Very well said. There’s lots here to like and agree with:
To date the reasons behind the changes have seemed very skills-based, as if instilling particular skills will lead to growth in business and the economy.
Really, though, teaching about computers should go beyond mere literacy, beyond focusing on a particular set of skills, and emphasise the fluency that true innovation demands.
We need to understand how to have ideas that can be framed to suit the internal workings of computers – and the things they are best at. We need to be able to express thoughts “in computer”. Those are the skills needed to innovate, to invent, with new technology.
We need more people who can think not faster, but think new thoughts.
The training that fosters that should be about learning to think in this new world; learning what is possible. Cultivating a sense of smell, and a sense of balance, to exist in the code-assisted world.
We will always need the engineers, but we also need the others: artists, journalists, politicians who understand the prostheses and exoskeletons of this digital world; of using the tools around them as rocket boosters to take us to strange and new worlds, not just more profitable ones.
Technology education, then, should not just be about teaching skills, it should really be about instilling a set of values. A way of thinking, taught as part of a broad, diverse curriculum.