Teach technology impact to all

Technology education has to be for each and every pupil, not just those that will craft IT, which in turn will benefit CIOs, organisations and society


The spring of 2021 will be, Coronavirus depending, exam season in our household and many others across Europe. A generation, born between 2005 and 2006 will be edging nearer the workplace. In the summer of 2021, they will leave school and enter the next phase of education, and in some cases the workplace. Whether they enter the workplace next year or in two to five years' time, they will have little knowledge or education of how technology reshapes organisations and therefore society.

They will, of course, have grown up as major technology users, surrounded by the internet from birth and with affordable access to powerful pocket-sized computing throughout their formative teenage years. But consuming, of any type, rarely informs the recipient of the means of production. Just as food is easily consumed, few in the modern world truly understand the risks involved for the agricultural sector.

In 2013 Education Secretary of the UK government Michael Gove told educationalists: “One thing we can be certain of is that the acquisition of coding skills, the ability to think computationally and the creativity inherent in designing new programmes will help prepare all our young people better for the future.” Gove believed every pupil should be taught the ability to write code, like much in Gove’s career, little was done and almost nothing achieved.  But the MP who was exposed for improper expenses spending in 2009 did correctly cite: “It will be impossible to call yourself educated in years to come unless you understand, and can influence, the changes technology brings.”

Working with my eldest daughter recently in her English language revision, I was impressed with the format of the English Language tuition and exam papers.  The papers we worked through carefully teased and exposed the students to reveal, interrogate and question how the language of English worked. The papers covered the vast gamut of ways language can convey emotion, instruct, sell, inform and of course misinform, a pertinent subject in today’s post-facts world that Gove and his close friends in UK and US nationalist politics have curated. 

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