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scep
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Re: UK Government: Children to be taught programming

Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:11 pm

Quote from andywe on December 21, 2011, 14:54
It is about "empowerment" and about social inequalities ...
Guildford is a very rich and privileged area ... [with] some fine grammar and public schoolsAgain with the straw men and the non-sequiturs and the fallacies of the lonely fact!

The Guildford meeting is just a "Hub" of CAS. Anyone can set up a Hub anywhere - the idea being that busy people like educators will have more chance of attending and/or getting involved if it's decentralised. The meetings can be anything from CPD to programming workshops to a presentation.

I'm hoping to set up a CAS Hub in Ipswich next year. You will note, I hope, that Ipswich is not "rich and privileged".

andywe
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Re: UK Government: Children to be taught programming

Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:33 pm

Quote: I'm hoping to set up a CAS Hub in Ipswich next year. You will note, I hope, that Ipswich is not "rich and privileged".
... ah ... but at least there is (or was ?) Martlesham close by ...
Two of the brightest students I had on an embedded Linux kernel and device driver programming course came from Martlesham ... great fun and some very interesting "hacking" ... but that's another story.
Good luck with setting up your CAS Hub in Ipswich .. I wish it every success.
I think that, politically, we will have to agree to differ ...
I do hope, however, that some of the issues I have alluded to are taken up and developed far more eloquently than I can.

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scep
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Re: UK Government: Children to be taught programming

Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:44 pm

Quote from andywe on December 21, 2011, 15:33
I do hope, however, that some of the issues I have alluded to are taken up and developed far more eloquently than I can. Me too!

regards

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abishur
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Re: UK Government: Children to be taught programming

Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:04 pm

@Andywe - So I was attempting to follow the core of your standpoint from the beginning and I'm having a little difficulty. I'd like to really understand where you're coming from on this issue but my main road block is the buzz words (usually phrases you put in quotes). Now I don't think this is the case with you, but I find that people tend to use buzz words when they want to say something that people will find powerful without really knowing what they're saying. The result for *me* is that when I read a buzz word like empowerment or taking ownership, etc I can't make the connection with what the person is trying to say because I don't know what they really mean when they say that word, even when the person saying the word fully knows what they mean to say, which I want to re-iterate I believe that you fall into this category.

If you have a moment, would you mind enumerating what your concerns are sans pop jargon and ellipses? I'm no Miss Cleo, I need the full sentence to know where you're going ;) (just an aside, I'm not asking this as a moderator, just as a curious forum member :) )
Dear forum: Play nice ;-)

bradburts
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Re: UK Government: Children to be taught programming

Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:21 pm

You can find social disadvantage anywhere, that much should be obvious.
It may be worse in some ways to be disadvantaged in Guildford.

IMHO Increased accessability and increase confidence building 'fun' (whatever that may be) are the main changes between gifted and disadvantaged. The gifted already want to do it.
The Pi helps accessability through cost. Hopefully something will be done to help improve teacher training as well.
Fun, well that's neat ideas turned into work topics, we can all share in that.

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Burngate
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Re: UK Government: Children to be taught programming

Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:31 pm

Got a friend, a fine-art teacher. His school, being short of staff, had him teaching physics.
Not sure what it says about the teaching profession, the management in schools, or that school in particular.
It does say something about the poor kids, though.

bradburts
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Re: UK Government: Children to be taught programming

Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:03 pm


Got a friend, a fine-art teacher. His school, being short of staff, had him teaching physics.
Not sure what it says about the teaching profession, the management in schools, or that school in particular.
It does say something about the poor kids, though.

Poor buggers. Poor friend. Physics is fun as well.
Money, money, money.
Is it right that you will need a first class degree to start teaching soon or just to receive a bursary?
Either way seems a bit daft when there seem to be some serious skill shortages.
If I get a first in fine art (shouldn't be too hard if I study under Tracy Emin, I don't make my bed either) then can I teach ICT?

E
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Re: UK Government: Children to be taught programming

Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:19 pm

My dad used to be a head of maths. One of the persistent things (marvel at my command of the English language! ;-) ) that always came up when dealing with companies was 'why don't you teach more xyz? The school leavers we're getting can't even xyz!'. I think companies can be quite naive about how prescribed the curriculum targets are, and that in reality teachers only have time to teach a broad but shallow understanding. Don't get me wrong, I'm not having a go at the Pi teams aims (I think they're great!) but in reality there are a million other advocate groups pushing for more of their subjects onto the timetable, and so many compromises are inevitable. I'm sure the Pi team are well aware of this, as they do their homework, and regardless you've got to aim for your ideals even if they do get watered down.

On the flip side, from my perspective when I was a student, it was never made clear to me that being able to 'speak' programming is as useful as any other spoken language. All we did was write half a game of pong, and then move onto the next curriculum target, which strikes me is a bit like being taught English only for writing shopping lists.

obarthelemy
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Re: UK Government: Children to be taught programming

Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:58 pm

Well, on some level, programming can probably be useful only to about 20% of the population, I guess, so putting in in the general curriculum at anything more than introductory level does not make a lot of sense. Give them a taste so they can pursue it if they like it, but don't force everyone to reach professional level. It's not one of the three Rs, and probably less useful on average than a bunch of other subjects, too. I think the analogy to any other language is a fair one.

