Building a World Class Computer Science Curriculum in Scotland

Building a World Leading Scottish Digital Nation

Learn.scot is an initiative from Digital Scotland, one of our action projects intended to advance our ambition to build a world leading Scottish digital nation.

However despite these noble aspirations, the teaching of the core computing skills required is ‘in crisis‘, with enrollment and staff numbers in decline. Professor Bill Buchanan describes how Computer Science is “crashing” out of the curriculum.

Indeed decline is too mild a description for what’s happening, it’s more accurate to say the topic has one foot in the grave, being on a rapid downward trajectory towards complete oblivion:

There really isn’t a more stark contrast between our ambition to build a world leading digital nation, and our actual progress towards that goal. We’re quickly racing backwards away from it, not progressing towards it.

There isn’t a day goes by that a politician doesn’t make the point that digital skills are the building block of the modern economy, but yet Scotland and the UK are experiencing a widespread digital skills shortage.

How can we possibly hope to address that gap if the primary feed into that capacity, computing education, is in such a dismal state?

We can’t of course. That’s why we need to take action, and Learn.scot is our small contribution towards this imperative.

Grass Roots Action Plan

The first step has been to sign the Digital Technology Education Charter. No one is working harder to raise awareness of the issue and champion the collective action to work together to address it.

Next, as Cloud experts and digital entrepreneurs, our main value to contribute is to provide technology that can assist the initiative, and also to help define a world class computing curriculum. Learn.scot offers a variety of tools for new models of digital education, and we’ll populate the content through organizing speakers and classes covering the latest cutting edge topics from the tech world, from the Blockchain through Cloud Computing.

This will offer the critical dimension of offering learning that is the most current and relevant to modern workplace needs.

In addition to this the other much larger campaign is to work with the many teachers and other industry folks working at the coal face to address the challenge. There are a plethora of great ideas and feedback, that identify the core curriculum challenges, being shared online that can be compiled into a strategy and actioned, for example:

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