Who said school holidays were for taking a break? 

Twenty-eight school teachers took a break from their holidays to attend a three-day intensive workshop for the Educate programme in Christchurch last week. 

The primary and secondary teachers, who came from all over New Zealand, are enrolled in SIGNAL’s Educate programme looking at curriculum implementation in Computer Science. 

Educate began online in February but the three-day intensive workshop in Christchurch meant the teachers were able to meet others from the course and pack a lot of learning into a short time. 

It also provided teachers a chance to pick the brains of Professor Tim Bell (Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering) and Distinguished Professor Niki Davis (College of Education, Health and Human Development e-Learning Lab) about algorithms, data representation, steganography with a little HCI, AI and how to complete the assessments thrown in. 

“The teachers covered a lot of material in the three days, as we made the most of the limited time being together in person. They had prepared well with some set readings and discussion online, and we now have enough ideas and challenges to keep them going for some time as they head back to their schools and work on putting the ideas into practice," says Tim.

The group utilised the new SIGNAL studio in Christchurch's Innovation Precinct and visited local companies to add further real-world context to their learning. 

“The chance to teach the course based downtown in the Innovation Precinct not only provided wonderful opportunities to interact directly with nine local companies, but inspired the teachers with a sense of the whole culture surrounding the software development and entrepreneurship going on in the area.”

Posted: Tuesday May 2, 2017