A three hour drive home from Swansea was
almost, just about enough time to fit all the piece of the #CASWales12 experience together. My overriding impression is that the CAS Wales community, fronted by Dr Tom Crick and Technocamps, supported by many enthusiastic and committed contributors, has a real head of stream.
Technocamps hosted a ‘Brag and Brag’ ‘Teachmeet‘ style ‘teachers for teachers’ warm up event on the Thursday evening prior. As a prolific maven I ear marked Greenfoot for a revisit and took the opportunity to talk to Neil Brown (@twistedsq), discussed 3D Gamelab with serial innovator @davestacey as a platform for his personalised KS3 Computing curriculum as well as being edutained by the effervescent duo Stuart Ball (@innovativeteach) and Gareth Ritter @ritzertech.
The Conference, opened by Dr Tom Crick (@DrTomCrick), immediately identified the key questions whilst skillfully and purposefully avoiding the questions of denotation. Leighton Andrews AM (@LeightonAndrews Minister for Education and Skills) announced a commitment to a digital economy and education.
The opening address was round up Dr Simon Peyton Jones (Principal Researcher Microsoft Research Cambridge) detailing the amazing progress of Computing at Schools (@CompAtSch), a call to arms, power to the people, enthusiasm injection to rally the troops. If that didn’t inspire you, you were left mesmerised by his green and red frog tessellation jumper, which surprisingly did not get a mention via Twitter?
Maggie Philbin (@maggiephilbin) Broadcaster and CEO TeenTech open the afternoon, highlighting the importance of strong role models for science and technology education and careers., reminding many of the educationalists in audience of “why we are here.”
Given that I had delivered my two workshops on interactive fiction platform Quest, and had already spent two nights away from my young family I head home, with a head full of computational thinking…. Computer Science, the silent C in STEM , how to encourage Greenfoot in maths lessons, when to introduce programming and our responsibility to our Primary feeder schools, addressing a recognised gender imbalance and seeking support from BCS Women.
My Welsh adventure also introduced me to Dr Mike Reddy, Dr Silva, Maggie Philbin, The Mozilla guy, plus I was able to make a few online colleagues 3d (including a flittering conversation with @spookingdorf) and meet a few more. #CASWales13 I will most certainly do all I can to get here.
Thank you Technocamps and Tom for the invite.