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UK government unveils new computer science curriculum

UK government unveils new computer science curriculum

September 16, 2013 | By Mike Rose

The UK government admitted last year that the teaching of ICT (information and communications technology) in British schools is awful, and pledged to replace the current system with "rigorous computer science courses."

As published last week, the governmental Department for Education has now posted up the new official curriculum for computing programmes of study in English, with the aim to make sure today's children are "digitally literate" by the time they leave school.

Among the goals of the new courses is a large focus on making sure kids understand the fundamental principles of computer science, and can handle logic, algorithms and data representation.

Children will also be taught to analyse problems from a computational perspective, and try their hand at writing computer programs to solve these problems.

There's also a strong focus on making sure that kids understand the dangers that technology can pose, and why online privacy is important.

There are plenty of notable games industry veterans in the UK who have been campaigning for this new curriculum to come into force, including Eidos life president Ian Livingstone (pictured), who recently said that, "ICT is not computing... we've wasted generations of people who can't code."

Today, Livingstone called the move "a major boost for the creative economy," adding, "Out goes the old ICT curriculum, which most students found boring, and in comes Computing based on problem-based learning that will be rigorous, relevant and exciting."

"It will give students a good grounding in programming too," he continued. "I particularly welcome the emphasis on creativity, giving a much-needed signal to schools that the teaching of digital-making skills also requires Art and Humanities for children to be able to express themselves and operate in the digital world."

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