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Get with the programme!. Simon Humphreys National Coordinator Computing At School. Computing At School.

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get with the programme

Get with the programme!

Simon Humphreys

National Coordinator

Computing At School

computing at school
Computing At School


The old ICT curriculum was about digital use, in terms of the games industry, it\'s like someone being able to play the video game Angry Birds, but having no idea how to make Angry Birds.

So the old ICT [curriculum] was, effectively, teaching kids how to read, but not how to write.

Ian Livingstone

Games Workshop


It\'s like a toddler being able to jump and land. He can do it without knowing any physics. But actually understanding why when you jump, you land – that\'s learning the physics. And computing is the equivalent.

Prof Paul Curzon

QMUL, cs4fn


We are really pushing the idea that our students, if they take on computing and they do it well, will be better learners. They will be more resilient, they will develop their computational thinking and deconstruction and reconstruction skills, which will help them in lots of different subject areas.

Dr Andy Sievewright

Acton High School


The language of the new draft computing curriculum for key stage 1, which includes phrases like "understand what algorithms are, how they are implemented as programs on digital devices" and "use logical reasoning to predict the behaviour of simple programs" could be intimidating for primary school teachers.

Prof Alan Mycroft

Cambridge University

locked in syndrome
Locked-in Syndrome
  • A person with locked-in syndrome is totally paralyzed except perhaps being able to move an eyelid
  • They can see, hear and think but they cannot communicate back
  • Their intelligent mind is trapped inside a useless body

could you write a book if you had locked in syndrome
Could you write a book if you had locked-in syndrome?
  • Jean-Dominique Bauby did…
  • Describing what his life was like with locked-in syndrome
  • It is described as

“one of the greatest books of the century”

  • How did he do it?
a better way
A better way?
  • The helper reads the alphabet a letter at a time
    • Is it A?
    • Is it B?
    • Is it C? etc
  • Blinking means yes, not blinking means no
  • The helper writes the letter down.
  • Then starts again with the next letter
how fast is it
How fast is it?
  • It is very slow
  • It takes on average 13 questions for every letter
  • At worst it takes 26 questions
winning at 20 questions
Winning at 20-Questions
  • Do you ask questions like
    • Is it Lady Gaga?
    • Is it Will Smith?
    • Is it Lara Croft?
    • Is it Gandhi?
    • Is it Gromit?
    • Is it Beyonce?
  • That would on average take billions of questions
    • you have only 20!
search algorithms
Search Algorithms
  • We have looked at two different ways of searching for information
  • Two different algorithms
    • Linear search
      • One by one
    • Binary search
      • Divide and conquer
      • Halving search
computers and people
Computers and People
  • Before you come up with solutions …you must make sure you understand the problem.
    • That usually means understanding people as well as computers.
  • Only then can you work on ways to improve things.
  • That is what computer science is about …thinking out of the box…doing things better… that couldn’t be done before… improving life for all … changing the future.
computing at school1
Computing at School
  • Simply a group of individuals, concerned about the state of computing education in our schools
  • Including:
    • Teachers
    • Industry (eg. Google, Microsoft)‏
    • University academics (incl. CPHC, UKCRC)‏
    • Members of exam board (eg. AQA)‏
    • Members of professional societies (eg. BCS)‏
    • Parents
    • Local educational advisers
    • Teacher trainers
  • Varied backgrounds, with common concerns