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Coding - the new Latin

FBeans (2201802) writes | more than 2 years ago

Education 3

FBeans (2201802) writes "The BBC Reports: "The campaign to boost the teaching of computer skills — particularly coding — in schools is gathering force.

Today the likes of Google, Microsoft and other leading technology names will lend their support to the case made to the government earlier this year in a report called Next Gen. It argued that the UK could be a global hub for the video games and special effects industries — but only if its education system got its act together."

The report says that the 16,500 students studying a computer science degree in 2003 fell to just 10,600 by 2007. "although it's recovered a little to 13,600 last year, that's at a time in major growth in overall applications, so the percentage of students looking to study the subject has fallen from 5% to 3%."

Personally, I don't see how the "Latin" analogy this story uses works. Although the point is clear:

Computer Science is becoming niche and "un-cool" and is not taught well enough in schools. This needs to change and it seems the cogs are starting to turn."

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Latin (1)

ILikeBikes (2504750) | more than 2 years ago | (#38188448)

I agree with your comments about the analogy - Latin is pretty useless where coding (and general computer skills) will almost certainly help you get a job. I've got a BSc in Computer Science and I've found it much easier to get jobs than my friends that got equivalent and better degrees in other subjects (real subjects like Maths/Physics/Biology)

Poor analogy. (1)

minikeen (2504690) | more than 2 years ago | (#38188460)

It's definitely an interesting topic, and one that really is necessary to discuss, but the analogy just falls flat. I'm not sure where Mr Hope is going with it really. Latin, whilst useful in niche situations, hardly has the wide-ranging usefulness of programming knowledge. I assume it's just being used here to refer to the relative unpopularity of programming, but their movement could do with either coming up with a better analogy, or clarifying what they mean before this becomes a catchphrase for them.

It is high time (1)

fsck -fy (2518082) | more than 2 years ago | (#38193256)

When I remember how the German equivalent to ICT used to be, I cannot be too unhappy, sure, we programmed in an utterly useless language (QBasic! yes, in actual DOS) but it did help to give the idea of how programming actually works. This and the ability to actually find out how university-level computer science was IMHO did a lot to prepare people for uni. Needless to say: out of 19-ish people in our course, less than 10 took it to the bitter end. I have friends who are teachers and so I know that this is no longer how computer science works: In these days, there is no Basic or Pascal anymore. The quaint DOS editors with their Crtl-K-D and similar shortcuts have been replaced by GUIs and mice and many random programs to do work on a computer. Of course, more people make it now, but I cannot take it seriously anymore. People in these days lack all the relevant knowledge of what happens in the background of a program's operation. They grow up with the thought that computers are magical. Not only does that preclude them from getting immersed in programming at a young age, it also means that they fail to practice and train a methodological approach to problem solving which is not only relevant to computer programming, but basically life. This is the shame about the ICT classes as we have them now. This is why the mousepushing needs to be replaced by programming. And I for one welcome our old DOS overlords! :)
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