Categories
tech Uncategorized

Mastodon: Into the Fediverse… a Tootorial.

As author of “How to Teach Computer Science” (see how early I got the plug in?) it’s probably right that I post about my foray into Mastodon, the “Twitter alternative” that everyone is talking about (again, more on that later). I will try to keep this post updated over the next few weeks so check back often. If you like this post, consider bunging me a coffee or buying my book. Also forgive the occasional ads on the page, this is not my day job. Thanks!

Screenshot of the Mastodon web interface showing the author's profile and a post below giving the look and feel of the website.

What is Mastodon?

It’s microblogging software, running on thousands of separate servers. You sign up and can share posts or “toots”, that others can see. You can follow people and use hashtags, much like Twitter (and also very much not like Twitter in all the right ways, which you will understand soon).

In short, it’s software. It’s not a service/website/platform/publisher like Twitter. It has no teams of content moderators. This vital distinction is of utmost importance, because it’s underlies many complaints made by new users, who have made the switch from the birdsite. Essentially, Mastodon is software that runs on a server and provides a microblogging platform to its users. A technical person called a “sysadmin” has installed the software on a server and made it available to you via the WWW. That sysadmin is wholly responsible for the server “instance” they have created. Users sign up on the web interface through a normal browser, or on a mobile device can download the Mastodon app, or alternative apps like Tusky.

Note: I will use the terms “server”, “instance” and “domain” interchangeably in this post because if you’re new to the service the distinctions are really not important.

Each instance exists independently of the others and should be considered a separate community, with its own rules and etiquette, although they do talk to each other (see later). Take the time to learn those rules because the premise of a Mastodon instance is that it is a collaborative, supportive community of like-minded people, with no agenda, no ads and no algorithms pushing content. Just like the early internet servers were, on Fidonet, Usenet, IRC and everything else that used this model long ago! (Aside: I was sending emails and using Usenet in 1986 at Sheffield Uni. I’ve seen these services come and go a few times. More on that later).

Advertisements

Which server do I choose?

You’re probably here because someone you know has suggested you join mastodon. So maybe join the server they are on. If they have shared their full mastodon username, the server is the bit after the username, i.e. my full username is @mraharrison@mstdn.social so my server is available on the web at mstdn.social. If that server is closed to new signups (the number of people signed up across the “fediverse” has doubled in the last week) then go with a similar one, and you can start looking here.

I am on mstdn.social whose server rules can be found at the “about” page here mstdn.social/about and you can see the rules listed as follows:

  1. Sexually explicit or violent media must be marked as sensitive when posting.
  2. No spam or advertising.
  3. No racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, or casteism.
  4. No incitement of violence or promotion of violent ideologies.
  5. No harassment, dogpiling or doxxing of other users.
  6. No illegal content.

That all sounds great, but even more information is below the rules. I can see over 100 other instances that are banned from connecting to this instance, and read the reasons for doing so. “Racism”, “illegal content”, “harassing trans people” and “conspiracy theories” are some of the reasons listed by @stux, my sysadmin for preventing other servers from connecting to this one. Stux is a good guy who runs this site for a living, so I have PayPalled him some money. Your server admin can be found on your server’s “about” page, and you should consider helping because they usually run the site purely on voluntary donations.

Browsing the about page will make the culture of this instance clear to you, and reveal the outlook of the sysadmin(s) which is kind of important, so you can decide whether you want to join the community.

Advertisements

What’s “federation”?

So each instance behaves like a community, but that’s no good if your friends are all on other instances, right? OK that’s where federation comes in. Each instance will “federate” with all other instances: you can follow others and your posts will be seen by others on other instances and vice versa, within certain parameters. We saw above that a sysadmin will judiciously block other servers based on their federation policies, and that’s great to keep this instance reasonably safe. But generally speaking, your instance will seamlessly talk to all other instances where your friends are. Here is a handy flowchart to show how federation works, courtesy of user @cassolotl@cybre.space :

Diagram showing "public toot by @Foo" at the top and a flowchart below explaining which timeline a toot will appear.

How do I find people to follow?

