Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce earmarked almost $29 million over the next four years to deepen New Zealand’s technology talent pool. Continue reading
ZDNet Australia reports Google Australia calls for mandatory comp sci until year 10. The aim is to reverse the falling numbers of university computer science students.:
Google has called upon the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) to increase the exposure of Australian primary and secondary school students to computer science, by making the new Digital Technologies subject mandatory from kindergarten until year 10.
If falling university computer science rolls is a problem – I’m not convinced it is – then the problem is not whether school children were force-fed the subject. It’ll be more because students view the courses as dull and unrewarding or because they don’t see a positive future for comp sci graduates.
These issues need addressing before teachers frog-march kiddies to compulsory programming or whatever.
Also, if government decides there’s a strategic need to train more young people in computer science, then subsidise fees for the course – that’ll work out a lot cheaper and more effective than any alternative.
There are two reasons why I’m looking forward to next month’s WordCamp New Zealand 2010.
First, I expect to expand my WordPress know-how. I use the software to manage other websites. You can run a WordPress site with zero technical knowledge, but I want to dig deeper.
While raw knowledge is useful, that’s not the only reason I’m going to WordCamp.
At WordCamp I’ll meet dozens of like-minded people grappling with similar issues. We’ll swap ideas and experiences. In some cases I’ll be doing the learning. In others I’ll be doing the teaching. Either way, our collective pool of knowledge will increase.
I’ve found this way of learning motivates me. I’ll come away with extra knowledge and fresh ideas, but I’ll also be charged-up.
There’s another great aspect to this kind of learning. Although it is busy, it gives you the time and mental space to reflect on what you already know. You can view things from a different perspective and to pull the various threads together.
heStudents and academics assume people will think they’re dumb and won’t take their ideas seriously if their writing isn’t complex, dense and difficult to read.
The problem is real. As Rachel Toor writes, bad writing and bad thinking go hand in hand.
Let’s turn this idea on its head: Crisp writing is a sign of neatly ordered thinking. Or Good writing is direct, clear and precise. It is also unambiguous.
Much of Toor’s post is about passive language – which she rightly condemns. Scientists and engineers sometimes need to use the passive voice, but most of the time, the active voice is best.