Helping schools develop computer programmers for the future

Fri, 27 May 2011 09:36:00 BST

Student using computer with 3d design software The Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) has awarded the University funding to help increase the ability of ICT teachers to train school children in computer programming.

As Roger Crawford, the secondary PGCE ICT tutor explains, ‘There’s a lot of concern in industry that this country is not producing the number of computer programmers we need, especially for the computer games industry. We have an enormous computer games industry in this country and it’s vital that we have sufficiently skilled employees for the future. The skills and knowledge children learn in GCSE ICT do not give them all they need for A level Computing and then onto University.  Some schools have a good level of skill in this area, but it isn’t the norm. As technology changes so quickly these days, it’s difficult to keep up to date with all the other pressures teachers face.

The TDA have given us funding to run a short course for our ICT secondary students and their mentors (the teachers who guide our students when they are on placement in schools) to learn about some specialised programming packages. The three packages, Game Maker, Scratch and Visual Basic can be targeted at different Key Stages (3, 4 and 5) can all be used for games construction and include different levels of scripting and computer programming. ‘

The course is free and will run in September and October for a few hours a week and will benefit both our students and our partner schools, giving them cutting edge skills which will be really useful to the schools who eventually employ our students.

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