Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Microsoft Wants Computer Science Taught In UK Primary Schools

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the reading,-'riting,-and-'rogramming dept.

Education 168

Qedward writes "As the UK prepares to shake up the way computer science is taught in schools, Redmond is warning that the UK risks falling behind other countries in the race to develop and nurture computing talent, if 'we don't ensure that all children learn about computer science in primary schools.' With 100,000 unfilled IT jobs but only 30,500 computer science graduates in the UK last year, MS believes: 'By formally introducing children to computer science basics at primary school, we stand a far greater chance of increasing the numbers taking the subject through to degree level and ultimately the world of work.'"

cancel ×

168 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Industry wants more users to use products (5, Funny)

Kittenman (971447) | about a year ago | (#42743021)

More at 11.

Thanking them for their selfless input. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42743077)

And it wants those products used at an age where extra-friendly products have an advantage. Specifically GUI environments, not command lines.

Re:Thanking them for their selfless input. (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about a year ago | (#42743569)

Tricks to Successful Internetting [typepad.com]

1. When in doubt, ARGUE! Being right matters.

2. Hate everything.

3. Saw it already. Funnier the first time.

4. FAKE.

5. Did he died?

6. Make fun of something someone else loves because FUCK THEM!

7. I am so smart. SMRT.

8. LAME.

9. Racism because, just kidding!

10. Treat women like idiots.

11. Definitely comment with fervor. YOUR OPINION COUNTS.

12. CORRECT THAT PUNCTUATION AND GRAMMAR, why not?! SAVE HUMANITY!

13. fat jokes

14. Hate religion because religion hates others because you hate religion because they hate everything because you hate them. EVERYONE IS NOT AS GOOD!

14. Make a list and watch people fix numbers and add things to it...

So you think you're adding to the conversation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42743823)

...by reposting useless double-spaced lists and not addressing the relevant (if negative) comment you're supposedly replying to?

Is it really that cynical that the parent and grandparent posts seem to opine that Google is doing something about UK education and Microsoft is chiming in that it should be done differently, in a way that favors their products?

Re:Thanking them for their selfless input. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42743893)

All Microsoft wants is a low-wage ready-trained workforce with 12 years experience. Teaching computer science - the real mathematics-based theory - is not appropriate for school children before high school. Will Monsanto want all school children enrolled in genetically-modified foodstuffs trials in the school cafeteria after their parents' sign a legal waiver?

Re:Thanking them for their selfless input. (1)

Mike Frett (2811077) | about a year ago | (#42744073)

What they really want is to teach the same thing they taught to Best Buy employees. And they want to show kids that only Microsoft products can deliver a Secure platform for all their computing needs. It's just a clever way to spread their propaganda unfortunately. It doesn't help students to put them in a Microsoft only world, then when they finally enter the real world and find out they have no idea what 'sudo' and 'ifconfig' is.

Of course by the time they enter the real world, they will all have Gorilla Arm.

Re:Thanking them for their selfless input. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42744155)

They want the kids to daydream in Microsoft-speak “Auto Space like Word 95.

Re:Industry wants more users to use products (1)

gazbo (517111) | about a year ago | (#42743197)

True. These infernal "computer" things would be going nowhere if it weren't for the clever marketing.

Re:Industry wants more users to use products (4, Informative)

danomac (1032160) | about a year ago | (#42743501)

I kind of like the numbers: 100,000 unfilled jobs. Back when I was looking for work many moons ago there were a lot of IT jobs that wanted you to work like a slave for peanuts. No wonder they don't get filled.

Re:Industry wants more users to use products (3)

quenda (644621) | about a year ago | (#42744423)

How cynical! I'm sure Microsoft is genuine. They probably want to donate a large number of Raspberry Pis to the schools.

Re:Industry wants more users to use products (1)

davydagger (2566757) | about a year and a half ago | (#42744741)

more like they want their first experiance with computer programing to be MS, and MS only propaganda before they get into open source.

science or tech (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42743053)

Do they want Computer Science or Computer Technology, because I doubt primary children are capable of Computer Science.

Re:science or tech (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42743101)

They will indoctrinate them in the use of Ubuntu £inux so Shuttleworth can take over the Microsoft monopoly. Long ago people rooted for the new, fresh, innovators. They were Microsoft. Do not root for Canonical.

Re:science or tech (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about a year ago | (#42743335)

Both likely.

Everyone needs to have basic computer literacy skills going forward. The sooner you start the better. But you need to get kids interested in how that box works early on. If you can read, write and do basic math you can write basic programs that can solve math problems for you.

