Computers have a long and varied history. The first recorded use of the word ‘computer’ was initially applied to human beings who performed calculations for employment purposes. By the end of the 19th century, it became apparent that man made machines could complete calculations far better than humans, who frequently left a margin for error. The first mechanical computer was actualised in 1822, referred to as the Difference Engine, a project which never reached completion. Alan Turing invented what has gone on to fit the modern definition of a computer in 1936 and in contemporary life; computers have cemented themselves as an integral part of our professional and private lifestyles.
Computer whizz kids will be very happy to know that the success of technology in day to day life has rendered computers a new staple on curriculums across Britain. Back in January of 2012, Michael Gove, the former Education Secretary, unearthed his intentions to completely overhaul the UK national curriculum with a firm focus on ICT. He began to change the way that ICT was to be taught in schools, claiming that the former style of teaching was both harmful and dull and most certainly not in league with the creative, innovative masterminds that we see dominating the IT industry today.
Having been implemented in September 2014, Information and Communications Technology has now been transformed into Computing, and is being introduced to all schools enabling pupils the opportunity to study the subject all the way through primary school up to GCSE level. With children as young as 5 learning to use computers, Gove insisted that students should not merely operate programs created by others. They should also be taught the necessary skills to create their own. Incorporated into the core of the subject are essential skills including crafting and debugging programs, learning how to code, the importance of privacy and safety online and how to create, store and organise various forms of online content.
The classes seek to combine resourceful, technical learning with life lessons that outline why it is so important to use computers responsibly whilst being encouraged to identify and report inappropriate behaviour. The exciting curriculum developments ensure that the next generation of computer programmers get ahead of the game with early opportunities to grapple with the complexities of a career in the prestigious and ever popular IT industry.
The next generation will be building bigger, better data centres before we know it!