Michael Jones’ Story
Michael Jones travelled to the USA in 2015 to study electronics and computer science programmes in schools.
Michael, the director of computing and initial teacher education at Northfleet Technology College, wanted to use his Fellowship to research the curriculum method and content being created across the varied education landscape in the USA. The computer science curriculum in England was barely two years old at the time of Michael’s Fellowship, and he was concerned that the direction being adopted was not in the best interests of all students.
During his four weeks in the USA, Michael spent time in Colorado, New York and Massachusetts. He visited schools, universities and companies involved in the creation and delivery of the burgeoning computer science curriculum in the USA. Highlights from Michael’s Fellowship included providing a half-day session on the Python programming language, the default coding language used in most English schools, at a Colorado summer school, delivering a lecture to the faculty staff at MIT Media Lab and exploring the public/private sponsorship approach to computer science in New York City.
The Fellowship exposed Michael to a range of new ideas, which has led to his greater involvement in the development of a computer science curriculum at a local and national level. Whilst in Colorado, Michael established a connection with SparkFun Electronics. In 2016 he was provided with the opportunity to spend a week with SparkFun, undertaking their training programming aimed at developing micro processing skills. This opportunity was funded under the Computing At School bursary programme. The events have led to Michael developing resources for use by Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 students and teachers.
Watch Michael talk about his work in computer science education
Michael’s Fellowship has led to him working with several UK universities. He was seconded to the University of Greenwich to design and deliver the first computer science teacher training programme, and to Canterbury Christ Church University to act as Senior Lecturer on their computer science teacher programme. He has also worked with Kings College University to support their computer science trainee teachers. Research from his Fellowship was also cited in “Computer Science Teacher” by Beverly Clarke, a book published by the British Computer Society in August 2017.
Michael’s own learning with regards teaching computer science has continued beyond his Fellowship: he has gained accreditation as a Raspberry Pi Educator, been awarded the BCS Certificate in Computer Science Teaching and is one of the first teachers in England to gain Chartered Information Technology Practitioner status with the British Computer Society. Michael’s core work as a teacher at Northfleet Technology College continues and he has recently revised computer science syllabi at Key Stage 4. Michael continues to work extensively with schools as part of his role as a Specialist Leader of Education in the North Kent area.
View Michael’s Computing at School profile (a login is required, but educators can join free of charge)