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Re: Re: Computer Education in Public Schools

by BrowserUk (Pope)
on Nov 06, 2002 at 22:18 UTC ( #210930=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re: Computer Education in Public Schools
in thread Computer Education in Public Schools

I'm not really sure that it makes sense to comment on someone elses opinions in what is already a very subjective thread, but there are a couple of things in your post that stimulated my thought processes beyond where they were currently languishing.

I agree completely that general education has always been at least a generation behind the bleading edge (or even the current stable norm) within any given technical subject. However, I do perceive a difference with IT, that being that I don't think any other field has had such an immediate, far reaching nor so rapidly evolving effect upon the whole of society as IT generally and computers specifically.

The computer industry is barely 50 years old and it's effects are already far more prevelent that any comparable technological advance. I've heard it said that the car industry went from nothing to maturity in around the same time frame--the late 19th century to universal availablity (within some definition of that phrase) just after WWII-- but the development of the car as we know it today actually builds on a great deal of stuff from the preceeding centuries. The horse drawn carridge, steam engines an so on.

By contrast, the development of computers and most of the related fields really sprung into existance half way through the last century and has grown, and continues to grow, at rate that far outstrips those industries and fields of knowledge that preceded it.

However, more than any other technology I can think of, computers also encroach, with ever increasing impact, upon almost every other field of human endevour. I started to draw up a list of these, but rapidly realised that it would be easier to list those which computers do not have some impact upon. This is even easier than I first thought, because I truely cannot think of one. Every single endevour I could think of is or soon will be impacted by the use of computers. From the obvious, communications, automobiles, map making etc. to the less obvious like farming, fishing, medicine, even child-rearing with fetal heart monitors, baby alarms, etc.

My conclusion is that in many ways, computer technology, IT whatever label you wish to put on the whole subject matter, is destined to become the fourth 'R' in the core curriculum. It is likely that it will need to become as ubiquitous and fundemental to have an appreciation of the use of computers to manipulate information in the future as it is to be able to read, write or count.

Nah! You're thinking of Simon Templar, originally played (on UKTV) by Roger Moore and later by Ian Ogilvy

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