Computer science is a lot of different things, but if you mean computer science in the sense of trying to efficiently solve problems (notably maths problems) through programming, then absolutely from grade 6 on you can do stuff, if not earlier. I certainly was programming at age 13 and 14 and that was 20 years ago when the options for computers were somewhat more expensive and limited. There were computers in classrooms before that but the teachers didn't know how to use them and neither did we. Now computers are sufficiently ubiquitous and cheap that you can have a Windows/Linux/whatever set of 3 or 4 computers along the wall in the classroom and expect there to be people in the room who know how to use them (obviously you'd need windows for that in general as most grade school teachers don't know linux, but times might change).

It's going to end up as computer science in the same way pouring two chemicals together is chemistry or trying to categorize animals is biology. They're not going to be trying to prove if something is NP hard, but if those of us in our 30's could learn BASIC programming in the 1980's and 1990's I think we can find something for the modern 10 or 12 year old.

When they get to me, at 17 or 18 years old in university there's a clear split. There are people for whom the computer may as well be some combination of alchemy and witchcraft and they know literally nothing about it and are terrified of it. And those who are varying levels of tech savvy, but are happy to sit down, start clicking buttons and can learn to do documents spreadsheets and or programming. In the modern world though, everyone who is going into science or engineering should now some basic programming skills and how to use spreadsheets etc. This doesn't have to be CS research, but even basic stuff like reading in files and doing basic maths on the contents and spitting it back out. We're not worried about stacks and heaps and doubly linked lists in grade school. But if their impression of java is only that it's a thing that pops up on their computer to annoy them they've missed out.

Re:science or tech (1)

grantek (979387) | about a year ago | (#42743575)

I personally think CS education is sorely lacking in primary school age kids, but at that age it's got nothing to do with computers. Just teaching kids basic logic (you can do it formally or in the form of logic jokes and riddles for the kids that learn in different ways) goes a long way to setting them up for CS and other sciences, but it's also a valuable mental tool to have when you start getting affected by politics, propaganda, and marketing in the real world

they want cheap workers folks. please understand (1)

decora (1710862) | about a year ago | (#42744093)

there has always been, and always will be, a "massive shortage" of qualified XYZ workers in any industry, according to the industry leaders. it doesnt matter if its welding or teaching or nursing or... especially, IT. they actually pay PR companies to go on tours and promote this idea. they pay ad agencies to say these things on tv and in newspapers.

even as they are laying off people and firing people, and even as they are bleeding money, and as their competitors are doing the same, they clamor for more free profits on the backs of the taxpayer - thats what education is in schemes like this - a way for huge corporations to pawn off their training budgets onto the backs of the people who pay for education - you and me.

schools are supposed to teach about learning. you can pick up the CS stuff pretty easily once you have studied, i dont know, music, geometry, math, etc. Microsoft doesnt want people to learn general skills or self sufficiency (theyd use linux), they want people to be forced to learn Excel shortcuts and how to do mail merge in Word and how Outlook calendars are the greatest thing ever. But thats not 'education', thats 'training' - which corporations that have billions of dollars of highly payed executive are supposed to hire a training department to train their employees for.

Nobody needs to learn how to swipe the windows 8 panel at age 5 - that panel will be gone by the time they are old enough to have a job anyways.

Re:science or tech (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#42743615)

Do they want Computer Science or Computer Technology, because I doubt primary children are capable of Computer Science.

Primary school children wouldn't know a Dedekind–Peano axiom if it bit them in the ass; but that doesn't stop us from teaching them things about math that are both useful in themselves and a foundation for later work...

Re:science or tech (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year ago | (#42743721)

Do they want Computer Science or Computer Technology, because I doubt primary children are capable of Computer Science.

I have a hunch they actually want to sell the damn'd Surface somewhere.

Re:science or tech (1)

Bremic (2703997) | about a year ago | (#42743755)

Clippy the Teacher!

Re:science or tech (1)

Cryacin (657549) | about a year ago | (#42744349)

I see you are being bullied. Would you like me to tweet for help?

not all IT work is CS and not all of it needs to b (2)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#42743083)

not all IT work is CS and not all of it needs to be at the degree level.

Re:not all IT work is CS and not all of it needs t (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42743135)

You're right. Only work that matters needs to be. Face it, the days when aspies in basements could make a difference are over (Linus was the end). It's all about R+D labs and corporations and if you thing otherwise you're a fool.

Re:not all IT work is CS and not all of it needs t (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42743209)

... primary schools do NOT give degrees!

Re:not all IT work is CS and not all of it needs t (1)

davecrusoe (861547) | about a year ago | (#42743255)

You're missing the point -- many technology skills underlie MANY professions.

An entry-level coordinator needs to know how to interface with Salesforce, and to build new Salesforce objects. This requires a basic understanding of data, and how it's stored. Other entry-level positions require understanding of charts and graphs, or about how to search for information effectively (example: a legal assistant). In an increasingly digitized world, many of these skills underlie most professions.

