[clug] [OT] Any LA or CLUG reaction to the new ALP Policy

Joel.Cowey at csiro.au Joel.Cowey at csiro.au
Mon May 18 18:09:23 MDT 2015

The lets teach kids "code" is a convenient short hand that has been adopted by the IT industry and picked up by Pollies. What technology education specialists really want is students to learn computer science techniques and computational thinking but that is a difficult message to get across so calling it "code" or Code club or Coder Dojo or whatever is easier. 
And while I agree that funding the research and jobs would be great it is still a good idea to make interventions wherever we can. 
The new Digital Technologies curriculum (http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/technologies/rationale) will be fully endorsed [fingers crossed] before the end of the year and some states, including the ACT, are expected to introduce it starting next year. The content will start in kindy! http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/technologies/digital-technologies/curriculum/f-10?layout=1  Obviously with some pretty basic concepts.  This is going to be scary for a good number of our teachers who have no background in IT themselves. Might I push my own barrow here and plug the ICT in Schools program where CLUG members can make a real difference. 
And it doesn't matter whether all these students are going in to an IT career or not- the Chief Scientist, Ian Chubb, made the point that it is important for citizens to understand technology even if they are not going into a technology career.

Joel Cowey
ICT Partnerships and Projects Coordinator | Scientists and Mathematicians in Schools
E joel.cowey at csiro.au T +61 2 6276 6046 M 0400 607042 

-----Original Message-----
From: linux-bounces at lists.samba.org [mailto:linux-bounces at lists.samba.org] On Behalf Of jm
Sent: Tuesday, 19 May 2015 9:31 AM
To: linux at lists.samba.org
Subject: Re: [clug] [OT] Any LA or CLUG reaction to the new ALP Policy

I think you managed to say what I was think much better than I did and without my cynical tone to boot.


On 19/05/2015 9:00 am, Alex Satrapa wrote:
> 3) The number of jobs where analytical thinking was required was much higher than expected.
> People use Excel for problem solving, they need to understand how to design for maintainability, how to debug, and how to protect the program from dodgy inputs.
> It doesn't matter what "programming language" you use, the techniques are still required. It's basically the scientific method applied to a specific field: Determine what the problem is, devise a possible solution, test that solution, review the results, which alters the definition of the problem.
> I'd go further than just teaching programming, and integrate the courses through schools so that there's a uniting project. One school might be working on solar racing cars, another might try rocketry (e.g.: with solid fuel or room-temperature liquid fuels with relatively low toxicity such as nitric/kerosene), another school might focus on small plot farming, and another might focus on high performance computing and physics simulations.
> After all, one of the main concerns of young students through the years has been, "really, when am I ever going to use this knowledge?"
> IMHO focussing on "what topics to teach" without thinking about "why to teach them" is a mistake.
> Alex

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