I have just returned from the brilliant ” Computer Science for High Schools” Conference at Canterbury University hosted by Tim Bell, and sponsored by Google. It is clear that WEGC is definitely up there at the cutting edge compared with schools nationally. We (HoD and I) were pleased to see that we had well and truly hit the mark required at Level 1 Digital Technologies (DT) in 2011 (probably exceeded), content-wise. We have lots of ideas that will gradually come out at suitable times over the next year or so. Details of the conference can be found at;
There is a huge international shortage of graduates in the DT/IT sector and NZ is only producing a tiny percentage of numbers required in this country alone. That is why the government, industry and tertiary are throwing themselves behind what is happening at secondary levels. They see really robust, up-to-date Digital Technologies courses at secondary level as crucial to NZ’s future (given the role of technology in our economies).
There is a strong move to encourage girls into Digital Technologies, and to move away from the perception of it just being for the introverted, geeky type of person. The reason for this is that businesses at the cutting edge of technology rely heavily on teamwork, communication skills and people skills to make it internationally. They need the programming/software design knowledge of course, but that on its own often leads to failure of the business. While other teachers were reporting only one or two girls in their DT/programming courses, we were able to report that our classes were 100% girls!
We want our subject to be perceived as exciting (so lots of fun ideas relating to computer science concepts for ‘junior kooks’ electives next year) and only geeky in a ‘Big Bang Theory’ kind of acceptable way.
Acknowledgement: This post derived from discussion and email from Cris Roughton, HoD, WEGC