Helena Gillespie


Professor of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education. Academic Director of Widening Participation at UEA in Norwich. Former MOOC lead (Teaching Computing)

Lecturer, Scholar, Tech devotee, Mum.

Location University of East Anglia, Norwich. UK


  • Thanks to everyone for their participation in the course :-)

  • You're welcome - good luck!

  • More on that later in the course.

  • Totally agree!

  • Some serious challenges yes - I am aware that some schools are doing a lot in this area - but there are so many competing pressures.

  • I hope you enjoy this film - one of my favourite pieces of content reminding us why computing is so important!

  • Helena Gillespie made a comment

    Delighted this is useful. It took the course team ages to come up with, we had so many debates! Hope it causes you all to think too :)

  • There's a PDF download below - do download and share :)

  • You're welcome :)

  • Good to hear you are all enjoying this film - Simon reflects the passion many of us have for computing. More of him later in the course.

  • Hi Adam - I agree - its great to have a global perspective.

  • Hello everyone - what a diverse bunch! Welcome one and all!

  • Sorry - that's up to the BBC

  • Good morning everyone and welcome!

  • Looking at your comments here - many of you have made a start but still need more help. If you haven't already I really advise that you join the Computing at School community http://community.computingatschool.org.uk/

    Its free and there's resources, discussion and like events all over England. Hope this helps!

  • Thanks everyone - very useful feedback.

  • Cheers! Nice to have some input from Auz.

  • Thanks for the good questions and answers :-)

  • Thanks :-) Our friends at BT told me Tommy Flowers' wonderful story.

  • Thanks Joe - is there an online link to that?

  • This is a good point - parent education is really lacking.

  • I'm hoping this course at least tries to fill the gap!

  • Thanks - these look like very useful ideas.

  • You can see all the activities using the week tabs. This isn't a programming course though, it's course about teaching the new curriculum.

  • Download Scratch for desktop here http://scratch.mit.edu or go to the App Store and search for Scratch Jr. There's loads of help and activity ideas on the website. And it's all free - so enjoy :)

  • Morning early birds!

  • You're very welcome. There are lots of free resources for computing so hopefully you'll be able to find some useful things. Have you got Scratch?

  • Good morning early birds! Best wishes to you all from a damp and cold Norwich this morning. Looking forward to learning with you!

  • Pick one programming environment to start with and explore the activities on the website (maybe Scratch Junior with your year 2's) thrown in a few off-screen activities too. See what fires their interest - and yours :)

  • If your certificates don't arrive then use the grey feedback tab on the left of your browser. I can't help here (certificates come from FutureLearn) but they do want the system to work well so do alert them to problems. I'm going to take a screenshot and email it to them too. I'd like you to get your certificates folks :)

    Thank you all so much for taking...

  • This isn't what I'd hoped for. Unfortunately the assessment is a bit of a black box for me, but you could try submitting again? Sorry this wasn't great feedback you've made such great contributions to the course.

  • Thanks Clara :)

  • Peter thank you! If you could add me that would be great. Is it ok if I send the link round in the end of course email? I'm glad you want to stay in touch :)

  • Thanks for the great explanation Bev!

  • Is that still running?

  • I'm really glad that's useful to you . When planning the course we wanted to help promote understand between primary and secondary :)

  • Thanks for this really helpful post.

  • You'll have indefinite access to the materials so don't worry. Most people 'complete ' within a week of the end date though.

  • There's a few projects going on - CAS / BCS are involved in most of them - make sure you stay in touch with their website

  • Clare if you're looking for lesson ideas you need to sign up for CAS -http://www.computingatschool.org.uk - it's free and it's packed with ideas :)

  • What you looking for Clare? Planning and assessment in part 2, along with e-safety and digital citizenship.

  • Thanks for this detailed and positive feedback - and well done on your achievements!

  • Do go ahead and start a LinkedIn group - or you can keep in touch using the course hashtag #FLTeachComp if you are on twitter. But you should all join CAS ahttp://www.computingatschool.org.uk nd go along to you local meetings.

  • Lots of money going into training at the mo - less into kit!

  • I'd recommend downloading Scratch or Scratch Jr and trying out some of the projects on their website .

  • That's a tricky question. I think the key is using the right vocab for concepts and doing lots of off screen work - both will build transferable skills. Practically, displaying in your classroom some key concepts, for example like repeat in several languages including a text based one will help too.

  • Twitter is a really useful way of getting news and ideas.

  • Quite agree - you'll have to add the layer of reflection on yourself. The intention is only to get you reflect :)

  • Good suggestion!

  • Great to hear of the buzz!

  • I like your point about 'real' world here - there are good reasons for using the other programming languages (accessibility, cost) but your point makes it clear we must make sure the skills are transferable.

  • Thanks for helping folks.

  • If you read ''Microserfs' by Douglas Coupland - the answer is they play with Lego. Maybe be a bit dated now but I still think it's true that real world modelling makes sense?

  • Glad this lesson is going down well. If it seems a bit daunting remember Jerome has been doing this for years - and the 'three ring circus' was somewhat for the be got of the video - he wanted to get across the TRANSFERABILITY of the skills between modes of programming. It's not necessary to have every lesson quite as multi layered as that :)

  • Sounds like a good approach to me. Mistakes are fine - quite agree! We need to help pupils feel this way :)

  • Go for it. I got mine from iBooks. Depends if folk like to read on a device I guess.

  • It's still got to make an impact in the classroom though .... Or at least most classrooms I go into.

  • Great links thanks for sharing!

  • By us - certainly! Tim would be pleased he likes to evangelise. Hope that you can get FutureLearn though your school firewall (if you have one?)

  • Welcome everyone :)

  • Great insight thanks.

  • Brilliant to get an international perspective once again on the curriculum. Thats for the insightful comments all.

  • If you are busting to make progress, you can head over to week two now....

  • Take a screenshot for us and post it on padlet with your code :-)

  • Glad to hear it - hopefully it'll be occasionally enjoyable by week 4 :-)

  • Yes do please share as widely as you like within your schools and networks - and tell them they can still sign up to the course!

  • You are right Lionel - Simon does know how to talk. He's a great chap and I saw him yesterday at a meeting and told him how well he was going down here :-) Thanks for this insightful contribution.

  • Really good report - thanks for sharing.

  • We're here to help :-)

  • Afternoon everyone!

  • You don't have to wait - just click on week 2 - go right ahead but it will take me a little time to catch up with you!

  • Great thanks!

  • Good plan - thanks :)

  • I think it's a hit Katharine - thanks for allowing us to share. So everyone - think about sharing your own resources on padlet - see step below :)

  • Totally agree - what a great opportunity we have!

  • We'll try and get you up to date :)

  • Hope this helps ( and you don't find yourself doing too much of the course in the wee small hours!)

  • Helena Gillespie made a comment

    PDF of glossary now created and attached at the bottom of the article. Thanks for the feedback folks.

    What do you think of the terms? Do you use them in your lessons?

  • Helena Gillespie made a comment

    Ok - I will conjure up a PDF for you :)