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Tara Fagan's blogs

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    What is computer science and how do I teach it?  

    This introductory series of four online webinars and written content aims to give teachers the resources and confidence to teach some foundation concepts of computer science with Y7 to Y10 classes.  Each webinar will cover relevant concepts along with suggestions on how they can be taught.


    The free online course runs over the month of August, commencing on 1 August with 50 places available.


    The intended audience is teachers who wish to develop their skills and knowledge to be able to teach core concepts of computer science to Y7 - Y10 classes.



    No pre-knowledge is essential.  Many teachers may have had some experience of Scratch, but this is not essential.  This series of webinars uses Snap - a free online coding environment that is very similar to Scratch.



    The content has been chosen to give teachers the knowledge and confidence to teach and facilitate practical activities on topics that will engage learners.  Topics covered will include: hardware, binary, representing text using binary, encryption, error-detection, searching and sorting algorithms and a panel discussion.




    1 Introduction

    Introduction,hardware, data storage, why binary, using binary, bits and bytes, representing text using binary

    2 Encryption and error detection

    Encryption - what is it? Simple ciphers, How encryption works in real-life, what are data errors and how can they be detected?

    3 Algorithms - searching and sorting

    What are algorithms, how can we measure how efficient they are? Linear search and binary search, hashing.  Sorting: quicksort and alternatives

    4 Algorithms - searching and sorting, panel discussion

    Panel discussion, Q & A


    Webinar Times

    The dates and times for the webinars are:


    Wednesday 3 August 3.30-4.30pm

    Thursday 11 August 3.30-4.30pm

    Thursday 18 August 3.30-4.30pm


    There will be one final webinar to be held in the last week of August - date and time to be confirmed.


    All webinars will be recorded and can be viewed at a later time.


    The programme will be facilitated by Trevor Storr.  Trevor has taught Digital Technologies, Computing and ICT at various levels for a number of years. He now divides his time between NetNZ, including teaching NCEA Level 3 Computer Science and Programming, and working as an advisor for the Connected Learning Advisory.


    Register for the event here.  There is no charge for participating in this programme.  



    If you have any questions about this programme please contact Tara Fagan or Trevor Storr:


    Tara Fagan

    021 594 830


    Trevor Storr

    027 689 8920




  • The 2013 School Leadership Summit is a free online conference that will happen NZ time on Friday 29 March (Good Friday) from the early time of 3am - 2pm.  

    A range of speakers from around the world will be presenting on all topics of school leadership with a stunning line of key-note speakers including Michael FullanYong ZhaoEric Sheninger, Steven W. Anderson.  

    The call for presentations is open until March 15, providing oppotunity to present as well as attend.  The final conference programme will be issued after the presentations have closed.

    Conference attendance is flexible - you can attend the whole event or book into just one or two sessions.  Most of the presentations will be recorded, so if you can't attend, you will be able to view the presentations at a later date.  For more information and registration, check out the TICAL 2013 School Leadership Summit page.

    School Leadership Summit 2013