All posts by Duncan Maidens

Experience AI: The excitement of AI in your classroom

Post Syndicated from Duncan Maidens original

We are delighted to announce that we’ve launched Experience AI, our new learning programme to help educators to teach, inspire, and engage young people in the subject of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).

Experience AI is a new educational programme that offers cutting-edge secondary school resources on AI and machine learning for teachers and their students. Developed in partnership by the Raspberry Pi Foundation and DeepMind, the programme aims to support teachers in the exciting and fast-moving area of AI, and get young people passionate about the subject.

The importance of AI and machine learning education

Artificial intelligence and machine learning applications are already changing many aspects of our lives. From search engines, social media content recommenders, self-driving cars, and facial recognition software, to AI chatbots and image generation, these technologies are increasingly common in our everyday world.

Young people who understand how AI works will be better equipped to engage with the changes AI applications bring to the world, to make informed decisions about using and creating AI applications, and to choose what role AI should play in their futures. They will also gain critical thinking skills and awareness of how they might use AI to come up with new, creative solutions to problems they care about.

The AI applications people are building today are predicted to affect many career paths. In 2020, the World Economic Forum estimated that AI would replace some 85 million jobs by 2025 and create 97 million new ones. Many of these future jobs will require some knowledge of AI and ML, so it’s important that young people develop a strong understanding from an early age.

A group of young people investigate computer hardware together.
 Develop a strong understanding of the concepts of AI and machine learning with your learners.

Experience AI Lessons

Something we get asked a lot is: “How do I teach AI and machine learning with my class?”. To answer this question, we have developed a set of free lessons for secondary school students (age 11 to 14) that give you everything you need including lesson plans, slide decks, worksheets, and videos.

The lessons focus on relatable applications of AI and are carefully designed so that teachers in a wide range of subjects can use them. You can find out more about how we used research to shape the lessons and how we aim to avoid misconceptions about AI.

The lessons are also for you if you’re an educator or volunteer outside of a school setting, such as in a coding club.

The six lessons

  1. What is AI?: Learners explore the current context of artificial intelligence (AI) and how it is used in the world around them. Looking at the differences between rule-based and data-driven approaches to programming, they consider the benefits and challenges that AI could bring to society. 
  2. How computers learn: Learners focus on the role of data-driven models in AI systems. They are introduced to machine learning and find out about three common approaches to creating ML models. Finally the learners explore classification, a specific application of ML.
  3. Bias in, bias out: Learners create their own machine learning model to classify images of apples and tomatoes. They discover that a limited dataset is likely to lead to a flawed ML model. Then they explore how bias can appear in a dataset, resulting in biased predictions produced by a ML model.
  4. Decision trees: Learners take their first in-depth look at a specific type of machine learning model: decision trees. They see how different training datasets result in the creation of different ML models, experiencing first-hand what the term ‘data-driven’ means. 
  5. Solving problems with ML models: Learners are introduced to the AI project lifecycle and use it to create a machine learning model. They apply a human-focused approach to working on their project, train a ML model, and finally test their model to find out its accuracy.
  6. Model cards and careers: Learners finish the AI project lifecycle by creating a model card to explain their machine learning model. To finish off the unit, they explore a range of AI-related careers, hear from people working in AI research at DeepMind, and explore how they might apply AI and ML to their interests.

As part of this exciting first phase, we’re inviting teachers to participate in research to help us further develop the resources. All you need to do is sign up through our website, download the lessons, use them in your classroom, and give us your valuable feedback.

An educator points to an image on a student's computer screen.
 Ben Garside, one of our lead educators working on Experience AI, takes a group of students through one of the new lessons.

Support for teachers

We’ve designed the Experience AI lessons with teacher support in mind, and so that you can deliver them to your learners aged 11 to 14 no matter what your subject area is. Each of the lesson plans includes a section that explains new concepts, and the slide decks feature embedded videos in which DeepMind’s AI researchers describe and bring these concepts to life for your learners.

We will also be offering you a range of new teacher training opportunities later this year, including a free online CPD course — Introduction to AI and Machine Learning — and a series of AI-themed webinars.

Tell us your feedback

We will be inviting schools across the UK to test and improve the Experience AI lessons through feedback. We are really looking forward to working with you to shape the future of AI and machine learning education.

Visit the Experience AI website today to get started.

The post Experience AI: The excitement of AI in your classroom appeared first on Raspberry Pi Foundation.

Launching Ada Computer Science, the new platform for learning about computer science

Post Syndicated from Duncan Maidens original

We are excited to launch Ada Computer Science, the new online learning platform for teachers, students, and anyone interested in learning about computer science.

Ada Computer Science logo on dark background.

With the rapid advances being made in AI systems and chatbots built on large language models, such as ChatGPT, it’s more important than ever that all young people understand the fundamentals of computer science. 

Our aim is to enable young people all over the world to learn about computer science through providing access to free, high-quality and engaging resources that can be used by both students and teachers.

