Librarians learn how to teach computer science with Digital Schoolhouse

Author: Mark Ward, Community Outreach Officer

As part of Digital Schoolhouse’s exciting new partnership with Arts Council England, over the past couple of days, I have had the pleasure of working with our new community schoolhouses, based in libraries around the country from Leeds to London.

As with everything Digital Schoolhouse (DSH) related, play-based learning is the beating heart, and training sessions for community schoolhouse leads (librarians) are no different.  After a short introduction about the history and ethos of Digital Schoolhouse, participants were straight into a quick game to get them thinking about how to pitch lesson content to learners.

From there, after some background information on how the partnership with Arts Council England came about and some logistical ‘nitty-gritty’ the ever-wonderful Andrew Paul Csizmadia and Dr Yota Dimitriadi delivered a session on ‘Teaching 101’. 

This new partnership is widening the net of who delivers Digital Schoolhouse workshops, and where these workshops are delivered, to include libraries and librarians.  With this in mind, a session on the basics of what makes a good teacher was an excellent way to further develop the confidence of our new community leads.

Day two of the training began with a fun activity led by curriculum content developer Estelle, who spoke at length about our ‘Scratch Stories’ coding workshop, explaining to our community schoolhouse leads how to access the materials used and giving them a flavour of what is involved.

We then had a session from Nicola Black, a Senior Impact Analyst and Kieren Liu, an Impact Manager from Everfi who are helping evaluate the impact the partnership will have on community schoolhouses and their local communities, by formally evaluating the pilot phase.

The training was rounded off by going through the next steps on this journey, from our community schoolhouses beginning to develop their workshops, working collaboratively with experienced Lead Teachers, to gaining the confidence to fully support their local communities develop their computational thinking skills through a play-based learning approach.

I hope we managed to give our new community schoolhouses a glimpse into the world of Digital Schoolhouse and have inspired them to create a positive impact moving forward – I for one can’t wait to see what this next exciting chapter brings!