Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Computing Education Steering Group

I attended the second meeting of this group yesterday morning at Jordanhill Campus of the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. The group is looking at ways of stimulating the interest in Computing and related subjects in schools to address the significant decline in numbers in Higher Education.

It was a productive meeting with a number of concrete proposals coming out of it. We agreed to carry out a survey to get some hard evidence about the issue and also to lobby the Scottish Government to put a priority on Computing education as a strategic issue for the country. We had an interesting presentation and discussion about the purpose and contents of Computing in schools.

We also agreed on another national conference some time next summer. You can get more information about this group from the convenor, Andrew McGettrick.

1 comment:

  1. red hot apathist17/1/08 11:05 pm

    I have in my hand my son's Foundation Homework, the topic is "Commercial Data Processing"

    A scenario is built of a clothing company with over a million customers, and the question is asked

    "What type of computer will they have in their headquarters for this type of work ?"
    A) Laptop Computer
    B) Desktop Computer
    C) Mainframe computer
    D) Palmtop computer

    One assumes that the Dolores Umbridge/Official Ministry approved answer to this is going to be "C" (The Mainframe).
    For a few unsettling moments I thought that we had somehow flicked back in time to 1978 I was using both Mainframes and Desktop computers at the time ( we called them "Micros" back then ... )- but no, laptops are mentioned, and we didn't have them then. 1988 ? The early laptops were around then, but no - we had no palmtops. 1998 ? I certainly had a palmtop by then. 2008 ? Expect to see a cluster of networked computers doing the task specified ( although the palmtop probably has the processing and memory capacity, but not the keyboard or display to cope with this scenario).

    If we are going to going to persist with this paleocomputing and "memorise this obsolete fact" type of approach then the numbers of students taking Computing courses will continue to decline ( plummet ! ) and I don't blame them ! They will choose exciting options like Cost Management Accounting instead.

    Surely we come up with some way of actually getting current, interesting curriculum in front of the kids and not put them off the subject for life ?

    I should probably sign this "Abe Simpson", but I am not going to admit to senile ranting.