1. The Kids’ Guide to the Internet (by PDCS216)

     
  2. there’s a strong case to be made for the study and debate of digital media to be a compulsory part of the world’s education systems, alongside literacy, numeracy and science. This doesn’t mean the kind of all-too-basic ‘how to’ guides that leave media-savvy students cold, but rather a combination of digital history with opportunities to debate the realities and limitations of everything from social-media services and search engines to avatars and World of Warcraft.
     
  3. As access to devices has spread, children in poorer families are spending considerably more time than children from more well-off families using their television and gadgets to watch shows and videos, play games and connect on social networking sites, studies show.

    This growing time-wasting gap, policy makers and researchers say, is more a reflection of the ability of parents to monitor and limit how children use technology than of access to it

     
  4. image: Download

    Slightly staggered about this.  How can there be 6% of UK 16-24 year olds who have never moved a file on a computer?  (did they not use a computer at school???)   Also, I don’t quite believe that 25% of 16-24 year olds have written a computer program.  But mostly… staggered that the EU would be researching this sort of thing in quite such a level of detail(!)

    Slightly staggered about this.  How can there be 6% of UK 16-24 year olds who have never moved a file on a computer?  (did they not use a computer at school???)   Also, I don’t quite believe that 25% of 16-24 year olds have written a computer program.  But mostly… staggered that the EU would be researching this sort of thing in quite such a level of detail(!)

     
  5. image: Download

    (via How to Use the Internet Wisely, for Your Health and Your Country’s - Howard Rheingold - Technology - The Atlantic)
     
  6. (via Dial Comes To Town : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive) actually this is a video but annoyingly there’s no way to embed

    (via Dial Comes To Town : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive) actually this is a video but annoyingly there’s no way to embed

     
  7. it wasn’t until 1919 that the Bell System started to roll out automatic pulse dialing across the country. The Bell System had solidified its national monopoly, and had decided to move from operators to automatic switching to save time and money. This replaced a level of human mediation with another, mechanical one. Consumers would have to learn how to dial their own calls, and would have to learn the new sounds of the dial system — the dial tone, the busy signal. To ensure a smooth transition from operators to the dial system, Bell and its local phone companies unleashed a massive onslaught of popular technology training.
     
  8. bands like One Direction are teaching their fans how to be expert Twitter users. I read a book once where a female journalist said that she’d learnt how to organise people by planning trips to see David Cassidy when she was younger… This is similar.
     
  9. “Virtually all young people are familiar with electronic games and social networking and might be considered as ‘digital natives’, but they are not “digitally competent” in the sense that they do not know sufficiently how to use the digital world in a business context,” said the EC.

    The European e-Skills Week will comprise a number of activities and events designed to inform young people on how to acquire such skills from between the 19 and 30 March. The EC says that the driving force behind the initiative was the importance of ICT skills to the future of the European economy and an increase in jobs which require a high level of education.

     
  10. The old (UK) curriculum was not just an impediment, it was actually driving people away. In 2011, just 31,800 pupils took the computing exam at 16, compared to 81,100 in 2007. ..
    However, the U.K. lacks the teachers to provide this dynamic, engaging and relevant computing education. Data from the U.K.’s General Teaching Council suggest that of the 28,767 teachers who registered with the GTC in 2010, only three qualified in computing or computing science as their primary qualification. It is no good being taught Javascript by the Geography teacher. Sensible schools will look outside their own ranks for help; sensible corporations will offer it.
     
  11. Every school computer suite across England should hang a picture of Eric Schmidt on the wall, and children should sing songs in his honor for saving them from the mind-crushing tedium of the government’s soon-to-be-abandoned computing curriculum.
    It was the executive chairman of Google who used his Edinburgh MacTaggart lecture last August to shame the U.K. government into action. “I was flabbergasted to learn that today computer science isn’t even taught as standard in U.K. schools,” he said. “That is just throwing away your great computing heritage.”
    The U.K. government took on board the stinging criticism of the computing curriculum and the education minister, Michael Gove, Wednesday announced that he was scrapping the current curriculum.
     
  12. Uruguay also puts England to shame with its one laptop per pupil programme, known as Plan Ceibal…

    Since the scheme started in 2007, Uruguay has given 450,000 laptops to primary and secondary pupils. …
    Giving a laptop to a pupil doesn’t guarantee they will take it apart and become interested in how it works, but it certainly helps… Pupils, including those living in shanty towns, have developed skills in making online films, websites and producing photo galleries.
    … In 2006, having a netbook and access to the internet was a privilege in Uruguay, Brechner said – now it is a right.

     
  13. (Great quote in the comments)… Every time you make a decision like “I’ll put the joint in at 5 on 180 and put the potatoes in at 6”, that is programming. Every time I decide to take the road over Salisbury Plain rather than the A36, based on time of day, weather and traffic - that is programming. The poor decisions made by so many people arise, in part, because they have never been taught the methodology of basic system design, i.e. data inputs and outputs, validation, verification, and business logic. These apply equally whether you are cooking, plumbing, projecting cash flow or designing a fire control system for a battle cruiser.

    Teaching children how to apply programming to the real world is genuinely empowering.

     
  14. the Conservative minister for culture, communications and the creative industry said computer skills were “the grammar of the 21st century”.

    Vaizey added that knowing how a computer works was now “on a par with [a knowledge of] the arts and humanities”.