--Dave

yes some base line is needed but not loads of ther (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#42743793)

yes some base line is needed but not loads of theory to point of not knowing about other skills.

Also do you really need to a theory based file system class to work on desktop class. And no it's not a NTFS class or a class about networking / file permissions in area of setting them up.

Re:not all IT work is CS and not all of it needs t (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42743799)

So Salesforce is the only platform out there? You're in HR aren't you? It's ok to admit it - that is the first step to healing.

The task you describe has nothing to do with understanding data or how it is stored. That's kind of the whole point of a good CRM user interface. All that interacting with Salesforce requires at entry level is being able to follow directions and the checklist your manager gives you.

Re:not all IT work is CS and not all of it needs t (2)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year ago | (#42744115)

An entry-level coordinator needs to know how to interface with Salesforce, and to build new Salesforce objects. This requires a basic understanding of data, and how it's stored.

Either you have no real world experience or you've been very lucky in your career. I've met hundreds of people who can more or less about get by just doing things monkey style.

If you haven't seen them, just change something incredibly trivial - they'll be the ones griping that "we can't do anything, nothing works any more" or running around screaming that the sky is falling in.

Re:not all IT work is CS and not all of it needs t (4, Insightful)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year ago | (#42743269)

True, but like it's a waste of time to teach science before the kids have learned mathematics, it's also the optimal order in IT to teach the theory first.

Re:not all IT work is CS and not all of it needs t (4, Interesting)

cowdung (702933) | about a year ago | (#42743909)

Maybe CS is a better way to teach mathematics. I never had any use for math till someone asked me how I could solve certain problems using a computer. Suddenly math became interesting.

I think one of the big problems with Math is that kids (and most people) don't know where they are going with all these abstract constructs, whereas programming gives you an immediate use for abstractions.

Also, kids struggle learning basic algorithms like long division but knowing about algorithms and being able to express them with some "language" then maybe they'll have an easier time learning them. Note for example that long division or square roots (or nth roots) are basically modified simple search algorithms.

Most of what students "memorize" in math is odd algorithms but they fail to understand their purpose or source.. CS can do a lot to make things clearer.

Re:not all IT work is CS and not all of it needs t (2)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year ago | (#42744387)

I had the same experience, but my point was that CS is mathematics, thus should come before more specific IT fields.

Re:not all IT work is CS and not all of it needs t (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year ago | (#42744187)

True, but like it's a waste of time to teach science before the kids have learned mathematics

Not true, because they can learn them together. For instance, I have taught a group of 3rd graders (8 years old) to program with Turtle Logo, and taught them about angles, distances, and rotations simultaneously. They use a GUI to put together their programs, including simple loops and conditionals. The output is a cool drawing on their tablets. The kids love it, and they see how learning the math is actually useful. The math is something that comes alive on their screen, rather than something sterile on a sheet of paper.

Bad idea (1)

Joseph1337 (1146047) | about a year ago | (#42743115)

I think they don't know that 90% of times people that aren't interested in programming/IT on their own (especially in this computer-centered age) will make lousy coders/testers/etc. Just look at people who went into IT for the money, read their code or ask them how a computer works (even if this was explained to them in University i doubt they know)

GCSE Level First (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42743139)

Getting computing taught correctly at GCSE level (14-16) should be the main priority, rather than primary schools. That said, I do think teaching children from a young age about logical reasoning and methodical processes would be very useful for many activities in later life, including computer science.

lemmi fix that for you (1)

miknix (1047580) | about a year ago | (#42743145)

MS believes: 'By formally introducing children to Windows basics at primary school, we stand a far greater chance of increasing the numbers using it through the rest of their lifes'

Joking.. My first computer was a Philips VG8010 (MSX Basic) and I'm perfectly sane! Now excuse me I need to order all my pencils by length and then do my daily naked run in the streets.

Re:lemmi fix that for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42743401)

To be perfectly frank this has been the modus operandi for Microsoft for a long time, I mean I went to college in the late 90s and Microsoft was actually giving away free licenses to both the faculty and the students, flash forward a few years and you have piles of app developers who are up to speed with Visual Studio and not much else.

I recall final semester options including a few database courses for Oracle and MS SQL Server, there was a significant cost to taking the Oracle course because you had to buy your own license from Oracle, this scared away a lot of devs (right into the MS class).

I took both, I'm glad I did, but the game that was being played was plainly obvious back then.

Thinking back now even further to when Visual Basic ruled the classroom... it's not surprising how popular little throwaway apps done in VB or Access were...

Re:lemmi fix that for you (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#42743423)

If a college level database course ties you to one DB it is a total failure.

There is no reason to even use a commercial or well known DBMS. In fact I would say it runs counter to the real point.

