Computing At School, at SIGCSE

Last week I went to Denver for SIGCSE 2013 (a big computer science education conference) and gave a talk on Computing At School, the UK organisation promoting computing in schools. The paper is available here, but I’ve also recorded a voice-over for my slides, to provide a facsimile of my talk:

(Unfortunately, SIGCSE doesn’t record talks, so I don’t have a version of the live talk. This one was given to an audience of just my laptop, hence why it sounds a bit awkward.) My co-authors have read the paper but haven’t pre-approved the talk, so any mistakes or flaws are down to me. I think the talk went reasonably well, and several of the audience were interested to hear what was happening in the UK.

It’s been a fast progression for CAS, who have made a lot of progress in only a few years. I actually first heard about them while at a previous SIGCSE; in 2010, I was sat in the hotel bar with Michael Kölling and he mentioned that this CAS organisation was having a working group meeting next month and asked if I would like to come (Thanks, Michael!). I did go, and at my first meeting ended up helping to draft the group’s mission statement! So there I was last week, back at SIGCSE three years later, trying to explain all the good work that CAS members have been doing. Normally, research papers are about presenting your own work, so I do feel a little guilty presenting the work of so many other people — the wider CAS membership — with only a few names on the header. But then again, it’s not in the CAS spirit to sit and wait for someone else to take care of it!

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