At the Barcamp MediaCity event, a fair proportion of the talks considered the teaching of computing and programming in schools. Adam D King and Sam Starling, who have recently graduated in computer science, planned a talk entitled “Should Programming be taught in schools?”
Although the room allocated for the talk could only seat 20, the room was packed with many barcampers having to stand or sit on the floor. All of the barcamp talks were allowed 20 minutes, with a 10 minute break between talks. Adam and Sam’s talk lasted much longer than the prescribed time, and could possibly have lasted another half hour – such was the level of interest and debate.
This talk preceded the BBC CodeLab talk which I presented afterwards. I feel one of the reasons why the BBC CodeLab talk (which followed) was so well attended was because Adam and Sam had clearly provoked a lot of interest in the topic.
It was powerful to hear two recent graduates argue quite clearly their opinions that we should TEACH COMPUTING in schools.
Please watch this video and listen to the arguments and counter arguments made. Different aspects of the discussion will resonate with different viewers. I would encourage you to share or tweet a part of the recorded discussion that you thought was particulary insightful. (At the specific time you wish to highlight, Right-Click (PC) or CTRL-Click (MAC) and select ‘Copy Video URL at Current Time’ then paste this URL into a tweet)
Computing (Networks) in School
The next day, A Level student Jack Wearden who is a 17 year old student at a school not too far from MediacityUK presented a very confident talk on his school’s computer network. It was encouraging to hear someone so young, speak so clearly on an aspect of computing in school. Although the talk was not quite what I expected (I was expecting a talk on teaching computing in school), I was really glad I chose to attend Jack’s talk. I would not be surprised to meet Jack in 5 or 6 years time when he is leading his own successful technology enterprise.