Start with someone you know, and browse to their profile. I am here: mstdn.social/@mraharrison . If you click “following” and “followers” you can see who I follow, and quickly follow them using the little “add person” icon to the right of their names:

Icon of person and plus sign overlaid

You can also search hashtags, and if you’re reading this because you are in my UK teaching network, you probably want to click here and follow some people posting with the #EduTooter hashtag. Just type #EduTooter into the search box on the site or app, and then follow some of the tooters that come up! (Sorry about the word “toot”, I thought “tweet” was silly, but here we are…)

Trying hashtags like #medicine, #grungemusic #crossstitch usually comes up with some people to follow, but this process may be slow and take a few weeks before your timeline is as busy as the birdsite was. Bear with it, this is because there is no algorithm pushing content to you, which is why you came here, right? To be free of the corporate firehose of questionable information? Right?

Note: Mastodon has a “Lists” feature just like the birdsite, so check that out, when I have any useful lists of EduTooters to share I’ll share them here, come back often!

Can I use an app?

Yes. I recommend signing up through the web browser interface, it’s just much easier to get started that way. Some features are not available on the app and the screen real-estate needed to get set up easily is substantial. But once signed up, there is an “official” (i.e. provided by the not-for-profit German company that looks after the Mastodon open-source software) app called Mastodon but also some “unofficial” ones. I’m trying Tusky now and running both apps to check them out. Others may be available.

How do I stay safe?

You have checked the moderation policies of your server instance, right? So you know what content is allowed and what isn’t. Firstly, be a good member of the community and follow those rules yourself. Be careful, many server rules require Content Warnings for certain things, e.g. mstdn.social requires a CW before mentioning violence. Just add a CW in the app or on the web by clicking “CW” below the text box. Follow all the other rules as well, to be a good community member. (This is how the early internet was, let’s recreate the good times of community!)

If you get harassed, attacked or any trouble, you need to know how to block a user, block a domain or report to the admin. Click the 3-dots on the right of the action icons below the toot. In the pop-up menu, choose an action from Mute, Block user, or Block domain. Obviously “block domain” will be greyed out on your own domain.

Screenshot of Mastodon timeline after clicking on the 3 dots, showing the pop-up menu with Mute and BLock options highlighted.

(I’m grateful to Alex for the image – follow him here).

How do I support my sysadmin?

Remember, Mastodon is run by volunteers. I’ve written about my host above and explained that I have sent a donation by PayPal to @Stux, many of you may be on mastodon.social which is run by the lead developer of the Mastodon software, Eugen aka @Gargron. Whichever server you are on, you should definitely support your admin with a small payment: whatever you can afford, as this ensures the platform remains usable, and stays out of the hands of the big corporations. Click the “About” page on your server home page to find out how to help.

Where can I find out more?

In writing this blog I am grateful to Max Eddy @maxeddy@infosec.exchange for his article in PCMag How to Leave Twitter for Mastodon which is great further reading.

Wired has some tips in this article: “How to find your friends on Mastodon”

Mashable has an article here also “How to Switch Mastodon for Twitter”.

If you enjoyed this blog or found it useful, remember I too rely on donations! I wrote two books called “How to Teach Computer Science” and “How to Learn Computer Science” available here, if you have a child aged 14-21 learning computer science, why not get them a copy of the latter? Or you can buy me a coffee below. See you on Mastodon!

If you are grateful for my blog, please buy me a coffee at ko-fi.com/mraharrisoncs, thanks!
Categories
#LEARN computing HTTCS teaching and learning Uncategorized

Two chances to win #htLEARNCS!

My new book “How to LEARN Computer Science” is out now, at Amazon and JohnCattEd, and you have a two chances to get hold of a free copy…

  1. Like and Retweet my tweet here or Like my Facebook post here or here, or my LinkedIn post here. This will enter you into the prize draw and SIX winners will receive a free copy.
  2. BOGOF! Send proof of purchase of my first book “How to Teach Computer Science” dated today or later, and I will send you a free copy of #htLEARNcs (limited to the first SIX applications).
Screenshot of Amazon web page showing book for sale "How to Learn Computer Science"
Book now available in Amazon and at the publisher John Catt Ed

I’m very excited about this book, and hope your students are too. It will be available soon on the Hachette store too, thanks to JC’s deal with them, and bulk discounts for your class will be possible. So why not get a copy for yourself now? The foreword is written by my good friends Craig Sargent and Dave Hillyard of Craig’n’Dave and I am very humbled to have had their support during the creation of the book, and their wringing endorsement on page 1.

Advertisements

Thanks for your support!

Categories
Uncategorized

Prize Draw winners

The winners of a free copy of “How to Teach Computer Science” are:

Advertisements

Please direct message/private message me on Twitter or Facebook or email alanjharrison@bcs.org with your address to claim your book!

