San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
A Real Time Club Event in collaboration with the WCIT Education & Training Committee
Let IT Be? The great debate:
"Computer Education: The new school curriculum misses the mark. Again"
Join the great debate of 2015 – After all the intense battling to bring real computer science back into the classroom, is the newly launched Computing Curriculum still not fit for purpose? Have we missed THE golden opportunity or are we now on the road to creating a generation of world beating computer experts?
With a future set to be increasingly defined by technological advancement are we going about educating our children in the right way? Are we giving them the right tools to ensure the UK can compete with the likes of China and India in the 21st Century?
We must continue to discuss and influence the direction of computing education in our schools because it will inevitably impact us all.
JOIN OUR DEBATE
Computing creates the most complex, versatile and innovative designed artefacts in the known universe. It’s made the world a very small place, a probe land on a comet, a car that drives itself, and everyone’s personal assistant. And yet, stick your head into a school’s computing classroom and you’ll see a backwater of inspiration. We are failing to inspire the next generation because what we teach as computing doesn’t combine its mathematical past with its engineering future. The tools that bring computing into tomorrow’s real-world – architectures, sophisticated development processes, object orientation, for instance – at best languish at the end of the curriculum, crushed into too little intellectual space.
Computing in schools should fill our children’s heads with dreams of world-changing computing solutions; I argue that the current curriculum needs a rethink and reworking to make it fit for the 21st century.
Proposer: Dr Jon Hall, Open University
Dr Jon Hall is a Senior Lecturer in Computing and Communications at the Open University. His research portfolio includes some very well-known organisations including Siemens, The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, General Dynamics UK, and BAE Systems. Until recently, he was a governor of his son’s school, and still works closely with the Computing Department there developing teaching materials to complement the AS and A-level curriculum. He chairs the BCS Effective Leadership in IT group, a lively group of industry and academic IT thought leaders, is a Fellow of BCS, a Fellow of IARIA, a Chartered Information Technology Professional (with Certificate of Current Competence), a Chartered Engineer, a Chartered Scientist and a Freeman of the WCIT.
Computing is the underlying discipline that has allowed the modern world to create all of the wonderful technology that we now depend on for every facet of our lives – from smartphones to google; autonomous vehicles to Facebook. We need to ensure that we properly inspire the next generation of creative thinkers to push the boundaries further. You don’t do that by teaching them to use the latest spanner in the toolbox – especially since that spanner will be replaced by something different by the time they’d get to use it in anger – but rather by ensuring that they are properly exposed to the fundamental concepts that help shape, inform and liberate their minds. We don’t teach great writers to use word processors; we teach them the fundamentals of language, followed by comprehension and critique. The current computing curriculum has been designed to enable thinkers to go beyond the boundaries of current practice and to truly understand the fundamentals of the 4th R (Reading, wRiting, aRithmetic and pRogramming). Computational thinkers add value to the world and that is what the computing curriculum is intended to produce.
I argue that the new computing curriculum is entirely fit for purpose and we should leave well alone.
Opposer: Prof. Kevin Jones, Plymouth University
Prof Kevin Jones is Professor of Computing Science and Executive Dean of Science and Environment at Plymouth University. He is actively involved in research and education in the areas of Computer Security and Systems Development. Previously, he was Head of Computer Science at City University London. He’s spent his career in both academia and industry, including more than 20 years in research labs, large companies and SMEs, in Silicon Valley, giving him a novel view of both sides of the world and the industry/academia divide. Educated at Reading, Oxford and Manchester, he holds a PhD in Computing Science. He is a Fellow of the IET, a Fellow of the BCS, a Chartered Engineer, a Chartered Scientist, a Chartered IT Professional and a Freeman of the WCIT.
Dietary Requirements: Please contact the organiser with any specific dietary requirements at least 5 days before the event.
Ticket sales end one day before the dinner due to kitchen logistics.
Refund Policy: Refunds are only made at the discretion of the organiser and where agreed will be made by cheque to the buyer within 14 days of the request being confirmed by the organiser. The ticket buyer shall request a refund directly from the event organiser by email to firstname.lastname@example.org under the following terms:
Refund requested up to 21 clear days before the day the event is due to take place: refund due 100% of total ticket cost minus a £7.50 administration fee. Refund requested between 20 and 14 clear days before the day the event is due to take place: 75% of total ticket cost minus a £7.50 administration fee. Refund requested between 13 and 3 clear days before the day the event is due to take place: 50% of total ticket cost minus a £7.50 administration fee. No refund will be made for requests made after that date.
When & Where
Real Time Club
Born as an IT dinner club 50 years ago this year, the Real Time Club is one of London’s foremost networking institutions. The Club’s networking events bring together people from diverse professional backgrounds with common interest in technology and society. The Club’s membership includes entrepreneurs and professionals form the tech industry, public sector, academia and finance.
Every year the Real Time Club runs a series of dinners with distinguished speakers on current issues of the information age. The Club’s dinners encourage robust and well-informed debate, while enabling interesting people to meet one another. There are around six dinners a year, most of which take place at the National Liberal Club, Whitehall Place, London SW1.
Real Time Club dinners are open to non-members. Everyone is welcome to attend.