Computing education research seminars

Join us at our free online research seminars

The Raspberry Pi Foundation hosts regular online seminars focusing on current computing education research topics. Featuring presentations from researchers from around the world, the seminars provide the opportunity to hear about some of the latest work in the field of computing education research, make connections with fellow researchers, and take part in discussions.

Sign up to our seminars mailing list and we’ll be in touch with details of how to take part

All researchers, academics, educators, and students with an interest in computing education research are welcome!

Catch up on our previous seminars! You can watch all our seminars after they have taken place on the previous seminars page.

Read our seminar proceedings! Presenters from our seminars have contributed articles to Understanding computing education, Volume 1 and Understanding computing education, Volume 2 — download and read these free publications now.

Dates and format

The seminars take place on the first Tuesday each month at 17:00–18:30 BST / 12:00–13:30 EST / 9:00–10:30 PST / 18:00–19:30 CEST

The focus of our seminars are on computing education research in school/with young people. We aim to present recent and relevant academic research through our line-up of speakers, who are all currently actively researching in the field. We hope you find their insights useful, and can take something away from each presentation for your own practice, study or research.

We’re also keen to encourage discussion where everyone’s views are welcome and listened to. We do this through breaking into small groups and sharing perspectives on the presentation. We hope that through these talks, we can build up a community of participants who will get to know others with similar interests — a bit like a very slow conference! Thus we really look forward to your participation and getting to know you.

Upcoming seminars

We are delighted to launch a new series of six free seminars on the topic of cross-disciplinary computing, running from May to December 2022.

Date Topic Presenter/s
12 July 2022
Building new clubhouses of computing: Introductory equity-oriented computer science with electronic textiles for high school students Yasmin B. Kafai (University of Pennsylvania) and Elaine Griggs (Pembroke High School, Massachusetts)
6 Sept 2022
ME++: Data ethics for the computing classroom through biometrics, ballet, and AR Genevieve Smith-Nunes (University of Cambridge)
4 Oct 2022
Building tomorrow’s core computational curriculum Conrad Wolfram (Wolfram)
8 Nov 2022
Computing education in non-formal settings [title TBC] Tracy Gardner & Rebecca Franks (Raspberry Pi Foundation)

Building new clubhouses of computing: Introductory equity-oriented computer science with electronic textiles for high school students (12 July 2022)

Yasmin B. Kafai (University of Pennsylvania) with Elaine Griggs (Pembroke High School, Massachusetts)

Addressing the longstanding disparities in computer science learning opportunities for students from historically marginalized communities has been a central challenge in K-12 CS education. While many efforts have focused on unlocking the doors to existing clubhouses, an alternative strategy is to “build new clubhouses” of computing by promoting culturally-relevant contexts in computing, bringing in new materials and activities.

We present findings and insights gained from implementing a novel eight-week, electronic textiles unit within the Exploring Computer Science curriculum, where students designed wearable electronic textile projects with microcontrollers, sensors, and LEDs. We also share teachers’ emergent practices in transforming their CS classrooms, including valuing student expertise and promoting connections in personalized work. In the discussion, we address (1) the ways these practices succeeded in broadening access while deepening participation in computing and establishing home-school connections and (2) what lessons we learned from moving these hands-on computing classroom activities online during the pandemic for teaching and online professional development.

Speaker:

Yasmin B. KafaiYasmin B. Kafai is Lori and Michael Milken President’s Distinguished Professor at the Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania, with a courtesy appointment in Computer and Information Science. She is a learning designer and researcher of online tools, projects and communities to promote coding, crafting, and creativity. With colleagues at MIT, she developed the programming language Scratch and researched applications and participation in clubs, classrooms, and online communities. More recently, she has developed and researched the use of electronic textiles to introduce computing, crafting, and engineering to high school students and teachers as part of the nationwide “Exploring Computer Science” curriculum. She is a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association and the International Society for the Learning Sciences.

Elaine GriggsElaine Griggs is a Computer Science teacher at Pembroke High School in Pembroke, Massachusetts, United States. She is also a veteran teacher and facilitator for the Exploring Computer Science curriculum. In 2019, she received the National Educator Award in Computer Science from the CSTA.
 