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scep
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Re: UK Government: Children to be taught programming

Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:27 pm

Let's be careful of conflating computing and programming folks. Parents, schools, the Government, the media, the man on the Clapham omnibus etc do this all the time (can't say I blame them like). Here - we should know better :)

And even if programing is only "useful" to x% of people, this doesn't (and shouldn't) stop us teaching, say, music when less than 0.1% go on to do it for a living.

obarthelemy
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Re: UK Government: Children to be taught programming

Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:30 pm

totally agree. I think computing (office stuff, the net and its dangers, backups, email/IM/chat/forum and etiquette, ergonomics...) should be taught to all pupils; programming should be voluntary. Counting macros, programming *will* be useful in about 20% of jobs, out of which a few percents pure rogrammers, I'd guess ? And computing, in 100% of lives (not jobs) ?

bradburts
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Re: UK Government: Children to be taught programming

Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:43 am

Quote from obarthelemy on December 21, 2011, 23:30
totally agree. I think computing (office stuff, the net and its dangers, backups, email/IM/chat/forum and etiquette, ergonomics...) should be taught to all pupils; programming should be voluntary. Counting macros, programming *will* be useful in about 20% of jobs, out of which a few percents pure rogrammers, I'd guess ? And computing, in 100% of lives (not jobs) ?

Some one is going to have to define 'computing' for me.
I have a degree in computer science, that involved just about everything.
The physics degree I understand.

We must not have a sylabus based on the end jobs. That approach has tesco's till assistant (or whatever) as the only valid course. No maths needed there, the till does it.

Computing & programming are core skills, like maths and english.
Programming or software development skills can equally be applied to process refinement.

I also think that empirical technique is very important, understanding people, drama, pyschology, even history are core skills.
I would find it hard to draw lines. I would want to max the experience.
Maybe not media studies......

Disadvantage has been mentioned and for that reason at least a programming taster should be included, IMHO.

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scep
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Re: UK Government: Children to be taught programming

Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:35 am

Office, internet, social aspects etc is pure ICT - useful and important but there are ways to teach that that don't involve 3 years of Excel and PowerPoint (ages 11-14). The ICT National Curriculum is changing, though the logistics and training issues mean that we will see no changes in the short term. Plus they've just pushed it back to 2014 (and of course academies don't need to follow the NC anyway!)

Long term the plan is to get computing back into schools from an early stage and make it a core subject (or at least statutory at Key Stage 4 [ages 15-16 ]) .

bradburts
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Re: UK Government: Children to be taught programming

Thu Dec 22, 2011 11:02 am

Needs to be done ASAP.

What do you see the heart of the computing topics as being?

andywe
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Re: UK Government: Children to be taught programming

Thu Dec 22, 2011 11:16 am

Quote: Abishur - If you have a moment, would you mind enumerating what your concerns are sans pop jargon and ellipses? I'm no Miss Cleo, I need the full sentence to know where you're going ;) (just an aside, I'm not asking this as a moderator, just as a curious forum member :) )
I'll put up a thread in a separate forum ... as this will very quickly get political and ideological ...
and raspberryPi is probably not the best environment to discuss such things in ...
I think I'll use the UK Robotics Education web site ... which I set up to encourage robotics building and programming in the UK ... and which is not confined to a single product ... [ its about time I added some more content to it ... ] .. and I'll write a full paper ... with references etc. and then post a link to it on this forum ...

bradburts
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Re: UK Government: Children to be taught programming

Thu Dec 22, 2011 11:28 am

@andy
Nice site you have there.

Killer robots is definitely something to get the boys (and the men!) interested in computing.
I hope to be picking your brains soon.....

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ds18s20
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Re: UK Government: Children to be taught programming

Sun Dec 25, 2011 12:14 am

--Disadvantage has been mentioned and for that reason at least a programming taster should be included.

I totally agree. Programming in itself is... well elementary. There no reason not to include this into the typical commodity disciplines like physical education and biology. There is a huge misconception fueled by the egos of those deeply involved in the profession that there is some sort of magic and uber complexity about it. Get real. There isn't. That's why it was so easy for half the third world to drop their shovels and pick up a keyboard and be good at it. No let me rephrase: excellent to the point of market domination which IMHO is well deserved and a natural direction dictated by the invisible hand of supply and demand.

TickledPink
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Re: UK Government: Children to be taught programming

Sun Dec 25, 2011 9:43 am

It's good to see that the Government is finally taking CS seriously again. The last time was in the mid-eighties but they didn't put the resources into it that they could. We could have done with a project like this back then. I selected CS as one of my chosen subjects but was told I couldn't do it because I wasn't in the top group in maths (actually, my maths was very good but never did well when it came to exam time - apart from form 1, where I got something like 84%). There were only limited spaces because they used bloody BBC Micros, probably the most expensive 8-bit computers around at the time.

I doubt that any of those who took CS at that time went on to take programming up as a career. In the end, I had to teach myself and have been at it ever since.

trevj
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Re: UK Government: Children to be taught programming

Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:15 pm

liz wrote:[...] Tom Crick, senior lecturer in computer science at the University of Wales Institute Cardiff, said: “There is a perception that ICT and computing are the same thing, but there is a big difference between using a computer and understanding it. Kids tend to think of computers as magic black boxes: they can use the software, but they don’t learn how to write it. If we want to drive digital innovation in the economy, we need to have these skills.” [...]
He doesn't seem to have yet signed up for the Cardiff Raspberry Jam on Sunday 15 July:
http://cardiffraspberryjam.eventbrite.co.uk/
http://cardiffsciencefestival.co.uk/

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