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Stanto's World

1st February, 2011. 12:49 pm. Computing in Schools

In secondary school (ages 12-16 approximately) I spent my spare time at home on the Amiga 1200, at first it started with using word processing software such as Wordsworth and playing computer games but like the Sinclair Spectrum 48k before it I saw a world of greater customisation.

Scripting, programming, control, video editing, audio editing, manipulation, creation, images.

The list went on.

At school my itch for creation and manipulation in this manner just wasn't scratched. 'ICT' or 'Information Communications Technology' just covered word processing, excel spreadsheets, databases.

Data management, with the introduction of computers as I was beginning to learn, it was an introduction and replacement for what currently existed in businesses:
  • File systems
  • Automated paper based systems
  • Data logging
  • Data store
Yet computing was already becoming something more, seemingly fuelled by the creativity of computer games.

3D worlds, simulation environments, replicas of social interactions, information pushing and now? It's changing even further by how we interact with computers. In the coming years there'll be a change, or at least a parallel development, in how we interact with computers. We have been limited to the mouse and keyboard for so long that finally we're moving into a world where a sweep of the hand or a gesture of the voice can command an electrical piece of equipment.

So in this fast world of computing and technology, where are schools? Where are they at with the development of the human psyche to handle how it is moving forward?

It's still 2D. Mathematics focuses on the x,y axis and ICT pushing onto the documenting and automating of systems of which are mostly now already computerised. Even then people get to University level and haven't familiarised themselves with the nuances of Microsoft Word's page layout functionality.

To take advantage of the next level of computing, to push onto it earlier (building on a basis of understanding stemming from knowledge of current systems and in some cases, ICT to a layer) there should be a push for 3D learning and parallel processing.

A lot of school children when I was young didn't understand the application of mathematics, so perhaps there could be a tie-in where it's demonstrated in the computing class room.

Learning about computing could be more from a computer science perspective than just the 'end user' line, perhaps offering an end year GCSE in it similar to the construction nature of 'Design Technology'. 

These ideas and thoughts are erratic and perhaps the argument is poorly structured, but there is an underlying idea and need that is perhaps crying out for action.

Current mood: sleepy.

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