Element 1 – What does it mean to be a computing specialist teacher? (blog entry)

Computer lab by ecastro, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License   by  ecastro 

Upon personal reflection through the experiences I have gained over the past few years, being a computing specialist teacher greatly differs from other teaching disciplines in many significant areas. In numerous ways a computing teacher could be compared to an art teacher, where students are provided with opportunities to think creatively within a given topic. This brings forth the notion of individualism with a project. An example of this within an IT context would be students creating a website for a particular client. While there is scaffolding provided for the students to base their work off, the majority of the design and implementation work is conducted using computational thinking to reach the final objective.

However at times students use algorithmic thinking to solve problems. This is achieved through students using existing systems and standard in place to achieve their final result. This can be seen in creating a website where it’s required to use a certain language to achieve the desired result. For example HTML and CSS is used for the look of the website whereas JavaScript is used to create pop-up messages or inputting and storing of data. While similar elements of algorithmic thinking can be seen in disciplines such as Maths or Physics, in IT it’s used in a much more complex and broader way.

Though one of the biggest challenges facing a computing teacher presently is the notion of staying relevant within this ever changing technological environment. Unlike Maths where there has been only minor changes in how calculation are performed over the past century with the instruction of electronic calculators, in the computing discipline there are constant changes made to make sure we stay on trend. Hence the importance of personal development. To assist myself in staying relevant with any current technological trends I have subscribed to many relevant networks such as Scootle and QSITE where I aim to build on my repertoire of knowledge.

I am also constantly looking for effective way to improve not only the content itself but how I could deliver it. Through reflection of the lessons I have taught, I aim to seeking advice from fellow peers or experts to make sure any future learning episode I do will keep the student excited and engaged, with the ultimate aim of improving computing subject enrollments.

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Element 1 – What does it mean to be a computing specialist teacher? (blog entry)

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