Re:lemmi fix that for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42743763)

These were electives and you must have had the database theory courses as a pre-req.

Bad idea, won't work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42743153)

The Internet was invented by Americans for America (US DARPA), and it will remain the province of Americans to guide its development and harness its infrastructure and underpinnings. This technology is way, way beyond what most foreigners can handle, and clearly beyond what a bunch of poofters can manage. We kicked them out of our country lo 200+ years ago after dragging their red coats up and down the hills and valleys of this great land. Keep the Internet American.

ESR, PhD

The basis of computer science is logic (4, Interesting)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about a year ago | (#42743173)

Logic and information theory. If, and, or, xor, union, intersection, and other set theory are some topics at the very heart of computer science that could easily be boiled down to M&M demonstrations for kindergarteners. I see no reason why a basis for logic and argument should not be planted at a young age.

Re:The basis of computer science is logic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42743253)

Bullshit. Logic is a religion, stop pushing your religion on my children. Ever seen Star Trek Enterprise?

Re:The basis of computer science is logic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42743471)

yeah, the government is going to teach people logic, so they will realise that they are slaves.

Re:The basis of computer science is logic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42743703)

Philosophy, including logic as a part of it, should be taught in Primary School. This would benefit students in all areas of life, not just with computers.

Re:The basis of computer science is logic (2)

ZeroPly (881915) | about a year ago | (#42744303)

Foisting Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory onto kindergarteners is the best way to ensure they waste their careers in law or politics.

They don't need rigor. The biggest loss in teaching computer science at young ages is the waning of BASIC. When I was young we messed around with a Sinclair Spectrum and no one gave us grief about how GOTO statements were from the devil. Hopefully the Raspberry Pi and Arduino crowds can bring back that vibe. I'd rather see a 10 year old who can write 200 lines of sloppy code to traverse a maze, than one who understands De Morgan's laws.

Computing in the Core (1, Interesting)

davecrusoe (861547) | about a year ago | (#42743175)

Readers,

Before you go knocking Microsoft (ahem: first post), realize that this is really important. Education standards here in the United States are just now being revised (see: the Common Core [commoncore.org] . Math and English Language Arts, and soon, Science, will be released. Most states have, or will, adopt these measures.

However, by looking through the coming standards, it's clear that while abilities such as critical thinking are addressed, skills and conceptual understanding of the many computational methods that we use daily (as knowledge workers) are left out.

Computing in the Core [computinginthecore.org] is looking to make a significant change, but my contention is that we need to focus on more than only computing; we also need to focus on the various important literacy skills, including media, information, data, and network literacy. How many people in the United States actually understand basics about how the Internet works, or about how to make sense of, or read, datasets or visualizations? These are all essential and fundamental skills for a 21st century individual.

Realize that recruiters and many others recognize these needs, and have asked your support - tacit or explicit - to bring expertise to bear in addressing the educational challenge.

--Dave

Re:Computing in the Core (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42743279)

You realise this slashdot? A news story about a Microsoft employee saving an orphan from drowning would still lead to predictable oppobrium.

Re:Computing in the Core (1)

davecrusoe (861547) | about a year ago | (#42743293)

Hah -- absolutely!

UK schoolchildren want CS taught at Microsoft (4, Funny)

theodp (442580) | about a year ago | (#42743181)

Don't want a repeat of confusing Win8 interface. :-)

Re:UK schoolchildren want CS taught at Microsoft (1)

Threni (635302) | about a year ago | (#42743563)

Heh - I came to post that if they get started at primary school there'll be some chance they'll know how to use Windows 8 by the time they're 18! "No, to shut down the PC you hit the windows key, move the mouse to the right hand edge of the screen then wave it around a little, then click that icon..no that one..not that one..yeah, then click there.."

Really? (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#42743189)

Computer science? Or beginning MCSE?

Microsoft's definition of Computer Science (3, Informative)

YurB (2583187) | about a year ago | (#42743225)

Microsoft said "a number of primary schools" already teach computer science using simple programmes like Microsoft’s Kodu, a visual programming language made specifically for creating games, although there is currently no formal programme of training for teachers, admitted Microsoft.

No comment.

Re:Microsoft's definition of Computer Science (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42743603)

You probably can teach programming by dropping kids in a room with a few examples and untrained teachers, but to teach things like basic computational complexity and algorithms you are going to want some kind of curriculum.

Otherwise once they try to get jobs I will have to figure out why their code loops over every value in the database when they are searching for a record. And by that time I will be old and grumpy.

