This is a useful initiative, despite its narrow focus on engineering and science. It would be great to see the companion film which profiles creative arts and design professionals who regularly use programming as part of their practice/work.
Reviewing the new Design & Technology Curriculum
Westminster Education Forum National Curriculum Seminar Series 2013
Timing: Morning, Wednesday, 13th February 2013
Venue: Central London
"As the Government concludes its National Curriculum review, this timely seminar focuses on the content of the new curriculum for Design and Technology (D&T) for each Key Stage, due to be introduced into schools from September 2014 - as well as the implementation challenges for schools. It will bring together key policymakers with school and college leaders, teaching unions, universities, employers and other stakeholders.
Delegates will assess the opportunities and challenges presented by D&T's designation as a 'foundation' subject, with a much less prescriptive Programme of Study, as well as the level of teaching time required to deliver the new Programme and whether it meets the needs of employers, colleges and universities.
Sessions also focus on wider issues in D&T including the quality of facilities available in both primary and secondary schools in England, the profile and CPD opportunities for D&T teachers and the role that industry can play in the delivery of D&T in schools."
(Westminster Education Forum, UK)
Fig.1 Chicago Middle School students participate in an invention school workshop led by James Dyson as the James Dyson Foundation begins its mission to encourage more American students to become future engineers and inventors, at the Sir Miles Davis Academy in Chicago, May 5, 2011 [http://momandmore.com/2011/05/james-dyson-foundation-just-launched.html].
"We believe university-level education can be both high quality and low cost. Using the economics of the Internet, we've connected some of the greatest teachers to hundreds of thousands of students in almost every country on Earth. Udacity was founded by three roboticists who believed much of the educational value of their university classes could be offered online for very low cost. A few weeks later, over 160,000 students in more than 190 countries enrolled in our first class, 'Introduction to Artificial Intelligence.' The class was twice profiled by the New York Times and also by other news media. Now we're a growing team of educators and engineers, on a mission to change the future of education."
(Udacity, Inc., 2012)
Fig.1 "CS253: Web Application Engineering. Learn about engineering web applications with Steve Huffman! By the end of the class, you will have built your own blog to share with the world."
"This week the publishing company Pearson announced it had bought a majority stake in an Indian online tutoring company Tutorvista for just under £80m.
Sanchia Berg reports on the company that provides online tutoring and support, especially for high school students in the US and John Fallon of Pearson explains the thinking behind the new venture. "
(BBC Radio 4, 21 January 2011)
"One of the most prominent characteristics of modern society is the increasing number of students acquiring technology education. An important question that must be dealt with, regarding this phenomenon relates to the nature of an appropriate technology education. A thorough examination of prevalent trends indicates that cultivating analytical skills constitutes an essential feature of science education, while within the framework of technology education mainly synthetic skills are being cultivated. Analytical thinking deserves little attention in processes of teaching technology, and is not adequately stressed in processes of constructing design skills. Apparently it seems that the different curricula adopted in science and technology education emanates from the inherent differences between research methodologies in science as opposed to design in technology. Whereas analytical thinking is typically related to the scientific process, synthetic thinking manifested in planning, building and developing is an essential part of design processes. However, several stages requiring analytical thinking can be identified in the design process. These stages mainly characterize the initial process and include analyzing the task, the selection of an appropriate model, formalization, etc.
Technology is viewed, within the conceptual framework of our research, as a discipline based on two types of thinking: synthetic and analytical, occurring both in the realm of practice (in the real world) and the realm of theory (using symbolic representations of the real world). The hypothesis examined in this research relates to the desired interactions between the two types of thinking, as well as to the manner of their integration in processes of teaching and learning. We hypothesize that integrating the above mentioned types of thinking might enhance the efficiency of technology instruction."
(Ilja Levin, E. Lieberman)
Levin I, Lieberman E. (2000) 'Developing Analytical and Synthetic Thinking in Technology Education', Proceedings of International Conference on Technology Education, Braunshweig, Germany.
Fig.1 'Evolver' (2009) was designed and executed by a team of 2nd year students from the ALICE Studio at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland