Speaker Spotlight: Professor Tim Bell

Dr Tim Bell

InTEACT welcomes Dr Tim Bell to the joint InTEACT/ACS 2016 Conference. Tim will be presenting in the Education stream on Tuesday 23rd August, and will be facilitating a CS Unplugged Workshop on Wednesday 24th August.

Topic: Introducing Computer Science as a school subject

Computer science (also referred to under the related headings of computing, computational thinking, digital technologies, or “coding”) is appearing in school curricula around the world. But what’s the real purpose of introducing it, especially to young students? How does it relate to the rest of the curriculum? We will look at research on the introduction of computer science to both primary and high schools, how it can relate to topics as diverse as physical education and music, and the challenges and successes that have been observed when it is adopted in schools.

Workshop: Computer Science Unplugged

CS Unplugged is a collection of free learning activities that teach Computer Science through engaging games and puzzles that use cards, string, crayons and lots of running around.

The activities introduce students to Computational Thinking through concepts such as binary numbers, algorithms and data compression, separated from the distractions and technical details of having to use computers. Importantly, no programming is required to engage with these ideas!

CS Unplugged is suitable for people of all ages, from elementary school to seniors, and from many countries and backgrounds. Unplugged has been used around the world for over twenty years, in classrooms, science centres, homes, and even for holiday events in a park!

Tim will take participants through a series of CS Unplugged activities, and will provide advice and assistance to teachers that are looking for practical, active ways of engaging students of all ages with computer science concepts and ideas.

About Tim

Tim is a professor in the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering at the University of Canterbury. His main current research interest is computer science education. His “Computer Science Unplugged” program for students of all ages is widely used internationally, and it has been translated into about 20 languages. Recently he has been actively involved in supporting the adoption of the new Computer Science standards in New Zealand schools, and developing new material to support teaching Computer Science around the world.

Tim has received a number of awards for his work in Computer Science education, including the ETH (Zurich) ABZ International honorary medal in 2013. He is also a qualified musician, and performs regularly on instruments that have black-and-white keyboards.

Twitter: @timbell #csunplugged

Register for the 2016 InTEACT Conference now! Registrations close Tuesday 16th August 2016.

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