If you were unsuccessful this time, make sure you follow me on Twitter for future promotions, or buy a copy now for under £15! If you won, consider helping me out with a coffee. Thanks!

If you are grateful for my blog, please buy me a coffee at ko-fi.com/mraharrisoncs, thanks!
Categories
Uncategorized

Slide into summer with a free book…

It’s coming… that time we all catch up with family and friends, have a well-earned break, and put our feet up with a brew and a book. That book could be on me, if you enter my prize draw for a copy of “How to Teach Computer Science” Simply reblog this blog, RT my tweet here, or Like this post on Facebook to enter the prize draw. Three winners will get a copy in the post after the competition closes at Noon on Sunday 24th July. Thank you for spreading the word!

BREAKING NEWS: How to LEARN computer science, the ambitious student’s guide to studying computer science, will be out this September!

Book covers, How to Teach Computer Science and How to Learn Computer Science
Categories
Uncategorized

Stop expiring your passwords.

The title says it all, please for the love of children, turn off password expiry on your students’ accounts. Here’s why…

Advertisements

I was an Information Security (Infosec) consultant before I was a teacher. The prevailing wisdom up in the 20th century was that passwords should expire regularly, so that any compromised password quickly became useless. The password-thief would lose access once the rightful owner changed their password. This made sense at the time, most users had only one or at most a handful of passwords. They could cope with changing them once a quarter or so. That was then.

Forward to 2022 and we all have dozens, even hundreds of passwords. If they all expired quarterly, not a day would go by without one changing. But they don’t. We have access to password keepers, and most browsers offer to save passwords in an encrypted database. Our sensitive data is kept behind two-factor authentication (2FA) or multi-factor authentication (MFA) processes. We don’t have to remember a password that changes every 90 days or less. So why do it to the pupils?

I teach Year 7 upward, that’s aged 11 plus. Some of the pupils I teach arrive in with a reading age of 8 or less. My colleagues in upper primary who begin teaching pupils to use Office or Google Docs are teaching pupils with a reading age of 5 or 6. This is before we consider SEND needs such as visual impairment, motor control issues and ADHD to name but a few that are relevant here. So you can imagine the challenges they face. When password expiry came around, the conversations often went like this:

  • Ah, your password has expired. Right let me help…<sigh>
  • In those two boxes you have to type a new password.
  • No it can’t be the old one again. Oh, you already tried that? Right well now you have to type in your old password again.
  • No, I know I said you needed to type a new password but that comes next, first you need to type your old one in again, or it won’t let you type the new one.
  • Now, the new password needs to be at least 8 characters long, include a capital and a number, and be different to all your old ones.
  • If didn’t work again? Did you follow the rules? Ah, I see you didn’t use a capital, you need to press Shift for that, remember?
  • Right, maybe you didn’t type it exactly the same in both boxes.
  • No you’ll have to type your old password correctly again to have another attempt at choosing a new one.
  • OK so we’re ready to choose a new password again, can you remember the rules?
  • No those two passwords are not the same length, I can see from the length of the asterisk strings. Can you go back and do it again?
  • Oops, you hit Enter and it’s asking for old password again. Just do that first then try to get the new password the same twice this time.
  • Right two passwords the same length, are you sure they are the same?
  • Oh dear it’s still rejecting the new password. Did I mention it cannot include your name? You included your name? We can’t do that.
  • Yes, you need to type your old password again to try again.
  • One capital, at least eight characters, and a number.
  • Yes, they look the same length, are we ready to go?
  • Great job! you changed your password. Now write a hint in your planner, something to remind you what the password was, but not the whole thing, OK?
  • <writes hint>
  • <1 week later>
  • You can’t remember your password? Does the hint not help? OK then I’ll reset it. You’ll need to choose a new one, it will need to be at least 8 characters long, include a capital and a number, and be different to all your old ones….

repeat for at least half of every Year 7 class for half of the year and more than a handful of students every week, back when passwords expired in my school. But that was then…

Advertisements

I successfully used my prior experience as an Infosec (Cybersecurity) consultant to persuade my IT team to turn off password expiry. Because it’s not necessary on student accounts, and strongly discouraged on staff accounts too. Who says? The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). In an advisory article entitled “Password policy: updating your approach”, the UK government’s dedicated Cybersecurity unit wrote this:

Snip from the NCSC website (full text posted below this image in the blog).
NCSC Article “Password policy: updating your approach”

