Co-think is a three-year Erasmus+ KA2 project exploring inclusive practices in teaching computational thinking to primary school children. As part of the project Danish, Swedish, Finnish, British and Dutch children take part in simultaneous learnathons and their teachers share practice and co-deliver computer science lessons across the five countries.
So far we’ve had several exchanges, visiting each other’s schools and education centres, as well as our first international learnathon. Pupils and teachers from all the partner countries are invited to complete a challenge based on ideas explored during exchange visits. The children collaborate with their foreign peers through an online blog, giving praise and feedback and discussing their understanding of computational thinking concepts.
In the first Learnathon the children choreographed dance routines using code of their own devising, before passing it on to a partner country to interpret, who then filmed and shared the results. Through this process, children learned about the importance of specificity and clarity in algorithms while the practical, collaborative nature of the challenge meant that all children felt included.
We have also accompanied teachers on a Netherlands visit to learn more about how technology is used in Dutch schools, including programming an educational robot who could watch, speak, listen and even dance Gangnam style! A visit to Tampere revealed that Finnish schools focus on problem solving, developing logical skills and digital competence within what they call ‘transversal competencies’ as part of every subject. They have adopted a blend of teaching computational thinking through both a cross-curricular and a single subject approach linking specifically to maths.
In the first learnathon it was particularly exciting to see a high level of engagement from girls in an activity that combined two subjects which, according to the 2017 girlguiding survey, are perceived as the least female orientated: PE and computer science. It is the aim of the Co-think project to help promote the inclusion of underrepresented groups in computer science and to show students that the cultural expectations they’ve grown up with don’t have to limit their choices in this exciting subject.
Read blogposts about Co-Think:
Sign up for the London CLC newsletter and get the best connected learning news and views in your inbox every week.
Our support package covers the following:
This event will build upon the Autumn computing conference by inviting subject leaders to reflect on their year in the role, sharing their successes and challenges. It will also introduce new ideas, tools and approaches through talks and practical activities led by members of the CLC team, with opportunities for attendees to share their own expertise and experience. Over the course of the conference activities will touch on the three main areas of the computing curriculum: computer science, digital literacy and information technology. We will also feature advice and examples illustrating the use of technology to support blended learning.
Combining forces for the first time, the Connected Learning Centre and More Than Robots have created a session for teachers, youth organisations, researchers and policymakers interested in the digital provision of creative arts for primary aged pupils.
This interactive and inclusive meet up will include inspiring examples of how technology can be used to support learning in music, visual art and drama in person and online at home drawing on our experiences as Tate Exchange associates and our partnership work with a range of cultural institutions.
This informal event is an opportunity to discuss real examples of what does/doesn’t work, meet colleagues from other sectors working on similar challenges and share useful research, news or updates
The morning will include case study presentations followed by a Q&A. There will also be an opportunity for a rapid sharing round for launches, project updates or requests for help and a short break to avoid zoom brain drain.
Special project in collaboration with First News Education
For a third year, building on two successful previous projects, we are once again partnering with the children’s newspaper First News, fellow member of the national Making Sense of Media and News Literacy networks. This special project with a literacy, PSHE and citizenship, as well as computing focus, highlights our specialist interest in this important aspect of digital and critical literacy.
The News Project will enable participating classes from year 5 to immerse themselves in news and current affairs using First News and the Bett award-winning First News iHUB, which will be provided free of charge during the school-based part of the project over a six week period. Under the guidance of their teacher, pupils will be supported in their development as a community of fully informed news readers. Classes will test their new critical skills and knowledge in the culminating virtual celebration event which will include a news competition and team-based critical literacy and editorial activities. After the event, schools will be able to use the resources from the day in their school.
The project will launch with an introductory CPD session for teachers to set the context, demonstrate resources and to plan for the school-based activities.
Initial CPD session - Thursday 21st October 4pm-5.00pm.
Project work undertaken in school - October and November.
Special event - Thursday 25th November 9.30am-2.45pm.
The CLC is once again partnering with the Garden Museum to offer a partnership project for KS1 pupils (primarily suited to Yr2). Located next to Lambeth Palace on the bank of the Thames, the museum has an inspiring collection that provides the ideal stimulus for young learners to explore the world around them.
Pupils will use technology alongside the museum’s collection to explore the wonderful world of seeds.
The Garden Museum has a large collection of seeds and tools that pupils will engage with.
These half-day sessions will take place at the Garden Museum.
There is a limited number of dates available, so please book early to avoid disappointment.