Re:Microsoft's definition of Computer Science (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42744605)

I get what you're saying, I really do, but in PRIMARY school many students haven't learned quite enough problem solving skills yet, and will hence get frustrated (IF they're actually trying to work and IF they get stuck). So you're gonna want at least 1 teacher who knows what they're talking about, while you have some assistant teacher corralling the rest. A good method for this is instead of treating programming class like any other primary school class, you have a dedicated teacher for the subject, more like high school. And then the regular teacher gets put on bitch duty while the programming teacher teaches.

As for the code looping over all rows of a database, I'd wager that it would be HARDER for a kid to write code that bad unless they were specifically instructed to do something like that once and never received real programming instruction.

100,000 unfilled IT jobs? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42743235)

Rubbish. UK companies are falling over themselves to outsource all IT to the cheapest possible bidder, which excludes anyone living in the UK. I advise anyone interested in Computer Science to look elsewhere - aside from the fact that almost no one wants to invest in anything other than property or financial fiddling, no one will want to pay you enough to make the investment worthwhile.

Microsoft vs. Raspberry Pi (5, Insightful)

hamjudo (64140) | about a year ago | (#42743239)

Maybe Google scared Microsoft with the donation of 15,707 Raspberry Pi systems.

Everyone knows the goal is to get users hooked as young as possible. Schools have small budgets, Adding more Raspberry Pi seats is way cheaper than adding more seats with Microsoft Windows. Microsoft may have a hard time.

Only a child (1)

Ukab the Great (87152) | about a year ago | (#42743249)

could fill a $5000/yr position requiring 20 years of CouchDB experience and expert fluency in thirty different programming languages.

Need cheap labour (1)

benjfowler (239527) | about a year ago | (#42743265)

The UK clearly needs more Indians or .

Just hire the Irish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42743331)

There's a vibrant, and growing by leaps and bounds, Linux community in Ireland. They're quite good, and I've told my former contracting sites in London to look closer to home than the MCSE's that are coming out of India and their own London school systems.

Re:Just hire the Irish (1)

kenh (9056) | about a year ago | (#42743681)

Isn't Ireland part of the United Kingdom, A.K.A. "The United Kingdom of Great Britan and Northern Ireland" [wikipedia.org]

Re:Just hire the Irish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42743899)

Those that feel Northern Ireland is part of Ireland generally don't feel the Kingdom's legitimacy there.

Fuck the pope, no surrender (-1, Flamebait)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year ago | (#42744347)

Those that feel Northern Ireland is part of Ireland

Don't wear out your fingers. Much shorter to type fenians or taigs.

Re:Just hire the Irish (2)

henryteighth (2488844) | about a year ago | (#42744117)

Ireland != Northern Ireland. The latter is part of the UK, the former is not. That's kind of why there's been ~50 years of violent and, more recently, significantly less violent conflict in that part of the world. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Troubles [wikipedia.org]

Comes with large donation of Windows computers :) (5, Insightful)

OhANameWhatName (2688401) | about a year ago | (#42743345)

Microsoft has lost mindshare with teenagers who are all turning to Apple products, so they're going to try to indoctrinate students at an earlier age.

That's all this is about. MS thinks that programming childrens minds at a young age to 'Windows' that they'll be able to keep the sinking ship afloat. What they're missing is a workable operating system. It doesn't matter how early you program someone with something terrible, it's still terrible.

It works for Apple because the products provide more utility than they take from you. Apple products are liberating, Microsoft products are painstaking. Address that first, worry about selling the products when there's something worth selling.

Re:Comes with large donation of Windows computers (1)

masternerdguy (2468142) | about a year ago | (#42743389)

If you think MS is in any danger, you haven't seen the backlog of expensive (thousands of $$$ is volume licensing), unmaintainable (no source code or documentation) and mission critical (only way to run a piece of equipment / interface with a system) applications that require a version of Windows to run. That alone will keep them going into the foreseeable future.

Re:Comes with large donation of Windows computers (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#42743403)

Being locked into a walled garden is liberating?

I say this as a person with a macbook air, not running OSX though. Apple has marketing, MS has ballmer and few people care about liberation or freedom.

Re:Comes with large donation of Windows computers (1)

OhANameWhatName (2688401) | about a year ago | (#42743699)

Being locked into a walled garden is liberating? I say this as a person with a macbook air, not running OSX though.

Hahaha, congratulations on your purchase. I hope that your macbook air serves you well into the future xD

Re:Comes with large donation of Windows computers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42743775)

Being locked into a walled garden is liberating?

Yes.

Because software licensing and developer asspain is of absolutely no concern to the vast, vast majority of people on the planet.

You grab an iPod, or more likely, an iPhone - shit just works. You can't figure it out? You go to the Apple store and they show you what's what.

Compared to a Zune (did they kill those, yet?) or a Windows Phone, yeah, it is liberating - your technology serves you, not the other way around.

