Classroom Story

Iseult became a CS First trainer to help more teachers enrich their curriculum

Iseult became a CS First trainer to help more teachers enrich their curriculum

After seeing the positive impact CS First had on her own class, primary school teacher Iseult Mangan decided to become a CS First trainer to show other teachers in her rural area of Ireland how to enrich learning with Computer Science (CS). Through an initiative from education charity Camara, she has trained more than 100 teachers.

? Why CS First?

In Ireland, CS is not on the primary school curriculum, so fitting it in can be difficult. Teachers need support to build their skills, and there is difficulty in finding resources. CS First ticks all boxes. It helps teachers learn, it helps students learn, and it is accessible. It has video content that everyone can follow, and teachers can learn along with students. It also gives you the flexibility to run classes how you want.

? Why did you become a CS First trainer?

I first discovered CS First when I was looking for the best ways to teach Scratch. I took the Storytelling course together with my students, and it went brilliantly – they picked it up so quickly and were even helping me learn! Because CS First had worked so well for me, I was keen to show everybody else how to do it.

Computer Science education is so important because it will affect all jobs in the future. It is also a great teaching tool, as it cuts across all areas of learning.

? How does the training work?

I introduce the resources, and we go through one of the CS First lessons together. Participants are always keen to see real-life examples, so I show video clips and projects from my own class. That really brings it home – seeing it work in a local primary school classroom, a local context, and how it can be aligned to the curriculum.

? What has been the impact?

I have been amazed at the response. Some teachers had never dreamt about using a laptop in the classroom, and now they are using CS First to enrich all areas of the curriculum. It has increased participation, and students take a more active role in learning. One of the teachers came to the training knowing nothing about technology, and she went on to take two of her students to the final of a national Scratch competition.

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