Submitted on 2015-06-21 21:45
On Friday July 31st, the inaugural PyCon Australia Python in Education miniconf will be held at the main conference venue. This event aims to bring together Python developers interested in educational initiatives, community workshop organisers, professional Python instructors and professional educators across primary, secondary and tertiary levels to share their experiences and requirements, and identify areas of potential collaboration with each other and with the broader Python community.
This full day event will open with Peter Whitehouse, author of IPT - a virtual approach (online since 1992) and a longstanding board member of the Queensland Society for Information Technology in Education, providing personal insight into some of the challenges and opportunities of integrating Python and other open source software into Australian Digital Technologies education.
Thea Koutsoukis will then take event participants through her experiences using PyCharm Educational Edition to instruct school students in the 10-14 age range, followed by Brad Nielsen discussing his use of the PythonAnywhere online service and the Flask web framework in classes instructing year 12 information technology students.
Closing out the morning session will be Katie Bell, recounting how the National Computer Science School summer school program manages to take teams of high school students through the task of developing and deploying a fully functional social networking site in just 3 days.
Caleb Hattingh will start the afternoon session by exploring some of the challenges faced in making the transition from graphical programming environments like Scratch to text based programming in Python in the context of the Brisbane City Council’s CoderDojo program.
Changing pace from direct instruction focused material, Brendan Scott will present the details of the process by which his Python 4 Kids project-based educational blogging initiative went on to become a published book, while John Zornig and Andrew Dekker of the University of Queensland will provide an overview of the university’s involvement in the Django-based Open EdX project that powers a number of open online course programs around the world, including UQx.
Finally, Carrie Anne Philbin, author of "Adventures in Raspberry Pi", Education Pioneer at the Raspberry Pi Foundation and a Director of the Python Software Foundation, will be speaking on the Foundation's experience in integrating Python into the UK’s digital curriculum, with a particular focus on the Foundation’s professional development program for primary and secondary teachers, Picademy.
In addition to the structured program, this event will also provide opportunities for educators and software developers to collaborate on ideas for improving open source educational tools.
The option of attending the Education miniconf is included in the Contributor and Professional conference registration levels, and may be added to an Enthusiast or Student registration for an additional $50. Complimentary registrations, including single day registrations specifically to attend the Education miniconf, may be requested through the conference’s financial assistance program.