Education & Training


Computing in SchoolsIndustry demands professionals with the “the right skills in the right place at the right time”. Tertiary education providers cannot meet these demands, and, at the same time, many ICT professionals have acquired expertise in the course of their career, without formal qualifications. It is therefore necessary to recognise and support the co-existence of different educational paths. Certifications, qualifications, non-formal learning and informal learning are mutually supportive components of an ICT professional’s career development and they attest to an individual’s competences and skills. This is particularly important for the ICT profession.


CEPIS Computing in Schools SIN



The lack of recognition of Computer Science as a crucial school subject has been identified as a one of the key reasons explaining the lack of interest for ICT careers. In order to bolster members’ efforts to promote high standards in informatics education, and ultimately bridge the gap between supply and demand for ICT professionals in Europe today, CEPIS established a Special Interest Network (SIN) dedicated to the topic of ‘Computing in School’. The CEPIS Computing in School SIN aims to help member societies engage purposefully with schools. It aims to:

  1. For those members who are well advanced in working with schools, to develop networking and exchange platforms
  2. For those members beginning to engage to provide mentoring and support
  3. For those members not yet engaged (or not willing) to provide basic advocacy and guidelines
  4. For those who do not value work with schools to provide exemplars to change

In 2014, the CEPIS Computing in School SIN produced an advocacy paper targeting Ministries of Education across Europe. The paper argues that children’s digital education should be reformed to better integrate Computer Science in school curricula. It describes the issues arising from the lack of computing in schools, and outlines practical steps to develop Computer Science in the classroom. The paper is available for download here.


Examples of Good Practice


CAS

The Computing at Schools (CAS) Working Group  in the UK has over 10,000 teachers and computer professionals working together to establish Computer Science as an important subject in the school curriculum. The Working Group is also supporting ICT and computing teachers by providing them with teaching material, training, local hubs, and the opportunity to get in touch with others colleagues like-minded about computing.

The Bebras contest is an international informatics competition aims to promote Computer Science to school students. The contest focuses on developing the problem-solving skills of students who are asked to complete various tasks involving algorithms and programming methods.

Bebras
Coder Dojo

The Coder Dojo initiative runs free not-for-profit coding clubs and regular sessions for young people between 5 and 17. At Dojos, young people learn how to code, develop websites, apps, programs, games, etc. Dojos are set up, run by volunteers. The first Coder Dojo was launched in Ireland in 2011; there are now 345 Dojos in 38 countries.

The Scratch competition in Ireland encourages young people to develop small pieces of software using a simplified programming language. The Scratch competition aims to raise students’ interest in software development by providing a better understanding of how software is built and works. Scratch is currently taught in over 700 classrooms across Ireland at primary and secondary level.

Scratch
Code Kinderen

The Code Kinderen initiative in The Netherlands provides educational materials for teachers in order to teach coding and programming to children.  Code Kinderen intends to make children more aware of how technology works and discover their technological talent through play.