Schools and our online lives

Schools and the online life

Emma Mulqueeny wrote a really interesting post today about the importance of teaching our kids the right things about the online world. As she put it:

We need to actively find ways to educate our children and ourselves in the basics of the Internet, of information, of data, of sharing, of algorithms – computational thinking.

Because, if we don’t, an ever decreasing number of us will actually really understand, and an ever decreasing number of us will shape the future. And history has shown time and time again that this way madness lies.

Current changes to the school ICT curriculum in the UK worry me because I am not convinced that everyone has to be a programmer. In some ways schools lurching in that direction is almost as bad as teaching powerpoint. I think kids need a more general eduction on networked society, sociology and ethics, applying important understanding and disciplines to the online world. In fact seeing computers and ICT as a separate discipline is half the problem. The other topics should all be taught with an understanding that we increasingly live our lives online.

This relates to my occasional rant about "digital". The online world is not separate, we don't move neatly from online to offline, you can't put all this in a neat box, label it "technology" and ignore it it. It is life.