A female computing educator with three female students at laptops in a classroom.

A partnership between the Raspberry Pi Foundation and the University of Cambridge, Ada Computer Science offers comprehensive resources covering everything from algorithms and data structures to computational thinking and cybersecurity. It also has nearly 1000 rigorously researched and automatically marked interactive questions to test your understanding. Ada Computer Science is improving all the time, with new content developed in response to user feedback and the latest research. Whatever your interest in computer science, Ada is the place for you.

A teenager learning computer science.

If you’re teaching or studying a computer science qualification at school, you can use Ada Computer Science for classwork, homework, and revision. Computer science teachers can select questions to set as assignments for their students and have the assignments marked directly. The assignment results help you and your students understand how well they have grasped the key concepts and highlights areas where they would benefit from further tuition. Students can learn with the help of written materials, concept illustrations, and videos, and they can test their knowledge and prepare for exams.

A comprehensive resource for computing education

Ada Computer Science builds on work we’ve done to support the English school system as part of the National Centre for Computing Education, funded by the Department for Education.

The topics on the website map to exam board specifications for England’s Computer Science GCSE and A level, and will map to other curricula in the future.

A teenager learning computer science.

In addition, we want to make it easy for educators and learners across the globe to use Ada Computer Science. That’s why each topic is aligned to our own comprehensive taxonomy of computing content for education, which is independent of the English curriculum, and organises the content into 11 strands, including programming, computing systems, data and information, artificial intelligence, creating media, and societal impacts of digital technology.

If you are interested in how we can specifically adapt Ada Computer Science for your region, exam specification, or specialist area, please contact us.

Why use Ada Computer Science at school?

Ada Computer Science enables teachers to:

  • Plan lessons around high-quality content
  • Set self-marking homework questions
  • Pinpoint areas to work on with students
  • Manage students’ progress in a personal markbook

Students get:

  • Free computer science resources, written by specialist teachers
  • A huge bank of interactive questions, designed to support learning
  • A powerful revision tool for exams
  • Access wherever and whenever you want

In addition:

  • The topics include real code examples in Python, Java, VB, and C#
  • The live code editor features interactive coding tasks in Python
  • Quizzes make it quick and easy to set work

Get started with Ada Computer Science today by visiting

The post Launching Ada Computer Science, the new platform for learning about computer science appeared first on Raspberry Pi Foundation.

Take part in the UK Bebras Challenge 2021 for schools!

Post Syndicated from Duncan Maidens original

The annual UK Bebras Computational Thinking Challenge is back to provide fun, brain-teasing puzzles for schools from 8 to 19 November!

The UK Bebras Challenge 2021 runs from 8 to 19 November.

In the free Bebras Challenge, your students get to practise their computational thinking skills while solving a set of accessible, puzzling, and engaging tasks over 40 minutes. It’s tailored for age groups from 6 to 18.

“I just want to say how much the children are enjoying this competition. It is the first year we have entered, and I have students aged 8 to 11 participating in my Computing lessons, with some of our older students also taking on the challenges. It is really helping to challenge their thinking, and they are showing great determination to try and complete each task!”

– A UK-based teacher

Ten key facts about Bebras

  1. It’s free!
  2. The challenge takes place in school, and it’s a great whole-school activity
  3. It’s open to learners aged 6 to 18, with activities for different age groups
  4. The challenge is made up of a set of short tasks, and completing it takes 40 minutes
  5. The closing date for registering your school is 4 November
  6. Your learners need to complete the challenge between 8 and 19 November 2021
  7. All the marking is done for you (hurrah!)
  8. You’ll receive the results and answers the week after the challenge ends, so you can go through them with your learners and help them learn more
  9. The tasks are logical thinking puzzles, so taking part does not require any computing knowledge
  10. There are practice questions you can use to help your learners prepare for the challenge, and throughout the year to help them practice their computational thinking

Do you want to support your learners to take on the Bebras Challenge? Then register your school today!

Remember to sign up by 4 November!

The benefits of Bebras

Bebras is an international challenge that started in Lithuania in 2004 and has grown into a worldwide event. The UK became involved in Bebras for the first time in 2013, and the number of participating students has increased from 21,000 in the first year to more than half a million over the last two years! Internationally, nearly 2.5 million learners took part in 2020 despite the disruptions to schools.

On the left, a drawing of a bracelet made of stars and moons.
On the left, a bracelet design from an activity for ages 10–12. On the right, a password checker from an activity for ages 14–16.

Bebras, brought to you in the UK by us and Oxford University, is a great way to give your learners of all age groups a taste of the principles behind computing by engaging them in fun problem-solving activities. The challenge results highlight computing principles, so Bebras can be educational for you as a teacher too.

Throughout the year, questions from previous years of the challenge are available to registered teachers on the website, where you can create self-marking quizzes to help you deliver the computational thinking part of the curriculum for your classes.

You can register your school at

Learn more about our work to support learners with computational thinking.

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