“Forcing password expiry carries no real benefits because:

  • the user is likely to choose new passwords that are only minor variations of the old
  • stolen passwords are generally exploited immediately
  • resetting the password gives you no information about whether a compromise has occurred
  • an attacker with access to the account will probably also receive the request to reset the password
  • if compromised via insecure storage, the attacker will be able to find the new password in the same place”

I could add other reasons to the above, regular password expiry causes users to write down their passwords, or just forget them. Now they no longer expire I don’t have the torturous “password expired” lessons and pupils no longer use “I forgot my password” as an excuse for missed homework. I gave them some skills to choose a strong, memorable password and introduced detentions for forgotten passwords after a while, as explained on this blog post. And nothing terrible has happened.

Please. Stop expiring your passwords.

My book “How to Teach Computer Science” is available for just £15 or less, see httcs.online for details. Tweet me @mraharrisoncs with comments.

Categories
Uncategorized

“It’s a duck!, obviously”.

I work at this youth club where the children turn phones off and put them away at the start of the club session, and don’t turn them back on again until they leave. I love how this means they are present, engaging with others: their peers and the club leaders, for the duration of the session.

“It’s a duck, obviously!” I’m looking over the shoulder of a 14 year old girl. There are a group of them sitting around a picnic table. They are playing Pictionary, without the board game. Just choosing things to draw for others to guess, on an A4 sketch pad.

Advertisements

There is a group of mostly boys playing basketball and another group playing football. I go in goal for a minute. I make a show of diving but I’m rubbish. I shoot a basket. It drops short of the hoop. I’m rubbish at that too but the boys don’t mind: “good job you’re good at computers, Sir!” one of them jokes.

In a moment we will go inside and I’ll teach two dozen of them to write computer programs. They will find it easier to concentrate on my instruction because they don’t have the distraction of pinging mobiles: the collected might of YouTube and TikTok, with their designed-in, completely a feature-not-a-bug, industrial strength addictive charms.

By the time they get their phones out again they will have spent six hours off them. They’ve had a long break from their social media, free of the need to check “Likes” and get dopamine hits from repeated sub-15-second trending videos. UK’s Mind charity recommends finding a balance between online and offline life for the benefit of mental health. The kids that come to this youth club get 30 hours per week offline, giving them time for really positive, face-to-face interactions with their peers and teachers.

Oops, the cat is out of the bag. Of course I’m not a youth club worker, I am a teacher. The youth club is my school. But the rest is true, the game of Pictionary and the basketball and football all happened, and is typical fare at break and lunch.

So. Does your school give your kids a solid 6-hour phone break every day? If not, why not?

Buy me a coffee at ko-fi.com/mraharrisoncs or buy my book at httcs.online

Categories
Uncategorized

htLEARNcs book imminent, THIS IS NOT A DRILL.

How to LEARN Computer Science is now in copy-editing. This means it will be ready for the new academic year, YAY, go me! I have taken all the good stuff from the first book (How to Teach Computer Science, available here) that is relevant to an audience of GCSE students themselves, and added lots of new content.

Advertisements

Instead of pedagogy, the book contains a collection of solid study skills I have had success with over the years. You can see a sneak preview here.

Sneak preview of the opening chapter of htLEARNcs

Then the book follows the same format as the original HTTCS book, with one chapter per typical GCSE topic. But again, where HTTCS included pedagogy for effective teaching, htLEARNcs includes lots of bite-sized study advice, with suggested activities linked to the topic.

Sneak preview of the Data chapter of htLEARNcs

I have kept the new book as faithful to the old book as possible, so teachers can use HTTCS for their own benefit, while recommending (dare I say buying 🙂 ) htLEARNcs for their students.

Teachers can set a chapter of htLEARNcs for homework, or just one of the activities each week. A few copies in the classroom could be used as “stretch” activity resources, and aspirational parents can buy it for their children.

If you are grateful for my blog, please buy me a coffee at ko-fi.com/mraharrisoncs, thanks!

I’ll keep you posted on the progress towards publication. But it’s great to see this second book coming together! If you haven’t got hold of the first book yet, it’s still just £11.55 on Amazon at time of writing.

Categories
Uncategorized

“Educated” – a book review.

“Every human should read this” – first posted on Goodreads. Links below.

Educated by Tara Westover

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book will stay with me for a long time. SPOILERS AHEAD and TW for DOMESTIC ABUSE.