 
 
 

ME++: Data ethics for the computing classroom through biometrics, ballet, and AR (6 Sept 2022)

Genevieve Smith-Nunes (University of Cambridge)

Exploring data ethics through creative immersive tools with brainwave and motion capture data. Is there a difference in sense of self (identity) between the human and the virtual? How does sharing your personal biometric data make you feel? How can biometric and immersive development tools be used in the computing classroom to raise awareness of data ethics?

Speaker:

Genevieve Smith-NunesGenevieve Smith-Nunes is a 3rd-year Ph.D. candidate at the University of Cambridge and a lecturer at the University of Roehampton. In 2013, she set up ReadySaltedCode, an organisation providing innovative digital computing STEAM-focussed education. The organisation provides workshops and training and produces DataDrivenDance performances: large scale technology-enhanced classical ballet performances designed to highlight, engage and encourage people to love computing. DataDrivenDance looks to explore the ethical and social justice implications of future technologies, including biometrics and XR, and aims to reimagine how we could potentially deliver a creative computing education.

Building tomorrow’s core computational curriculum (4 Oct 2022)

Conrad Wolfram (Wolfram)

Coding in schools is a welcome addition to the curriculum. It is one part of delivering modern STEM and computational understanding, but traditional maths remains the stalwart computational subject in terms of time allocation, age-range, and importance attached to assessments in it. Is this what’s required for the core computational subject, fit for the AI age? And how does what we have at the moment between coding, maths and other STEM subjects match up? Does maths and coding empower computational literacy for all and enhanced computational thinking for a larger cohort in society? Can we parallel the benefits of mass literacy from the 19th century with a rise in mass computational literacy in the 21st?

In this talk, I will outline my team’s decade of work to map-out the solution: the first to build a core computational curriculum from scratch that assumes computers exist. I will give live examples of the results, explain the journey so far for this transformation, why I published “The Math(s) Fix” in 2020, and how action on delivering its proposal is urgent for society’s wellbeing.

Speaker:

Conrad WolframConrad Wolfram, physicist, mathematician and technologist, is Strategic Director and European Co-Founder/CEO of Wolfram – the “math company” behind Mathematica, Wolfram Language and Wolfram|Alpha (which powers knowledge answers for Apple’s Siri) for over 30 years. He is recognised as a thought leader in AI, data science and computation, pioneering a multiparadigm data science approach.

Conrad is also a leading advocate for a fundamental shift of math education to become computer-based or alternatively introduce a new core subject of computational thinking. He founded computerbasedmath.org and computationalthinking.org to fundamentally fix math education for the AI age – rebuilding the curriculum assuming computers exist. The movement is now a worldwide force in re-engineering the STEM curriculum. In 2020, Conrad released his groundbreaking book, TheMathsFix.org, to lay out, as a readable but comprehensive proposal, this reformation: from identifying the problem to a detailing solution and suggesting some of the ways we might get there.

Computing education in non-formal settings [title TBC] (8 Nov 2022)

Tracy Gardner & Rebecca Franks (Raspberry Pi Foundation)

Speakers:

Tracy GardnerDr Tracy Gardner has a Computer Science PhD, has worked in academia and industry as a computer scientist and has taught primary school computing. She has extensive experience as a mentor for Code Club, CoderDojo and hack events for young people. Tracy is the co-author of micro:bit in Wonderland and the co-creator of the picozero beginner Python library for the Raspberry Pi Pico. Tracy currently works for the Raspberry Pi Foundation creating content for use in our clubs and for creators at home. Tracy entered computing through outreach activities targeting those who wouldn’t otherwise have had access and is keen to ensure that others have such opportunities.

Rebecca FranksRebecca Franks has over 15 years’ experience teaching computing. She has been a faculty director and was part of the leadership team working on the Pupil Premium initiative in her school. She has a keen interest in diversity and inclusion and has volunteered for CAS Include for the last 10 years. CAS Include is a working group with a mission to increase diversity in computing by making the subject more inclusive. Rebecca worked at the Raspberry Pi Foundation in the Formal Learning Team creating resources for the Teach Computing Curriculum, Oak National Academy and Isaac CS. She now works in the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s Informal Learning Team creating resources for clubs and home learners.