What is one of the most effective ways to create an engaging and differentiated computing lesson?

I’ve often heard colleagues in schools suggest how difficult it can be to teach computing and to keep their students engaged.

Often there is a large range of ability in the class – from the very bright students, who have made raspberry pi weather stations in their back yards, right through to those who struggle to grasp the basics.

I’ve worked with some teachers who get around this problem by working with students in a lunchtime or an after school club. But this requires more time, resources, and preparation.

Despite these challenges, both teachers and students love the idea of using robots in their lessons.  Anything that can move around, flash lights, and play sounds will help bring topics to life.

I think many colleagues agree that robots and physical computing helps to engage students. It also makes it easier to differentiate for different abilities because students can start with simple robots or projects and move on as and when they are ready.

To make it easier and more time efficient to introduce physical computing we have created an online learning space. This online space allows students to keep track of their progress and takes them from beginner level to building a real robot with sensors.

The first part is FREE. It introduces the popular arduino board and shows you how to light up an LED. You will then have some fun challenges to complete.

If you like the course and would like to upgrade to the full version, please use code: ZTeach1 for a 25% discount.

If this is of interest, further information is available here: http://zobotics.tech/make-for-schools

You can also contact me directly on 07703 294 942  or zan@zobotics.tech

Debate Chamber Summer Schools 2018

The Debate Chamber Summer Schools offer students age 11-18 the opportunity to find out more about some fascinating subjects, prepare for university applications, meet like-minded peers and get to grips with some tough intellectual challenges.

The material will be challenging (for the older age-group, about the level of difficulty one might expect in the first year at university), but the atmosphere will be relaxed, with plenty of discussion, debate, and opportunities for students to shape the direction of classes. It is an environment conducive to getting to grips with new ideas.

Working in small groups (usually around 14 students per group) over several days offers participants a real chance to get to know tutors and fellow students and to explore the topics or questions that particularly interest them.

Highlights of Summer 2018:

The Medicine Summer School for students aged 15-18 offers a series of two-day events with specialist sessions on cardiology, paediatrics, oncology, emergency medicine and many other topics – enabling students to attend a wide-ranging introduction or select the sessions most relevant to their interests.

The Summer Law School for 15-18s, in three distinct five-day Parts to allow time for more cases, more analysis and more debate on some of the most intriguing legal questions. Students can choose to focus on Criminal Law, Civil Law or International Law, or to attend all three Parts for a comprehensive introduction to legal study.

The Philosophy and Critical & Cultural Theory Summer Schools for students aged 15-18 will look at some of the biggest questions in metaphysics, ethics and political theory, giving an opportunity to engage with the work of some fascinating thinkers, and also to develop students’ own skills of reasoning and argumentation.

Our Mathematics and Physics Summer Schools now offer options for students at GCSE, and also for those who have completed the first year of A Level study. These five-day events offer a challenging and rigorous exploration of theory and application, with a focus on developing practical problem-solving skills.

For those interested in the Arts & Humanities, we have Summer Schools in Economics, History, Classical Civilisations, International Relations and Politics (all for students aged 15-18).

Last but not least, we also have a smaller number of courses available for younger students (ages 11-14) in Law, Medicine, Creative Writing and Science subjects.

Practical Details:

All the Summer School events will be held at University of London venues in Bloomsbury, Central London, and will take place in July and August 2018. Please note that these courses are not residential, and accommodation must be arranged independently if required.

You can find full details of schedules, dates, costs, student reviews and tutors at http://www.debatechamber.com/summerschools/.

There is a limited amount of bursary funding available for students who would otherwise have financial difficulty in attending – please see our website for details.

To book a place please visit http://debatechamber.com/call us on 0845 519 4827, or email info@debatechamber.com. Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.