Cover "After the reboot"

What is the difference between computing and computer science? It's the problem at the heart of a subject in crisis

The computing curriculum being followed by schools in England is in serious trouble and requires urgent Government intervention. That's the key finding from a report – “After the Reboot: The State of Computing Education in UK Schools and Colleges” – based on a survey commissioned by the people partly responsible for the debacle, the Royal Society, along with its collaborators the BCS - The Chartered Institute of IT and the Royal Academy of Engineering  

The report was launched last week at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester along with a call for a further £60 million of funding, presumably to go to the same organisations behind the current 'force-feeding' of computer science to children at the expense of the wider skills and digital literacy called for industry and the Royal Society's previous report "Shut down or restart".

Child using computer

Facebook will join academics at London international children’s digital rights forum

“Unless and until Governments – ours and others – stop giving tech a free pass, we will have a situation where the needs of multinational corporations are given precedent over the needs of children.” That’s the stark warning from children's rights campaigner and filmmaker Baroness Beeban Kidron.

She will be speaking at the Information Law and Policy Centre’s (ILPC) Annual Conference 2017 – Children and digital rights: regulating freedoms and safeguards at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in London next week (November 17).

Stanford students

Summer travels took Bob Harrison to one of Silicon Valley's intellectual engine rooms — Stanford University

It was that time of year when I pack my bags and fly to Silicon Valley to be a reviewer for the Stanford Graduate School of Education Masters Degree course “Learning Design with Technology”. On either side of highway 101 from San Francisco to San Jose you can find the homes of many of the household technology names — like Google and Apple — that support our busy and digitally connected lives.

Stanford is in esteemed company, and it makes the most of it with its Learning design with Technology course. It’s a unique blend of blue skies, venture capital and the intellectual property and innovative ideas that gush out of the growing Stanford Campus in Palo Alto.

Sam Millar

Sal McKeown on a student whose Excel skills won him a trip to the US and a cash prize

It seems that in Britain we are good at quite a few things, and one of them appears to be a spreadsheet – Microsoft's Excel. Sam Millar, a 22-year-old student at University of St Andrews in Scotland, was recently named the Silver Medallist in Microsoft Excel – and picked up $3,500 prize money – at the Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, California.

Sports day in Nepal

Who best to help teachers? Other teachers. Even during the summer break!

London teacher Catherine Steel travelled to Nepal over the weekend (July 30) with 23 other UK teachers to help support local teachers and improve learning for their children. It’s part of a global teacher movement called Limited Resources Teacher Training (LRTT)).

“There’s an extra challenge for me,” said Catherine Steel before setting out. “ICT is integrated in my teaching so I’ll have to be extra flexible with local resources and connectivity to share our exciting UK experiences with Nepalese colleagues. I’m hoping to report back with pictures on my blog, Catherine Rambles On."