year of the program was local kind of game of and the lab which we played around with a little bit and rewards of an automatic backup mechanism from 1 point to which is that the of the repository like component however the case and fundamental structure of programs more ideas they adopted me the out and fortunately shortly after point of that kind of content that these
conversations racing and disappeared now there have been a standard developers have day jobs on teacher on the classes now the thing is is difficult but if you wanted do adopting a teacher teacher it's really fantastic you can maintain that relationship because it is is really beneficial to both or explain why both the justice so and you have to engage teachers and kids with the Python community which is a fantastic community we need to get teachers kids engage with you get a warm fuzzy feeling right which is which is right but also this point and this reinforces number on paraphrasing and it's about and it reinforces the Princeton and clarity of thought it OK takes so just on was a maths teacher and I said to accuse right will um but note this is not much of a concept in the queue why is that the case of world it is In the competing with each other and how to pronounce and that was the beginning of my thinking not being able to understand some things almost self evident OK at that point my knowledge of mathematics was not deep enough that's all I could explain that wants to choice OK so if we have to explain things to people all non-experts built on paper 1 things all to do you would be self-evident actually gives you a deeper understanding OK so that gives you a better clarity and the case can get latest safe place to apply a panel of OK was no measuring the progress is not the feedback was doing apart from the positive y all in what we call this public at that time so that supported the encouraged but the primary with others that teachers of kids lots of kids don't all collaborate with adults so that's part of the the kids to the child to collaborate with other groups of kids so bring them all together on this holiday means they get opportunities and the sense of pride and achievement conference last nite but provide a picture of an expanding from which is right indicators to be because the sharing his 1 robot robotic relations with the Williams so you get a sense of the I have achieved something I had done something possible and that's again really and did I mention it can stop themselves right OK so didn't
on just take a brief pause this is another perspective this a teacher that and methods with and the first one . com don't call to objective with the by and she said this is this quantity someone for 2nd give you chance to read 1 of the what the there's a couple of points in this sort history in Parliament to 11 and replacing it it she regards itself as a relatively normal computing teacher but really I need that support for all values that support from developers and and what kids need something exploiting which we use and teachers I don't have a huge amount of told that we you know there the working week is very low and as I say anything that developers can do all the people in the community size is between 100 following are showing his along the bridge you can use which if you just 1 more mandible was it would it would access thereto talk right which is super exciting this way more exciting than budget cringing you numbers arbitrarily in a very trying to build so this is really a very powerful and there's a lot things that we call what it's all about the the experiences of my control I recommend that if you're interested you check that and how
can you have a particle will be rephrased few points but from parents to own so 1st the teacher right and that doesn't have to be republican event or any kind of physical face-to-face me so in your local area wherever you won't find out what your teachers are doing terms of computing and programming that kind so curriculum find out if you can support them we can you legally in another 1 that was talk about computing a local schools don't talk about some bits about your day right go explained call things that you do with color and how it empowers you and what you what you know about and have the tools and libraries support letters and again we've we've got you you've got you behind works so the current sentence that we should all be working on that's OK as where workshop were told for educators and again that could be an event like . com it could be after local networking meeting it could be that you if you
run like a local place an interest-free type thing votes and teachers get into come along the final point is all about having a questions about point of use the classroom and can cook I don't know if I how many people are aware of potable of all hierarchical conclude there is a great resource that enables further eye-popping scheme for getting experts to go into schools where kids run and workshops and that's right because it means that the teachers have to like attendance and support you but I don't have to be provided with material and they you get a chance that network gives you immediately you know sometimes it can be difficult for me I want to get in the school there was in the process of what do that and I that cover the whole ton of things that we know 1 of the things that you could do to how did you find teachers anyway the point of community and with the language itself and the body of a core ideas come of forums and anyone from the worst part efficiently whichever thus is 1 of the knowledge about something you going to do then the would have to have a conversation most of the important role for questions and you get without yeah the 1st shock was very interesting and uh I was very I like that the kid stays in uh and do you know called the kids were the make use of positive over the range of kids there we the because as well that is not limited only have because it means that the only thing conventional the younger kids and do all the younger kids can mentally ill and and and the loss reduction at his 1st of collaboration next are and a partial from a child the sets from could set all those photos of the children that we saw programming in this series of
that that the longest series of photos actually on the kid in the middle at the in the last 1 he came along and men told the other 2 so they had a problem he came along as a picture of him pointing at the screen and something goes wrong then altogether they put it right so the the important thing about this site is there are no adults involved in this learning as this is the autonomous unit it's picking up from some kind of important point as well as as as adults knowing when that and so the costly and what we often encourage you to and make the 1st few steps for themselves but only comes out of the house when they when they don't have threefold problems the why they still would have to the 1st model at the end of the all right thanks very much changed thank you
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