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This content is taken from the National STEM Learning Centre & UEA (University of East Anglia)'s online course, Teaching Computing. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 5 seconds[Dave Gibbs] Welcome to week one of Teaching Computing. I'm Dave Gibbs, the lead educator supporting you on this course. Each week, the key concepts will be introduced by Helena Gillespie from the University of East Anglia. You'll also meet Simon Humphreys from the subject association, Computing At School, who will talk to you about the computing curriculum and what it's going to mean for you as a teacher. [Helena Gillespie] We'll give you pointers to the new documents, and some useful guidance that already exists to support you, and put that in the context of lesson plans so you can start planning your own things and try out what you've learned on this course.

Skip to 0 minutes and 42 secondsThis week, we're also going to start looking at some of the subject-specific terms and what they mean. And we want you to get used to the open online course learning environment so you can find your way around and introduce yourself to your fellow learners. We believe teachers learn best from other teachers. So get out there and make yourself known. We're looking forward to learning with you.

Welcome to Teaching Computing

Welcome to Week 1 of Teaching Computing.

This week we will introduce you to the computing curriculum so you can understand the differences between the new subject, Computing, and the previous ICT curriculum. You’ll meet Simon Humphreys, the National Co-ordinator for Computing at School, or CAS, who will talk about the drivers for the new curriculum and what it will mean to you as a teacher. We’ll give you pointers to the curriculum documents and some useful guidance and resources such as the BBC Bitesize Computing page. Through this week you will also start looking at some of the subject-specific terms and what they mean.

Course team

I’m Dave Gibbs the lead educator on this run of the course. I lead the computing activity in the National STEM Learning Centre in York. I’ll be with you on the course between 6 November - 15 December.

You’ll be guided through the course by Helena Gillespie from University of East Anglia. She has worked for 12 years as a teacher educator and, before that, as a primary school teacher. She has been interested in technology and learning since she was a teenager.

Supporting your discussions, Manette Carroll will be your course mentor. Manette is an experienced primary teacher specialising in science and computing.

We are looking forward to learning with you.


If you’re new to online learning, or new to FutureLearn, you may find the How it works guide helpful. The Crowdsourced Guide to Learning and Six tips and tools for social learning on FutureLearn may also be of interest.

Tasks and discussions

As you progress through the course you will be asked to undertake several tasks each week. You will have the opportunity to:

  • Create resources to use in your classroom.
  • Experiment with strategies with your students.
  • Share ideas for teaching computing.

Tasks are titled as such and are highlighted with a vertical line in the left-margin - like the one against this paragraph. The first tasks of this course are at the bottom of this page.

Learning together

This course is designed to enable support from fellow learners, particularly via the discussions. Feel free to share your thoughts and questions about teaching computing, the subject knowledge and classroom practices we introduce. For certain tasks you’ll be ask to contribute specific answers and, importantly, respond to your fellow learners’ ideas.

FutureLearn is a ‘social learning’ platform, so please invite help by posting a question as a comment in the relevant course step. If you can help a fellow learner, don’t be afraid to reply and make a suggestion. The course team will also contribute to the discussions to support you too.

Technical support

If you need any technical support use the Support button at the bottom right of your screen or email feedback@futurelearn.com. If you wish to get in contact with the National STEM Learning Centre directly about this course, please email onlinecpd@stem.org.uk.


Introduce yourself

We’ve always thought teachers learn best from other teachers. Please introduce yourself in the comments below. Tell us what you are hoping to get from the course and any expertise you have to share.

Mark complete

When you complete a step on the course, click ‘Mark as Complete’ at the bottom right. This helps you keep track of your progress. Mark over 90% of the course steps complete and you’ll be eligible for a Certificate of Achievement when you Upgrade.

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This video is from the free online course:

Teaching Computing

National STEM Learning Centre