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'UK Breeding Digital Dunces'


Mary
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The head of internet giant Google has warned that Britain's education system is damaging the country's chances of success in the digital age.

 

Executive chairman Eric Schmidt called for drastic changes in education and an end to the split between "luvvies" and "boffins".

 

At the Media Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival , Dr Schmidt argued for a return to a "Victorian" age bringing art and science back together.

 

He said he was "flabbergasted" that computer science was not taught as standard in UK schools, adding: "Your IT curriculum focuses on teaching how to use software, but gives no insight into how it's made.

 

"That is just throwing away your great computing heritage."

 

He praised British television as a success story but warned "everything" could still go wrong.

 

He said: "If I may be so impolite, your track record isn't great. The UK is home of so many media-related inventions. You invented photography.

 

 

"You invented TV. You invented computers in both concept and practice.

 

"It's not widely known, but the world's first office computer was built in 1951 by Lyon's chain of tea shops.

 

"Yet today, none of the world's leading exponents in these fields are from the UK."

 

What do you think? :blink:

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There is a place for singing, dance and music if you are the creative type who wants to follow a career in performing arts, but there should be much more emphasis on the training and hours of practice required rather than the 'famous for 5 minutes' culture that shows like X factor promote.

 

The tide seems to be turning on the more traditional subjects now though. Apparently many more took individual sciences and maths, possibly because at long last they realise that these subjects will serve them well in the future for academic degrees, now that many of the other silly courses are being dropped by universities. As Inky Pete said, so much depends on the quality of the teachers and any improvement will take years to filter through.

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Part of the problem here is that the sharp end of technology moves so fast that much of what teachers have been taught is old hat by the time they try to pass it on. This isn’t anything new because twenty odd years ago, I often found myself in front of a class explaining present day technology because the tutors were so far out of date.

 

Bill :)

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Basic Maths hasn't changed much since the days of Aristotle!

 

Computer Science (the theory behind computers, and how they work) isn't much different in its basic to what it was in the 1970's.

 

As far as specific software packages and programming languages go, in industry when a new piece of technology is introduced the people who are going to be using it get training, but if they've been using something similar previously then it's usually a fairly simple transition. Doctors and other medical professionals are expected to keep themselves current on advances in their own fields - I don't see why teachers can't do the same, they get 12 weeks a year they could use to keep their skills up to date.

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