SIGCSE, Birds of a Feather (BOF) Session “CS Unplugged”Posted: March 3, 2012
Poor Tim Bell. He must think I’m stalking him. I attended the BOF session for CS Unplugged, which quickly turned into the BOF on ‘Energising your Outreach to Schools” (my words). Once again Lynn Lambert and Tim shared their experiences with CS Unplugged to help us frame what was wrong with our outreach (or the problems that we had) in order to try and fix them.
The main issues were:
- How do we get into the curriculum?
- Bad/old equipment.
- Creating a meaningful activity in a very short time.
- Persistence – how we do we stay in their minds or their environment?
- Priming – how we prepare them for our visit?
- Time – how do we fit it all in and, more importantly, how does the teacher?
- Pick the right time to come in and interact with students, when teachers are happy to have you. Teachers don’t get a reward for dealing with students at elementary level.
- CS BIts and Bytes is a good newsletter
- cs4fn got another mention as a good website
- One amusing quote from a parent, after finding out what we did, was “I had no idea that CS had any application.” To our credit, nobody cried when this was told to the group.
- Involve people in discussing useful, relevant problems and how CS is used to help: suggestions included global warming and genomic sequencing.
Overall, another fun discussion with a lot of actively concerned people trying to make things better. Please leap in for corrections if I missed something important or got something wrong. I’m also happy to edit to add credits if required. 🙂