I just spent the last two days teaching 16 Teachers from around New Zealand NCEA Level 1 programming. We had the added complication of also teaching them how to program in Python(an open source programming language) – many doing programming for the first time. The pre-requisites of the course included “never taught Level 1 programming “. This is a trial initiative by Datacom to increase the number of students exposed to programming…who will hopefully go on to study computer science at University.
The course was free for participants and encapsulated:
- Course content included both Python programming and pedagogical practices
- Technical support by Datacom graduates on the day… meaning those requiring intensive 1-1 assistance could get it during exercises
- Technical support for participants from Datacom via email over first year or so.
- Lesson plans, exercises and assessment resources
- Support with moderation. Ultimately the group will moderate each other’s work
- Travel and accommodation subsidy
- Fantastic venue with lunch and breaks catered
Bouquets go to
- Datacom for their generosity hosting and sponsoring the course, and their ongoing support for teachers as part of this initiative
- Teachers for being brave enough to try something out of their comfort zone and giving up their holidays… and taking home a lot more work as they start their journey towards learning and teaching programming
As one participant noted, “this is the sort of Professional Development we need 5 years ago when the standards were first introduced“.