Re:Comes with large donation of Windows computers (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | about a year ago | (#42743413)

My school was all Apple. It had the exact opposite effect of persuading me to use Apple computers in my daily life. The last thing I wanted as a kid was the buggy, slow systems at school.

Re:Comes with large donation of Windows computers (1)

kenh (9056) | about a year ago | (#42743657)

OS X at 7.06% has barely bested the market share maintained by MS Vista 5.67%, and is but a fraction of the ten year-old OS Windows XP at 39.08%.

Microsoft is not hurting.

Re:Comes with large donation of Windows computers (1)

OhANameWhatName (2688401) | about a year ago | (#42743773)

Microsoft is not hurting.

Apple desktop market share: ~7%
Apple market value: 429 billion

Microsoft desktop market share: ~90%
Microsoft market value: 233 billion

You're right, hurting isn't the right word. Probably the right way to look at it is 'not succeeding as well as possible'. I think Ballmer would agree.

Re:Comes with large donation of Windows computers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42744061)

Market value numbers and stock prices are useless and are at best perception, If you think other wise I have some nice home-mortgage figures circa 2007-2008 you might be interested in.

Apple Total Assets: around $57.6B
http://www.google.com/finance?q=NASDAQ%3AAAPL&fstype=ii&ei=w6YJUcijFqLx0gHBvAE

MS Total Assets: around $85B
http://www.google.com/finance?q=NASDAQ%3AMSFT&fstype=ii&ei=AKcJUYjlFfCy0QGc7QE

The stock market is gambling, Just because i can insert $.25 in slot machine and (maybe) win $20M doesn't make my quarter worth $20M if i win.

Re:Comes with large donation of Windows computers (1)

maugle (1369813) | about a year ago | (#42744077)

It works for Apple because the products provide more utility than they take from you. Apple products are liberating, Microsoft products are painstaking.

You may be a bit off with your assessment, because I remember what using those iMacs were like in school, back before OSX. Do you remember how slow it was to boot up? The way CDs could get jammed in the drive? The inevitable crashes when trying to run Photoshop or Pagemaker, which not only lost all your work but also typically brought the entire system down with it? The hand-crampingly awful puck mouse? I do, and it made me avoid Macs like the plague a whole decade.

Re:Comes with large donation of Windows computers (1)

gwolf (26339) | about a year and a half ago | (#42744707)

Strange...

Apple products are liberating, Microsoft products are painstaking.

Last time I read this definition of liberation, it was regarding freedom fighters toppling non-US-friendly governments or some such nonsense. Apple is as liberating as handcuffs.

True or false? (1)

vlm (69642) | about a year ago | (#42743355)

100,000 unfilled IT jobs

Hey /. UK people is that true or false? In the US our unfilled job position news reports are lies, all lies. If there really are 0.1M job openings in the UK I'd think I'd have heard about it.

Re:True or false? (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about a year ago | (#42743427)

maybe, but they tend to get filled continually as people move from job to job. So how many "unsatisfied" job openings are there left over? No-one wants to ask that question as its too difficult to answer, not compared to a quick count of the job ads open at any given time.

Re:True or false? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42743463)

100,000 unfilled IT jobs

Hey /. UK people is that true or false? In the US our unfilled job position news reports are lies, all lies. If there really are 0.1M job openings in the UK I'd think I'd have heard about it.

I have been applying more than a month and have got nothing.
I have graduated with Honours and I have created my own company.

Re:True or false? (1)

thisisfutile (2640809) | about a year ago | (#42743779)

Well I wouldn't hire you. You don't even know how to spell 'honors'. Sorry, I'm just a shameless yank from across the pond. ;-P Seriously though, good luck. I love my IT position and wish everyone could be as happy. Job hunting is no fun but the longer it takes the more exciting it is when you finally get one!!

Re:True or false? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42744561)

Recently I have been looking at alternative jobs but in my area (Manchester) many employers are barely offering half my current salary, and are asking for more experience to boot. It wouldn't surprise me if many of these vacancies go unfilled.

Learn the basics, the backbone of computing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42743397)

The method rather than the hardware and software.
Leave that to Secondary and Tertiary education stages.

Binary is useful since it is the backbone of the entire system.
Ternary and Quaternary are also useful for encoding states in software using some simple bitwise operations. *
Base16 also.
Base32 and 64 being another 2.
And one that is sadly underused, and some here will even be new to it, base91.

Learning about logic comparisons, will equally help them in maths in general.
Some of the basic hardware used in this logic, such as resistors and transistors being pretty much the backbone of all computer logic.
Single core and multicore. The reasons for that, as an extension of introductory science. (the long story short being that leakage is killing smaller circuit designs, so adding new cores to allow multiple processing operations at the same time, and also the problems in that it adds even more complexity to the timing of computer programming)
General stuff like that.
Don't go beyond the basics, that is for Secondary to do.
Kids are being overwhelmed as it is. Getting them an early interest in computing is good, but don't over-complicate it. Just make them sound cool and magical. That will get all the kids interested.
Also 1 of those 15,000 Raspberry Pis running their own programs.

