The Computing at School Working Group (CAS) Front page – ‘ CAS aims to support and promote this vision of computing in UK schools, by providing opportunities and resources to help all educators and learners to better understand, use and develop computing in a variety of activities and fields’ Miles Berry is a member of the CAS board who manage the group! CAS – www.computingatschool.org.uk
- Purpose of the community It is a community that promotes the teaching of computing at schools (including FE) and keeps members up to date with the latest news in this field. CAS want to put the excitement into computing at school. Currently students feel is it ‘irrelevant and dull’ and are de-motivated by Community. CAS aim to; Support ICT and computing teachers who are excited by computing, by providing them with teaching material, training, local hubs, newsletters and the opportunity to meet with like-minded colleagues. Act as a Subject Association for computing teachers in order to support each other. Work at an institutional level, for example by encouraging the developments of GCSEs in Computing (there is currently only a GCSE in ICT) Advocacy at national policy level; for example, submitting evidence to the Royal Society study on Computing in School. Slide 1
Who is part of the community? Memberships CAS is a collaborative partner with the BCS through the BCS Academy of Computing. CAS is supported financially by BCS The Chartered Institute for IT , Microsoft , Google , Vital and the UK Committee of Heads and Professors of Computer Science . Without their help there would be no CAS. Membership is currently free and provides access to a private Google group and Wiki Members include individuals and organisations such as teachers, parents, governors, exam boards, industry, professional societies, and universities Slide 2
Slide 3 How does the community operate? – Learning community? Community of practice? CAS learning community operates through an online Google group . However users must be a member before they get to read the content. Members get to post a short biography about themselves and what they can bring to the group. This allows the members to promote their interest about a certain topic. Otherwise members communicate mainly through direct email to specific sub-groups. The members of the community will have access to the CAS group page and Wiki page. Around the country, members of CAS volunteer to be a regional representative for the association forming a valuable network across the UK. CAS will be able to help teachers who need assistance. CAS can provide them with helpful resources to help with their teaching of ICT. In some ICT lessons children are still being taught how to make spread sheets and databases, therefore CAS members can overcome this by promoting new materials to each other to advance ICT lessons and make them more interesting and enjoyable to learn.
Slide 4 How do they share information? CAS share their information by publicising their opinions and thoughts onto their WIKI or CAS page. The members must all have a log in, so that they are able to contribute to any on-going project/ discussions. Overall all their information is on the website for other members to read.
Slide 5 5. How do you become a member? In order to join CAS as a working member, you must be able to commit some of your time to the CAS Endeavour – helping them improve computing at school. You also need to participate in ongoing discussions, attending workshops and conferences and assist in CAS projects in your local area. If you wish to join CAS as a supporting member, you can help with specific projects in your area but you are not required to attend the workshops and meeting. This is the best option for someone with a busy schedule as you will still be updated with news and emails from the team at CAS. All members, working and supporting, are invited to join the online Google Group, Any member can post to the group, and only members can read it, so it is a good place for work in progress. All members post a short biography on this (private) web site, describing their interest in CAS, and saying what they can offer to the group.
Slide 6 5. How do you become a member? Continued.. There are three steps 1. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org saying: What email address you’d like to receive CAS mail Who you are Where you work and what your job is (unless that is private or irrelevant) How you are interested in the Computing at School Whether you’d like to be a Working Member of a Supporting Member 2. You should receive an email invitation to your provided address, inviting you to join the group. Respond as the email asks. 3. Now, to access the CAS group and Wiki.
Slide 6 6. Would you recommend this professional network to other student teachers? Yes I would, however if you were planning to join CAS as a student, I would recommend taking the Supporting Member role as the Working Member position can be very time consuming and requires a large amount of subject knowledge. I think that being able to access the Google Group and the CAS Wiki would provide a professional insight into the current world of Computing In School, something that all of us should take advantage of. The website itself offers a large amount of policy documents and Curriculum resources without signing up, with are always helpful to teachers and students alike.
Would I become a member? I understand why CAS has been created and acknowledge their goals as I believe that both ICT and Computing need transforming in schools. However I do not feel I have the subject knowledge to contribute to this community effectively. (Rachel) I have a better understanding about why CAS has been created. This website is an effective approach to improve the ICT teaching in schools. I find it very fascinating that members from all over the country are able to contribute to the discussions and projects, this allows us to see different opinions. Though personally I do not believe that I have sufficient knowledge about this learning community. (Nikitha) Now I have researched into CAS and learnt a bit more about what they do, I have decided that I would not become a member whilst I am still a student. I feel that I would not have the time to commit to their cause or have the in depth level of subject knowledge needed. When I qualify, I will consider becoming a Support member so I can access their Wiki and Google Group but that would be as far as I would go until late in my career. (Rebecca) Slide 7