I was completely blown away by the scale of the ingenuity, pace, energy and ideas that were showcased yesterday at #YRS2010 – and all of it mostly self taught by these young kids. I was deeply impressed that the Guardian offered to take on the developers (if they wanted the opportunity) and to see how far their idea’s could go. Such practical and commercial experience would be such a boost to these young developers, and I’d hope it would only increase their appetite to go further in this field.
I would love to see Government tap into this rich talent, and not to be bogged down with Change Boards, Project Initiation Documents, Business Cases, Risk Registers etc that goes with most projects/programmes of work. But more importantly I think we need to look at how can Government help support this talent? Questions started formulating in my mind and I don’t know what the answers are, but should we at least start the discussion and see where it takes us?
– Do we need to reconsider *how* we teach ICT within schools?
– What can be done to encourage more events like this?
– Is Government doing enough to keep talent like this engaged in the education system or do we need to consider a different approach?
– Can Government learn from this fast agile approach to development and use it for existing or new up and coming projects?
– Can Government open up more data, or put pressure on those bodies that they supply funding and grants to i.e. Arms Length Bodies, Non-Departmental Public Bodies, Service Operators (Buses, Trains etc), Trading Funds that deliver services to the public – make it part of the funding regime that in turn these bodies/commercial organisations have to free their data up that is open standard compliant?
Excellent blog post Julia, and many, many thanks to the organisers and of course the young developers for showing me that there is a future out there, but we need to invest, support and nurture our talent and most of all open up the data. That seems to be the biggest hurdle so far. Not just the lack of available data, but the quality or consistency of the data when it is released.
There’s a long way to go, but I think we are on the right track 🙂
via Julia’s Blog
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On your insightful question:
“Can Government open up more data, or put pressure on those bodies that they supply funding and grants to……….that deliver services to the public – make it part of the funding regime that in turn these bodies/commercial organisations have to free their data up that is open standard compliant?”
Yes they can.
This might be more productive in the short term in opening up data than persuading the civil service to change
Interestingly the presenter of the winning app was turned off ICT at school, big time, and gave it up as soon as he could. Many of his contemporaries did the same. So, yes, ICT teaching does need looking at. To be fair in the last year they have modernised the course and there is less fall-out.
One of the key aspects though is “Who” as well as “How”. Quality of ICT teachers, from what I have seen, is very low which is not an easily solvable problem when ICT skills are at a premium in other professions. Should schools be working more than they do with ICT people outside the schools?
Interesting to see this article popping up today;
Noting the fall in ICT education enrollement
“The study found that ICT student levels in the UK have fallen dramatically over the past three years, with secondary school ICT enrolments down by a third between 2006 and 2009. A Level ICT registration has slumped by a third over six years while A Level Computing course attendance dropped 57% between 2001 to 2009.”
If we cannot address the problem of how to educate our young people in inspirational and appropriate ways, we risk a future workforce that is totally unskilled and unsuited to tomorrow’s job market.”
I do wonder where this is all going to lead……
And a fantastic wee write up on YRS on the Rewired State blog
Brilliant. Just brilliant.