I am a teacher in the UK and was going to open my first Goodreads review in years with something like “every teacher should read this book” because so much is about the power of education to transform a damaged soul. Then it occurred to me that “every parent should read this book” because so much of the book is about (bad) parenting. Then I pondered some more and thought “every lawmaker should read this book” because the Westover children were so badly let down by everyone in authority who had the capacity to help them. Then I realized that despite all the pain and suffering Tara recounts so eloquently, it’s a story of redemption, of recovery from domestic abuse and will therefore be a beacon of hope for anyone undergoing struggle. So after much consideration, my opening statement has become:

Every human should read this.

Did I say there were spoilers? You have been warned. Also this is another trigger warning for references to domestic violence.

I listened to the audio book, in ten hours over a few weeks. The first half of the book recounts Tara’s disturbing childhood as the youngest of seven children of a radical Mormon “survivalist” who believed “the abomination” was coming and spent most evenings terrifying the children with Old Testament verses about the end of the world. The parents denied Tara any schooling or healthcare, forced her to work in the insanely dangerous family junkyard and turned a blind eye to Tara’s brother Shawn’s cruelty and violence. (Later we learn that older sister Audrey had also been a victim of Shawn’s violent bullying, and that when Shawn married a girl ten years his junior, he manipulated and bullied her too).

The house was filthy, Tara had no friends or social life, and few books. Her father refused her requests to go to school and as brother Shawn got older the violence became more serious. Tara’s Father’s reckless attitude to safety extended to driving – they stayed with Grandma in Arizona when the Idaho winter closed in – and twice the deathtrap family car, without seatbelts, crashed on the way back, not once but twice. The first time, brother Luke was forced to drive through the night until he fell asleep at the wheel, crashing into a telegraph pole and causing a brain injury to Tara’s mother, but sickeningly she was not taken to hospital (Tara’s mother was a “herbalist” and they shunned modern medicine, Father claiming it was a “tool of the illuminati”). Tara’s father was driving during the second accident: way too fast on icy roads claiming “I’m not driving faster than the angels can fly!” before pitching the van into a field. The father’s belief in divine protection seemed to absolve him from any responsibility to protect his children, and this would be an infuriating theme throughout the book.

At this point, you’re probably wondering how long ago this happened? Surely this is frontier stuff, 19th century America when it was every family for themselves? No, Tara was born in 1986 in the richest country in the world. That the children were forced to endure such pain and terror in modern times is unconscionable, and it will make your blood boil. But redemption will come in part two, of sorts…

Tara found solace in books. Her kind brother Tyler taught her to read, and she studied voraciously after that. Somehow, having not attended school at all, she passed the entrance exam for Brigham Young University, graduating in 2008. Her tutor recommended her for Cambridge and she gained a Masters and, eventually, against all odds, a PhD in 2014.

The book is expertly written, treading that fine line between recounting sufficient detail of horrific acts that we can understand and empathise, but without so much horror that we are repelled. We hear her thoughts, Tara’s emotional trauma comes across painfully well, and we completely and wholeheartedly empathise with her. We are in her corner for the entire book and feel like cheering when success comes her way.

The book has left its mark on the teacher in me. It’s impossible to go to work and see the children in front of me and not wonder… is there a Tara among you? Is your home life wracked with misery? Do you have a protector at home, or an abuser?

Before reading this book I already believed in the power of education to change lives, it’s why I am a teacher after all. But I would not have believed, if you had told me, that someone could live seventeen years without any formal education, and then gain a doctorate within ten years. Let alone that someone be the victim of seventeen years of child neglect and physical and emotional abuse.

It is on this that I must dwell a moment because I should not have had to write that last sentence. I would like to think that here in the UK our systems are tighter, that “homeschooling” means just that, we allow precious little of it in the first place, and we monitor homeschooled children closely. Our social services, stretched though they are, often (but don’t always) pick up child neglect. But we must never take this for granted, another Tara is possible anywhere if we all look away, if we trust a “godly” father and don’t listen to the child.

Tara talks passionately in the book about moral philosophers, Hume and Mill and it’s fabulous to sit alongside her as she discovers feminism for the first time aged seventeen, and is enraptured with Wollstonecraft and Greer. We feel her deep shame as she finds out for the first time in the college library why the lecture theatre had gone deathly, glaringly silent, as she earnestly asked in class, “Sir what’s this word here ‘holocaust’?”