* One I read up on recently was using ternary for encoding 3 separate textures to a tilesheet and having those tiles be neighbour-sensitive so it automatically places the right texture next to each other to look natural, rather than blocky textures we are used to
Bitwise tilemapping [saltgames.com]
It is a good read if you like this topic. Very simple and elegant.

70,000 unfilled jobs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42743479)

if that is actually true (ya right), the UK could start to adopt the 'outsource-first' policy like its former colony. seems to work well here, we have so many native underpaid, underemployed IT workers it's ridiculous. thanks to the high visa quotas and lower wages that those foreigners will work for just to get their feet on our soil, we have IT graduates with work experience flipping burgers because they can't find a job in their field.

Who Is Behind The Privatization Of Education? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42743485)

'A massive national and international organized plan to privatize education [indybay.org] has been implemented over several decades. Billionaires, such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Broad Foundation and the Pearson corporation among others, have infiltrated hundreds of governmental bodies including school boards, city councils and our local, state and regional governments. They seek to turn our education system into a profit center worth tens of billions of dollars`.

Re:Who Is Behind The Privatization Of Education? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#42743621)

I am indifferent to the privatization of education. Public schools are a disgrace even in affluent suburbs. Anything that improves the quality of the output could not hurt. Even something that simply re-arranges the chairs is not likely to do any harm.

Re:Who Is Behind The Privatization Of Education? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42743757)

Yeah, because the vig belongs to tenured, unionized teachers and hopelessly underfunded pensions. That's our booty, dammit. Damned if a bunch of right-wing fascists are going to steal from a bunch of left-wing communists.

That's what it boils down to, although those that really understand it will never put it that way, and the other 99% of those participating on both sides are in denial. They'll rationalize and squirm like stuck pigs if you hit them with this stuff, or they'll blow up at you in a fit of rage--both sides, although I've personally had the left-wing union guys blow up at me more. They're the ones on the defensive now, but the way I see it they BOTH suck and belong on the B-ark.

The only losers are the kids and their parents. If you really want to educate your children you have to do a lot of work at home with them. I'm not saying pull out altogether. The lessons you learn in schools are social lessons like, "the world is a hard place", "you have to stand up for yourself" and my favorite, "authorities aren't really all that bright". Simply telling your kids this isn't enough. They need to go to private and public schools and see the insanity/stupidity on both sides of the aisle for themselves. Then, at home, you can drill them on multiplication tables and have them read some good books.

I'm sure I'm not the only one with fond memories of parents talking smack about the administrators behind closed doors.

Gates said this before (3)

sackofdonuts (2717491) | about a year ago | (#42743497)

When he was trying to get schools in the U.S. to train more children to be able to work in a world with IT. But all Bill was really trying to do was get schools scared about falling behind in their technology knowledge and then have Microsoft save the day by selling school districts a whole bunch of Windows software. At an educational discount of course. Bill Gates is not your friend and doesn't care about anyone's kids IT knowledge.

Marketing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42743535)

I can safely say that my UK based university was bought by Microsoft. It's pathetic.
You are forced to submit papers written with MS Office, even though Turnitin is well capable of dealing with submissions that were created with Libre/OpenOffice, or even PDF (LaTeX anyone?). But noooooo... it sure MUST be MS Office. Microsoft advertisement throughout campus is absolutely everywhere. It's sickening, and as a long time GNU/Linux user I am very upset at the lack of flexibility my fellow classmates demonstrate. They are literally conditioned to use MS products through and through.

I call BS (1)

kenh (9056) | about a year ago | (#42743543)

100,000 unfilled IT jobs but only 30,500 computer science graduates

Am I to believe the UK has 69,500 unfilled IT positions right now? If that were true, why wouldn't they start importing all the hundreds of thousands of unemployed IT folks in the US?

Am I to also believe that they graduate over 30,000 computer science students each year?

I call BS.

Re:I call BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42743659)

69,500 unfilled IT positions right now that have the requirement of 20+ years experience using a database made 10 years ago.

Re:I call BS (1)

gb (8474) | about a year ago | (#42744023)

100,000 unfilled IT jobs but only 30,500 computer science graduates

Am I to believe the UK has 69,500 unfilled IT positions right now? If that were true, why wouldn't they start importing all the hundreds of thousands of unemployed IT folks in the US?

Am I to also believe that they graduate over 30,000 computer science students each year?

