Monday, 15 July 2013

informal lecture

Today we had a catchup on where we are at with our first assessment, and we had a visiting lecturer, Prof. Valentina Dagiene, talk to us about an informatics project that has been going since 2004,

The bebras project is a competition for all ages of students at school using a system of multichoice and interactive puzzles to get students to understand what informatics is.

The idea of Bebras was born in Lithuania, by Prof. Valentina Dagiene. Bebras is the Lithuanian word for “beaver”. The thought rushed into head during the travel around Finland in 2003 and discussions how we could attract pupils to learn informatics. The activity of beavers on strands was so noticeable, that it suggested the symbol of the contest… Beavers look like persistent stickers, who endeavour for perfection in their field of activities and beaver away to reach the target. Their everyday job seems to be a trial: the one who pulls down more trees will stem more streams... Therefore, our competition was named after the hard-working, intelligent, and lively beaver.

This is rather an interesting project as it does not mention the computer science concepts or theory around the puzzles until later, We are looking at Literacy within our school at present and particularly the Literacy required around our particular subjects. 

In the second week of November the competition is held throughout 30 countries, 24 have been doing these for a while and 6 of these had a trail period last year. 
There are 24 tasks to be completed, 9 of these are mandatory throughout all regions, the others come from a task vault that has been developed with a region submitting tasks, being checked, answers and the theory behind the answers.

the are about to release through there new worldwide site bebraslogic, which will allow for for interactive puzzles to be created rather than the multichoice ones at present.

There has been some work done in New Zealand around bringing the project here, but it has just been discussions at present. Could these be better than the current testing that is done through ICAS?

I look forward to seeing there new site operational, as these could provide a good do now in class when students come in, bebras are looking at a task of the week as well as a 15 minute challenge competition.

This is funded partly by google, I now start wondering what else there is available, how can we get a list of what google has funded? sponsored? that relates to what we are doing in education?

Link to google sponsored cs4hs projects

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