Sunday, April 8, 2012

Computer Science is essential for everyone

Back at the beginning of March I posted a blog item about how the UK was reconsidering the teaching of ICT in favour of a more computer science based approach - including actually teaching kids to program. An excellent article in the Guardian describes the success one school has had using Scratch and even teaching 11 year old children to program in Python.
    The author says that, "In the decade following the introduction of the ICT curriculum the UK, once a world class computing champion, witnessed both a surge in demand and a downturn in success. UK software developers, together with the games and interactive entertainment industry, report a deepening chasm in recruitment to their profession. Universities have experienced a decline in applications to undergraduate courses in computing sciences, likewise, colleges report similar falls in applications to A level computing courses. A common thread dominates conversations with university staff and industry – ICT is not the same as computing."  I couldn't agree more.
    It appears that this movement against ICT teaching is spreading. A recent article in Forbes, called Computer Science is Essential for Everyone, makes a strong case that having knowledge about the fundamentals of computer science is a necessity in our increasingly digital and networked world.