Tara writes “Educated” like a PhD of moral philosophy, she examines her innermost feelings and philosophises about them, she analyses her struggle for emotional stability through the lens of first wave feminism and the works of John Stuart Mill. That she eventually has to disown her family is sadly inevitable, especially as they come to Harvard (where Tara was a visiting fellow between first degree and Masters) to offer “a priests blessing” to “save Tara from Satan” (which is really a demand that Tara stops telling the truth about her violent brother). I am aware the family have disputed Tara’s account, but crucially not the part about Shawn’s cruelty and violence.

The book is maddening and uplifting by turns. It’s not an easy read by any means. But it was well worth it. Hopefully it’s given Idahoans pause: that seven children living amongst them could be so neglected and abused. It’s given me fresh desire to be a good teacher, a powerful advocate for my students, and a good father. And a little part of me feels like somehow, travelling this highway of heartache and hope in lockstep with Tara, I gained inspiration, insight, and a new friend.



View all my reviews

Categories
Uncategorized

What is “Heath”? The importance of representation.

“What is Heath, Sir? That question really threw us”

They were referring to this question, from an Edexcel past paper:

Past paper question that begins "Heath is researching..."
Past paper question that begins “Heath is researching…”

I hadn’t expected that challenge. I realised that not one of the class in front of me would have met a “Heath”. I later looked at all the names used in the past paper questions I had been setting: William, Julie, Kerry, Xander, Hamish, Fiona, Kirstie, Byron, Grahame, Marian, Victoria, Johnny (there’s always a Johnny).

Advertisements

I looked at the register: Yahya, Bilal, Naziba, Tahira, Adedeji, Mohamed, Manas, Caoimhe, Abdullah, Chandan, James, Sufyan, Nathan, Harry, Jamiha, Aseel, Isla, Zoya*

I had a think about this. I read some stuff on the importance of representation and cultural relevance. And I changed my mocks and test papers to include names from all the cultures of the children in front of me. It’s a small step but the right thing to do.

More importantly perhaps the exam boards have started doing the same. OCR’s recent (since 2020) papers have included the names Hope, Daniel and Rob but also Ali, Naomi, Iqbal and Amir.

That’s why I was a little frustrated to read a post on Facebook a few months ago that read “I’ve made this exam paper, with all the ‘politically correct’ names changed to Star Wars characters!” I wonder if that teacher had an Ali or a Naomi in his class, and what joy they might have been denied, not seeing their own name (or a name popular in their culture) in the materials in front of them.

It’s fine to try to add a little fun to proceedings and jump on the kids’ current interests, but please don’t do it at the expense of representation. Also I appreciate this might seem trivial, but every little counts as we try to make our curriculum more inclusive.

* this is a fictional register using students first names I have once taught, not a current register of any class, but it is representative of a typical class in my school.

Categories
Uncategorized

“Love Computing 2022”, free CPD 10-14 Feb.

Update – scroll down for the slides I presented at these sessions. If you enjoy this content why not buy me a coffee?

I was delighted to present a couple of sessions at this event alongside a wealth of talent, including…

Brochure cover showing vintage picture of woman looking at computer with heart graphics over eyes
Love Computing brochure front cover
  • Marc White, Ofsted National Computing Lead
  • Sue Sentance, Raspberry Pi Foundation
  • Dr Carolina Kuepper-Tetzel, The Learning Scientists
  • William Lau
  • Isaac Computing
  • Raspberry Pi
  • CAS
  • BT
  • Ellie Narewska, Guardian
  • Code Club
  • STEM Ambassadors
  • Quafaro, Cyber security
  • The Centre for Computing History
  • The National Centre for Computing Education plus lots more

See the brochure here, and book here. My two sessions are as follows (scroll past the ad which helps me maintain this blog!):

Advertisements
  • Computing Pedagogy: Hinterland, Misconceptions and Semantic Waves – powerful tools for progress. How reading around the subject can improve your delivery, how “Semantic Waves” improve student understanding, and how misconception-aware teaching gets great results. I explore these pedagogical tools with a focus on how they can be used to great effect in GCSE Computer Science teaching. – Slides now available here and recording below:
Advertisements
  • Networks and System Security for GCSE success. A detailed look at the GCSE Networks and System Security specification and how to teach it. Demystifying client-server and P2P models, network protocols, security threats and countermeasures, helping you confidently teach these topics. – Slides now available here and recording below.

Enjoy, and remember to tip me a couple of quid for a Cappucino with an extra shot… 🙂