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Students anywhere are being offered free instruction online. What will that do to the trillion-dollar education business?
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Forget the year of the horse, the government have announced that 2014 is the Year of Code, but this latest initiative has come under much criticism. Unsurprisingly, this has been well-documented and blogged about so I’ll summarise the key issues here before moving on to what I believe is the more important point for teachers. So here goes, what’s wrong with the the Year of Code...
Claire Lotriet, @ohlottie, blogs a piece which absolutely nails what many educators are thinking about the omnishambles that is the Year of Code launch to date... #YoC14
You all know my feelings on the Year of Code. That's done. But it is a thing, it does exist and I know that they are now talking to great groups like CAS and people like Conrad Wolfram and I am sure they will find something useful to do
@hubmum adds her own sound advice to the #YoC14 team - now she hasn't a non-existant 'advisory role' and the fuss has died down a little!
It seems like something that everybody would support - a campaign to help transform computing education in our schools. But since its launch last week, the Year Of Code has turned into something of a PR disaster.
A timely reflective look at the whole issue by the BBC's Rory Cellan-Jones. Seems to nail it exactly....
In response to the response to the Year of Code
The Year of Code launched last week. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s a UK campaign about responding to the change in the national curriculum that will see, from September, “coding” being taught in schools across the country.
The launch really didn’t go so well. You may have read some harsh criticism, so I thought I’d share my reaction. Some criticism of my own, but you know me, perhaps a little positivity…
Stef Lewandowski (@stef) comes up with a long but carefully reasoned analysis about why writing off a project that could be of great benefit is not a suitable response to a duff launch.
"I’ve come up with a ‘route one’ approach for the #yearofcode. This takes advantage of the free resources that are out there (many created by teachers). It is not comprehensive and is meant as a starting point, so do let me know what you think."
Ben Barton, CEO of Zondle, suggest simple ways busy primary teachers could approach #YoC14
The Year of Code is supposed to teach all the UK's school children to code, but even if you support this fashionable American idea, this doesn't seem to be a useful way to do it
The trade's well-respected Jack Schofield was not impressed either by #YoC14. Is it just a PR campaign running alongside serious initiatives?
Right, this Lottie Dexter, Rohan Silva, Year of Code thing is being a massive pain in the arse. I swear to god I *knew* this would happen... Here's where we are...
Emma Mulqueeny of Young Rewired State fame (originally renamed McQueeney on the Year of Code website) writes a telling blogpost on why she is pulling out from her non-existent role at #YoC14
‘Year of Code’ is as sure a sign as any that something has been hyped into hubris. Last night, on Newsnight, the Director of ‘Year of Code’, Lottie Dexter, car crashed in a Paxman interview. He knows a fool when he hears one and couldn’t believe the rubbish she was spouting.
Donald Clark blogs his own inimitable assessment of the #YoC14 hype bandwagon...
An initiative for 2014 is to get UK children to learn how to write computer code. On Newsnight, Jeremy Paxman interviews Lottie Dexter, Director of Year of Code initiative
The car crash interview when it started to become clear that maybe the failed website on launch wasn't a one-off, and that all was not right with the Year of Code
One of those days when a great conference emerges and really gets the Twittersphere rocking! This was the annual Skills Summit 2014, held at the RSA in London. Speakers include David Puttnam, Ian Livingstone, Conrad Wolfram, Simon Schocken ... and a quite amazing 14 year old, Amy Mather
An excellent Storify, capturing tweets from RSA's #'SKILLS2014 event where #YoC14 was launched....
Links to RSA Replay videos that are currently available from the
Skills for the 21st Century Summit on 4th Feb 2014; 08:45
A chance to see many of the sessions from the excellent #SKILLS2014 event...
I had the pleasure of attending a summit at the Royal Society of Arts last week. Entitled Skills for the 21st Century Summit, the event was designed to launch the “Year of Code” with as much razzmatazz as could be mustered. And it worked. There was a great buzz throughout the day...
Terry Freedman attended the #SKILLs2014 day. Heara are his thoughts on that, and the launch of #YoC14
Roundtable reveals disappointment over computing curriculum and calls for more focus on importance of informal learning
Piece from Computer Weekly on the Stone Computers eSkills Round Table at which I was one of the invited panel.
We certainly need to get behind a single campaign to educate teachers about computer code. But we should get more technical expertise on board, writes John Naughton
The Observer highlights the close clique behind the Year of Code campaign, and suggests the whole thing is rebooted with technical (and educational?) expertise
After a bumpy start Year of Code needs to connect with the digital making community to reach its full potential.
Sensible advice from Tom Kenyon at Nesta in how to turn round the #YoC14 campaign to a successful campaign
This has been a hard blog to write, because there are many who could say that I would naturally support this idea because I'm self-promotional little networker who formerly worked with Rohan.
One from the #YoC14 camp, and ex-colleague of the team, argues strongly that the idea is sound, replies to criticisms, and asks for fairer treatment for a worthwhile campaign.
In one initiative, the Year of Code, the government has positioned technology as an outcome of learning rather than enabler. Although to be fair, it’s not entirely clear what they have demonstrated beyond a woeful misunderstanding of the subject.
Graham Brown-Martin is wary of the government thinking under-pinning its #YoC14 shift in approach to technology and education. Is it really driven by the socio-economic needs of students in UKplc, or a deeper misguided approach which seeks the computerisation of education and the programmable teaching machines of the 1960s'?
While there may not be a shortage of programmers, there's most definitely a chronic shortage of good software developers. That's something that didn't seem to cross anyone's mind - that there's much more to it than just programming for a start, and that it takes years to develop the skills and knowledge needed to build good, valuable, reliable, maintainable, secure, scalable software.
Jason Gorman and a software developer's take on the false premises under-pinning the #YoC14 approach
"I make no secret of despising Dexter’s business-tax-cutting, deregulating, state-shrinking politics and I’ve got my suspicions about the Year of Code’s wider motivations. But even on its own terms, Dexter’s leadership is a colossal omnishambles. Even if all that were required for the job were political nous and PR savvy, Dexter would be toast. Don’t let’s start getting into the detail of education policy."
Adrian Short blogs to extend the criticism of the unbalanced nature of the Year of Code organisation...
Will every job involve programming? No. But it is crucial we equip new generations with the ability to think about the world in a new way.
By Dan Crow
Dan Crow, @crowquine, of Songkick and #YoC14 fame, writes a Guardian piece on Year of Code rationale...
"So, I was looking at the Year of Code website and made a rather startling discovery. For an organisation that’s dedicated to bringing programming to schools, they seem to have something of a shortfall of programmers."
Tom Morris was one of first to spot the absence of actual programmers among those organising or advising on the Year of Code. Though he didn't mention the equal lack of educators being involved...
We want millions more people across Britain to start coding this year. It's so much easier than you think. Get started at yearofcode.org.uk
The official website of #YoC14 , now mercifully showing human-readable web pages rather than raw HTML code as it did at launch....
Nestling into a packed house at the RSA in central London earlier this week, it soon became clear that this wasn't going to be any old discussion around the education system.
More in-depth coverage of the #SKILLS2014 event at the RSA which ended with the launch of #YoC14
Education Technology’s editor Rebecca Paddick met with some industry experts who had quite a few things to say about the new computing curriculum
Education Technology's piece on the Stone Computer's Round Table at which i was one of the invited panel
IT employers are struggling to find new recruits with the skills they need because they are not being vocal enough about what they are looking for in the next generation of workers.
Piece from ComputerWorldUK on the Stone Computers eSkills Round Table at which I was one of the invited panel.