Simon Jenkins Calls For More Digital Muggles

In a polemic piece in the Guardian today Simon Jenkings argues for a shake up of the education system, and less focus on Computing or STEM.

Some of what he says about the education system being outdated has a lot of merit. But there are three huge fallacies in his assertion that we should spend less time on teaching Computing so we can focus more on the skills that employers want – i.e. communication, team working, critical thinking and problem solving.

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This is for everyone

Can anyone learn to program? I think so, and I think it’s important that those teaching computing think so too. I’ve been at a couple of conferences in the last month where the question came up, and I was really surprised by how many in these audiences thought there’d be at least some in their classes who would just not get programming. This worries me, I think because it suggests that some teachers are approaching the new curriculum with a fixed model of pupils’ ability, as if this were presented to us as a given with which to do what we can.

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Oral Evidence to the House Of Lords Select Committee on Digital Skills

This morning, alongside Hugh Milward, Policy Director for Microsoft UK, and Mike Warriner, Engineering Director for Google UK, I gave oral evidence to Baroness Sally Morgan’s Select Committee on Digital Skills.  The session was recorded and starts approximately 1hr 9mins through the following video clip (the first hour of the clip is an earlier evidence session with three other panelists) – http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=15870.

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Preparedness (or not) of Teachers for Delivery of the new Curriculum

In our Policy Priorities document, our submission  to Maggie Philbin’s digital Task Force, and in all our informal communications, we have stressed the importance of a medium/long-term, appropriately funded programme of CPD for teachers aligned to the new curriculum. This is a critical part of any overall government strategy around increasing the digital skills of the UK workforce. We are currently undertaking our own survey of schools to ascertain how ready they are to deliver the new curriculum in September 2015, where we believe that adequate CPD will in many cases be a pre-requisite to readiness.

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