I'm fresh out of high school and in my first year of Software Engineering at UQ. My public high school in North Queensland offered some IT classes, however they never appealed to me as I my skills were significantly more advanced than the people the courses targeted (to the extent that I stopped taking the IT courses after Year 10).I'm curious about how the CS4HS program will handle this wide range of programming skills that high school teachers will encounter more and more as programming moves further into the mainstream.
We are giving laptops to children and expecting teachers to educate them. If youre lucky, you might come across a couple of tech savvy individuals, but the norm is teachers who have a basic understanding of presentations, documents etc. The knowledge base of a child leaving primary school in this current environment should include some serious computer science learning opportunities. Seems like such a waste to wait until high school before this begins.
This problem is a global thing besides Australia and New Zealand. I commend Google for getting involved in this programme. It is fantastic to see the private sector get involved with the public university system and secondary (or high) schools. I wish the support was there when I was at secondary school.As a side note to back up why we need CS4HS. Many of the people who work in those industries mentioned who could benefit from learning about computer science principles become end-user programmers as opposed to professional programmers.A multi-university research project called End Users Shaping Effective Software (EUSES) Consortium addresses the issue of investigating approaches to help make end-users write better and more dependable software. http://eusesconsortium.org/To quote from the web site:There has been considerable work in empowering end users to be able to write their own programs, and as a result, users are indeed doing so. In fact, the number of end-user programmers in the United States is expected to reach more then 13 million by 2012, as compared to only 3 million professional programmers. The "programming" systems used by these end users include spreadsheet systems, web authoring tools, and graphical languages for demonstrating the desired behavior of educational simulations. Using such systems, end users create software, in forms such as educational simulations, spreadsheets, and dynamic e-business web applications.Unfortunately, however, errors are pervasive in end-user software, and the resulting impact is sometimes enormous. When the software end users create is not dependable, there can be serious consequences for the people whose retirement funds, credit histories, e-business revenues, and even health and safety rely on decisions made based on that software.To address this problem, we propose a fundamental paradigm shift to a new way of thinking about the way end users create software. Our intent is to address the following research question:Is it possible to bring the benefits of rigorous software engineering methodologies to end users?
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