Please note this workshop includes hands-on activities that are best completed by bringing your own laptop, tablet or surface device. If you don’t have a suitable device you will still be able to watch or pair up with another attendee
The University of Edinburgh and EDINA are jointly proposing to host a 1-hour workshop exploring the uses of Jupyter notebooks in education for introducing programming concepts and activities.
Jupyter notebooks are live editable documents that allow you to run code whilst also containing text, data tables and other rich media items such as images and videos. For instructors, this means you can give context alongside your code exercises or create distance learning materials. This also allows students to run, edit and experiment with code without having to open an intimidating Integrated Development Environment (IDE).
EDINA is small business unit within the Information Services Directorate of the University of Edinburgh. They develop and run innovative services for higher education, with a long history in delivering geospatial data (Digimap) and solutions for computational learning. EDINA has worked closely with Learning Technologists and local colleagues at the University of Edinburgh to develop the Noteable service. Noteable is a cloud teaching platform giving access to Jupyter notebooks so that staff and students can get hands-on with code without installing anything.
By removing traditional barriers to interacting and exploring code, Jupyter notebooks and Noteable are perfectly suited as a medium to introduce beginners to concepts whilst also being robust enough to explore complex or computationally-intensive material such as machine learning.
Noteable was created to service a growing collection of isolated communities from a multitude of disciplines across the University that had incorporated Jupyter into their teaching. By providing and promoting a centralised service, Noteable has created a shared community of practice within the University that we can expand as Noteable is adopted by other institutions. In creating a centralised service, we have also ensured that all schools and departments can make use of Noteable rather than having to rely on what tools can be provisioned within their department. Both EDINA and the University are keen to push beyond the institutional boundary, engaging with local schools and colleges as part of Edinburgh’s focus on digital skills through the City Region Deal.
Building on the open-source Jupyter platform, the University and EDINA have been keen to prevent the formation of institutional boundaries around our work, engaging with the Jupyter community both within the UK and internationally. In May, the University and EDINA hosted a Jupyter Community Hackathon based around adding improved functionality to Jupyter.
As part of the workshop, we will present feedback data and user stories from our pilot instructors and students to articulate how this service has been introduced and embraced at the University of Edinburgh. We will also discuss the challenges faced by academic colleagues trying to introduce programming concepts with other methods which Jupyter has helped overcome. Colleagues from EDINA will describe how Noteable has been designed and tailored for use in Higher Education. After the initial presentation and walkthrough, attendees will be able to get hands-on with notebook-based activities to gain further understanding of the benefits of Jupyter as a teaching platform that can be easily adopted by programming novices or experts.
This workshop will consist of an introduction to Jupyter notebooks and the Noteable service at the University of Edinburgh. We will then use the Noteable service to run an introduction to Python course in Jupyter notebooks and highlight the benefits of using Jupyter to quickly introduce concepts to an audience of differing technical capabilities and resources available, mimicking the situation faced by University lectures. As well as highlighting the benefits of using Noteable for introductory courses we will also be able to showcase different, more advanced notebooks to show how Noteable and Jupyter can extend the digital capabilities of varying disciplines. Participants will be supported by demonstrators and EDINA developers allowing them to enquire about the service or experiment with features in their own time. The session will close with questions and discussion points from participants. All attendees will be given trial access to Noteable along with a series of introductory notebooks and OER materials to allow them to continue to explore the service beyond the conference.
Introduction to Jupyter notebooks: 10 minutes
Using Jupyter for Introduction to Python lesson: 30 Minutes
Exploring the possibilities of Jupyter in different disciplines: 10 minutes
Questions and Close: 10 Minutes
Workshop material will be created for this session to allow participants to gain a good overview of the uses of Jupyter notebook to illustrate their uses in education.
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