CEPIS Computing in Schools Special Interest Network


Computing in Schools
The lack of recognition of Computer Science as a crucial school subject has been identified as a one of the key reasons explaining the lack of interest for ICT careers. In order to bolster members’ efforts to promote high standards in informatics education, and ultimately bridge the gap between supply and demand for ICT professionals in Europe today, CEPIS established a SIN dedicated to the topic of ‘Computing in School’.

The CEPIS Computing in School SIN aims to examine the issue and strives for the recognition of Computer Science as a vital subject in school curricula. It recommends that Computer Science be offered a share in school curricula similar to Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry, and thus provide students with the skills needed to participate in today’s increasingly digital society.

In 2014, the CEPIS Computing in School SIN produced an advocacy paper targeting Ministries of Education across Europe. The paper argues that children’s digital education should be reformed to better integrate Computer Science in school curricula. It describes the issues arising from the lack of computing in schools, and outlines practical steps to develop Computer Science in the classroom. The paper is available for download here.

In 2016, CEPIS and the Austrian Computer Society (OCG) co-organised a mini-conference on "Computational Thinking & Coding at Schools". The conference focused on issues such as a strategy for introducing computational thinking in schools, ways to assess computational thinking skills, the benefits of learning programming for all, computational thinking in primary and secondary schools and informatics curriculum in British schools, amongst others. The following presentations are available for download:

Alexander Repenning - A Systemic Strategy for Introducing Computational Thinking in Schools

Jan Lepeltak - Pedagogy, Coding and Computational Thinking

Ralf Kretzschmar - Informatics at Swiss Gymnasium schools

Jesús Moreno-León - Automatic analysis of Scratch projects to assess computational thinking skills

Gerald Futschek - Learning Computational Thinking by Bebras Challenge

Andreas Bollin - Computational Thinking and COOL-Informatics in Primary and Secondary Schools

Irene Bell - Informatics in British Schools

In 2017, the Slovak Society for Computer Science (SSCS) organised a mini-conference on "Computing in Schools - Past, Present, Future". The conference focused on issues such as the state of computing in schools in Slovakia and initiatives in Austria, Italy, the Netherlands and Bulgaria to introduce or improve computing in schools. The following presentations are available for download:

Branislav Rovan - Computing in Schools - Slovakia - The Past

Zuzana Kubincova - Computing in Schools - Slovakia - Present

Ivan Kalas - Programming at School - Slovakia and Beyond - The Future

Ronald Bieber - Education 4.0 - An Initiative of the Austrian Computer Society

Pierfranco Ravotto - The AICA proposal for Computing in Italian Primary and Lower Secondary Schools

Jan Lepeltak - Think as a computer scientist

Radoslav Yoshinov - Information Society 2017 and beyond - The Pillars of education

Radoslav Yoshinov - Vision for the engagement of the e-Facilitator in School in the Inspiring Science Education environment


Examples of Good Practice


The Computing at Schools (CAS) Working Group  in the UK has over 10,000 teachers and computer professionals working together to establish Computer Science as an important subject in the school curriculum. The Working Group is also supporting ICT and computing teachers by providing them with teaching material, training, local hubs, and the opportunity to get in touch with others colleagues like-minded about computing.

CAS

Bebras

The Bebras contest is an international informatics competition aims to promote Computer Science to school students. The contest focuses on developing the problem-solving skills of students who are asked to complete various tasks involving algorithms and programming methods. The Bebras contest took place in 29 countries in 2013.

The Scratch competition in Ireland encourages young people to develop small pieces of software using a simplified programming language. The Scratch competition aims to raise students’ interest in software development by providing a better understanding of how software is built and works. Scratch is currently taught in over 700 classrooms across Ireland at primary and secondary level.

Scratch

Code Kinderen

The Code Kinderen initiative in The Netherlands provides educational materials for teachers in order to teach coding and programming to children.  Code Kinderen intends to make children more aware of how technology works and discover their technological talent through play.

The Coder Dojo initiative runs free not-for-profit coding clubs and regular sessions for young people between 5 and 17. At Dojos, young people learn how to code, develop websites, apps, programs, games, etc. Dojos are set up, run by volunteers. The first Coder Dojo was launched in Ireland in 2011; there are now 345 Dojos in 38 countries.

Coder Dojo

Robocup

The RoboCup contest is an international robotics competition for children. The goal of RoboCup is to challenge children to build a robot that can play football. By using football as a subject, many young people will get interested in the RoboCup.