1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Ideas/help needed for assembly on Computing please

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by ictLad, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. ictLad

    ictLad New commenter

    After speaking with one of the Deptuty Heads about gathering interest in Computing A Level, in a rare moment of helpfulness he suggested I do a senior school assembly. A good idea. Except I dont seem to have any clue as to what to do it on. I was thinking of starting out with a quick Q & A about famous computer scientists (ones they will probably know), e.g. Sergey Brin, Bill Gates, Zuckerberg etc etc, and finishing/emphasising the fact that it isnt ICT (which is what a huge amount of pupils really do think about the subject in our school). But other than that I am stumped :-(
    The assembly needs to be about 15 minutes long and is to pupils between Year 9 and 11. While I want it to be interesting to all, the key audience are the year 11's. Its probably too late to influence the majority of them, but if I can interest one or two that would be perfect. Oh and I should probably mention that I hate speaking in front of large audiences :-/ Any help truly appreciated
  2. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Start with the Bletchley Park story and how they helped win the war, then mention how hypertext was invented by a Brit. Tell them how the first moon landing was controlled by a computer with less memory than today's pocket calculators. Give them some jaw-dropping facts and figures and statistics about how the industry has grown. Chances are your main target audience is male so accept that and work on them. Make it interesting.

    And get used to speaking in front of large audiences if your subject's recruitment depends on it ;-)
  3. madcat

    madcat Occasional commenter

    Unless you are a great showman I don't think that this will be a success. You are aiming at far too small a fraction of those prresent and 15 mins is far too long to maintain the interest of the rest.
    You'd be much better given a short talk (5 min) to those in the upper sets for maths. A much more tightly defined set of people who are far more likely to know ( and have an interest in) who Sergey Brin is than the hoi poli of senior assembly.
    Oh and a piece of advice for the future.(based on far too many years of experience )
    If a Deputy Head thinks some thing is a good idea...
    run, do not walk, very rapidly in the opposite direction

  4. ictLad

    ictLad New commenter

    Thanks for the ideas thus far. I am thinking maybe it would be better to pop into two of the top maths sets in the next few weeks and grab five mins of their time. But not really sure where to go in five minutes. Thats not much time really but I doubt the teacher would be willing for me to take up too much of their teaching time. Any ideas what I could do in five minutes to grab their interest?
  5. What about a card trick? There are quite a few at cs4fn and most of them can be explained quite simply with a bit of mathematics (this way you'll also be more likely to appease your maths colleagues). My Y10s loved it when we did some just before Christmas and it's a fun way of introducing some meaty computing topics and problems.
  6. I was going to suggest the cs4fn site for some of their ideas - all tried and tested.
    Also take a look at the CSUnplugged youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/csunplugged esp. the roadshow clips, there are some good examples of interactive stuff that will hold the audience. (NB. This is aimed at top juniors/early secondary so will need some tweaking to suite your target age group!)
  7. ictLad

    ictLad New commenter

    Bah, who would have thought it would be this hard. Ok so after nattering with the HoD of Maths, she isnt keen on me wandering in to the maths lessons to have a quick five minute chat with the classes (I wanted to target top mathematicians). So she suggested a bvrief five minute stint at the end of the monday morning assembly to the current GCSE pupils. She herself is a computer scientist at heart and has a soft spot for it, she also as the head of the biggest dept in the school carries a fair deal of clout and positively has offered to give a quick talk about the advantages of A Level Computing before I talk. However as this will happen at the end of assembly there isnt a lot of time, probably gives me three/four minutes at most.
    Activities such as the magic tricks suggested (which are excellent), are a going to be tough to do due to the en masse nature of the year group. What to talk about in four minutes? I know its not ideal but I have to take what I can get. Any further suggestions?
  8. gedlad

    gedlad New commenter

    I've dropped my Intro To Binary Game in ICT Resources for your perusal. I've used it from year 7 upwards as a gap filler as well as getting AS Computing students converting binary to denary as a class activity.
    It may be useful to you - a 10 minute pick a number game (perhaps for assembly) then get 'em to come to your after school class to show 'em how it's done and do your sales pitch for Computing to those interested.
    Happy to help
  9. Hope it's not too late - just had a thought.

    Show them the video clip of the airliner crashing at the Paris (I think) air show and/or the Ariane 5 exploding (if such footage is out there). Make the very simple point that both disasters occurred because the the people in charge of the computers made mistakes (the landing over-rides kicked in when the pilot was show boating for the crowd and dropped below 50m and the software for Ariane 4 was reused although the Ariane 5 was much faster - the computer system decided the sensors must be faulty and self-destructed). If that doesn't at least grab their attention then I'm completely stuck...
  10. clickschool

    clickschool New commenter

    The CAS bits and pieces are useful though may need practising (there are also clips on youtube if I remember right).
    I once did a presentation to our G&T students talking from personal experience about traveling around the world etc. When talking about the various variety of jobs and earning potential, their eyes lit up.
    I'd make a point of mentioning advances in technology in items they're familiar with i.e. mobile phones, game consoles etc.. because if spoken about with enthuiasm including stats about speed and size, it is awe inspiring... and the multimillion pound industry that it is.
    Some of the TED talks might also provide inspiration.
    Hope it goes well...please share the outcome.

  11. I've used this example: http://cs4fn.org/lockedin.html in a class before, leading to finding a better algorithm i.e. binary search (plus letter frequency), as a way of showing this is what Computing is i.e. it is not ICT ...
    Even shorter, but similar, linear search vs binary search using a phone book. Fun if you rip it up in front of them throwing half the book away each time as you 'chop' down to the page with the name/number to be found on it. Same point to be made but they'll remember the pages flying into the air! (and of course the maths students should be able to tell you how many lookups ahve to be made when given 1000, 1000000 etc pages)

Share This Page