Learning zones

 

"Our four learning zones hold different objects, activities and sources of fun but, most importantly, they facilitate different learning styles."

Dr Anjali Das,  Head of Learning at The Centre for Computing History

  

This section will provide you with information about:

  • the main gallery zone
  • the games zone
  • the Megaprocessor zone
  • the classroom zone
  • group rotation

A focus on Learning

The Centre for Computing History is a charitable, heritage organisation with a strong focus on learning. Much more than a museum, it hosts hands-on exhibitions, educational workshops and a wide range of activities and events. 

To best appreciate the Centre, we divide education groups into small sets of students and rotate them through four 'zones'.  In each zone a group of students will experience a different aspect of the Centre and its collection, by accessing different artifacts, activities, learning styles and perspectives on the past, present and future of computing.

For an overview of an education group visit to our Centre, please click here.


 

The Main Gallery zone

The Centre has a main gallery where most of the heritage displays, artifacts and interactive presentations are found.   Students will visit this area to explore 'bytes' of the computing timeline. The artifacts and displays act as evidence to a remarkable story told by the Centre’s Learning Team.   Students in the main gallery 'zone' will;

  • listen to presentations and explanations,
  • watch demonstrations,
  • touch artifacts and displays,
  • engage in activities that use the gallery collection as evidence,
  • work individually, in teams and with a member of the Centre’s Learning Team.

The zone is quite large and gives students a chance to explore individually and focus on the exhibits that most interest them.  The area can be equipped with tables and chairs to support activities and the lunch break.


 

The Games zone

The Centre has an impressive collection of gaming technology and uses it as an exciting presentation for students to explore;

  • the development of games consoles,
  • game design,
  • mechanics and narrative,
  • development of graphics from 8-bit to HD. 

Many games are playable in the Games zone, from Pong to the latest virtual reality demos running on our Oculus Rift Development Kit.  Through the exploration of this zone your students will learn about the growing cultural, social and economic importance of the games they play every day.

The Games zone is a self-supported learning area.  Supervised by one of your organisation's adults, the students are encouraged to follow individually a research activity which encourages them to have fun playing the games but also thinking through some challenging questions.


 

The Megaprocessor zone

Sited within the Centre's foyer, you will find our unique, giant Megaprocessor.  Like the critical component of any computer, the Megaprocesor is a computer processor made large - very, very large.  Used to show how important the processor is to a computer's function, the Megaprocessor is utilised in many different ways according to the age of the students in attendance.

In this area with its impressive Megaprocessor backdrop,  students engage in a wide variety of activities and challenges to build their understanding of just what a computer is, plus the exploration of evidence boxes - containing some of our collection artifacts, coding challenges and team work.   All activities in this area are supported by a member of the Learning Team.

Find out more about the Megaprocesor here.


 

The Classroom zone

The Centre has a large 'classroom' resembling a school room from the 1980s equipped with a cluster of Acorn BBC computers.  

In this area students engage with technology through a choice of 'workshops', each focusing on a different challenge from coding a BBC computer to controlling devices with a Raspberry Pi.   The choice of workshops that your visiting group of students can access is described here.

The workshops are presented and supported by the Head of Learning, Dr Anjali Das.  Combining formal classroom instruction followed by individual work, students experience hands on 'making' activities at their own pace and levels of creativity.


 

Group rotation

Our aim is to ensure that all your students access our collection, activities and challenges throughout their visit to The Centre for Computing History.

We wish to avoid large groups that reduce a student's opportunity to get close to the artifacts, touch and work with resources and feel distant from our Learning Team members.  We know the value of small groups both to the students and in respecting our collection and Centre.

Depending upon your overall group size, we will divide your group into smaller sets of typically 15 students and then rotate the groups through the four zones of the Centre.  

The amount of time spent in any one of the four zones will vary according to the size of your group and duration of stay.

We will want one of your supervising adults to accompany each of the subsets of your group; in the Games zone, to take responsibility for a self directed task and in each of the other three zones to support our Learning Team members and your own students.


 

Booking a visit

Interested in arranging a visit to our Centre?

Click here to find out the details of booking a visit, including; choosing a date, group sizes, charges and duration of stay.

 
Founding Sponsors
redgate Google ARM Real VNC Microsoft Research
Heritage Lottery Funded
Heritage Lottery Fund