I suspect that's 30500 people who have done a CS degree ever, not just the ones who graduated last year. CS is a small and relatively low status degree in the UK compared to the US, Canada, Germany... Most of the folk working in IT will have non-CS degrees, primarily science, technology, engineering and maths degrees. But the UK doesn't actually graduate enough of them either to fill the demand for science and tech jons one would expect to have when the economy wasn't being trashed. Importing workers is a little tricky right now given the Government has made a big thing about cutting immigration below 100,000 (and yes, that is crazy when you have unfilled high-tech jobs).

Microsoft has done nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42743633)

but hinder IT in almost every country of the world!

Right (1)

DaMattster (977781) | about a year ago | (#42743667)

So a future crop of IT professionals will be well versed on Microsoft products instead of open source, standardized technologies. I hate it when corporations try and play educators.

Are they teaching real CS? (3, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | about a year ago | (#42743827)

Sounds find to me, as long they teach real CS, and don't just teach Word and Excel and Powerpoint. It constantly frustrated me that my little sister's computer classes where never anything more than "Make a presentation in Powerpoint". Microsoft should work to put an end to that being the end-all of computer education. That should only be a small part.

Start them young (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42743829)

This is obvious marketing by MS to get youngsters indoctrinated into Microsoft products as early as possible.

If they were happy with open source products, e.g linux in schools, instead, then would be more believable.

Everyone (1)

Etriaph (16235) | about a year ago | (#42743885)

Given how many computing devices that exist around us all day long, and how many we're likely to interact with (speaking globally here), I see no reason why everyone by the time they graduate high school shouldn't be required to at least write simple programs. It's unreasonable to expect that computing won't be with us for the future and likely playing a much more pertinent role than it does now.

english language (1)

lkcl (517947) | about a year ago | (#42743891)

wasn't there a guy who said that he only hired english language students because computer science students couldn't communicate or do basic logical reasoning effectively? when working in teams, the ability to reason and communicate is far more important. so this guy, i can't remember who he was (anyone find a link?) said that he found it much more effective to hire people with good english language skills and to train them to program, than to try to hire people who could program and to try to get them to speke engleeeesh.

the advantage of that approach - if microsoft actually encouraged english to be taught at schools - would be that kids would actually learn like, y'know, quite a bit more than just how to program? and i could begin to get a little less stressed and have to refer people to this kind of site: http://www.apostrophe.org.uk/page4.html [apostrophe.org.uk]

So, if they want this, will they pay UK taxes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42743959)

I'm just wondering where the money for this is going to come from, since MSFT uses the fictional allocation of IP patents and licenses to Ireland to avoid paying UK and EU taxes, as well as the London tax havens.

You want education?

Pay your taxes.

This just after Google announcement?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42743975)

So google announces handing out thousands of Raspberry Pis to schools here in the UK. Pis that run linux, the parent of Android. So Microsoft has to fight back by promoting IT too at schools - presumably Windows based IT

Performance-driven marketplace student data (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42744109)

"As part of our contribution, the foundation took an important first step a few weeks ago and selected a vendor to build the open software that will allow states to access a shared, performance-driven marketplace [wordpress.com] of free and premium tools and content".

But why is Microsoft pushing this? (1)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | about a year ago | (#42744199)

> Microsoft Wants Computer Science Taught In UK Primary Schools

Good idea. We need to introduce our kids to the new generation of Android devices

Cue the sad music (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42744401)

A million halfwits are about to cry "but why don't they make a statement about American schools?".

Protip: Microsoft UK isn't the same thing as Microsoft, nor do they have the same responsibilities or motives.

Fucking Americans.

UK, Home of the Raspberry PI (1)

PPH (736903) | about a year ago | (#42744461)

And ARM architecture. And Alan Turing. They are falling behind in CS? Really?

Microsoft is probably panicking that 30,000 new CS graduates won't be enough MCSEs to keep the UK's Windows systems running.

Teach computing at school — but on a differe (1)

gwolf (26339) | about a year and a half ago | (#42744657)

I have long been an advocate of teaching computing at school — hell, I'm sure I'm not the only one in this forum that started off with programming over 25 years ago, in what seemed a trivial thing back then but definitively changed my life!

But the main reason to teach computing is IMO *not* to create more, better programmers, graduated earlier. It should be a core subject of study, just as algebra, philosophy, natural sciences or language.

Programming teaches kids a different way to think, to look at a problem, to form and to transmit the solution — Thinking algorithmically. Programming will also greatly help a kid be more profficient at math, physics or chemistry. Programming can also help kids understand language (i.e. grammar — I understood better many concepts after learning the basics of compilers!)

Some months ago, I published a short article on the subject, you might be interested in reading it if you understand Spanish (Programación en la escuela: Para qué? [sg.com.mx] ), or if you trust enough Google Translate (Programming at school: What for? [google.com] )

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?