Why is computer science teaching important

Digitization and school: IT lessons are becoming increasingly important

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The topic of digitization has now become part of a public debate in the school context as well. Children grow up with digital media. To be able to deal with them well, media skills and an understanding of technology are important. This is what the schools should convey. In an international comparison, Germany comes off badly here. How can digitization and school be reconciled? What should be conveyed?

Digital technology in school

Digitization in itself is a controversial topic. However, if you look at digitization and schools together, the debate becomes even bigger. Supporters and opponents are not very forgiving of each other. However, the fact is that Computers are used so rarely in German schools than in any other industrialized country. That should be according to the new one Coalition agreement be changed. He promises to better equip schools digitally with WiFi, projectors and tablets. We are talking about a digital learning environment, infrastructure and media literacy. The Minister of State for Digitization in the Chancellery, Dorothee Bär, goes even further and says that every student should own a tablet in the future. But is it really necessary that every student has a tablet?

Digital technologies could just about suitable school and teaching concepts support in tackling school challenges, says Nils Weichert, board member of the Education Digitization Forum. In the debate about digitization and education, it is often said that a distinction should be made between what is technically possible and what is really useful pedagogically. Not all technical innovations have to find their way into the school. Translation programs are getting better and better, but they cannot and should not replace foreign language teaching. In this context it is also said that a concept must be found to integrate the technical devices in a meaningful way. First of all, a teaching concept with the technical aids should be considered before they are purchased.

Teaching digital skills

Digitization and school are also an issue regardless of the use of digital technology in schools. The demand for teaching media skills in schools is growing all the time. in the University Education Report 2020 from the Stifterverband in cooperation with McKinsey & Company states that students should be enabled to understand the interrelationships of the digitally networked world and to equip them with digital skills. It is necessary Knowledge of media and internet usage to convey that Operation of programs to teach legal issues to clarify on the Internet and one safe use of social networks to convey. Digital media must be understood in order to be able to use them responsibly and deploy them in a targeted manner. In addition to conveying general media skills, the University Education Report 2020 also calls for the compulsory inclusion of computer science in the curriculum. So should students in the digital world be able to design independently. Basics for this are the understanding of algorithms and a certain Programming ability.

In a European comparison, Germany lags behind in this area. Most other European countries have already better linked the issues of digitization and schools. According to the report, 10 European countries have even introduced programming of their own. A large part of them would have anchored programming in the curriculum as an optional or compulsory subject in the various school levels. The UK and Slovakia have even made programming a compulsory subject from elementary through secondary school. Germany would find it difficult to keep up. A certain proportion of computer science is anchored in the curriculum of secondary level one and two in all federal states, but how extensive this is, it is very different. Computer science is not mandatory in very few federal states. They also played Programming and technical fundamentals often play a subordinate role in computer science class. Above all, knowledge about researching and using programs would be imparted. However, digital technologies remain a mystery, which is not really understood.

More computer science teachers needed

In order to implement the demand for computer science lessons anchored in the curriculum, however, more computer science teachers are needed, according to the University Education Report 2020. The However, the proportion of first-year teachers in the MINT subjects has been declining since 2010. Currently the computer science teacher requirements are included 6.000 Teachers. If nothing is changed in the current system of IT teaching, the need will remain at 6,000 teachers in 2020. However, this would mean that Germany would fall significantly behind in a European comparison. You would Programming as an elective introducing two hours per week from 8th grade onwards, the Teacher needs 2020 according to the Stifterverband and McKinsey 10.000 lie. A Plus of 67 percent. The Hoschul-Bildungs-Report 2020 goes one step further and calculates the necessary IT teachers, if Programming as a two-hour compulsory subject would be introduced from elementary school through secondary two. 2020 ladd the need for teachers 30.000, what a Plus of 400 percent would correspond to.

In order to really be able to introduce programming as an elective or even a compulsory subject, the The number of student teachers in the MINT areas should be increased in the long term. The current share would currently not be sufficient to implement one of the two scenarios. So for an immediate implementation Lateral and lateral entrants necessary. In addition to sufficient teachers, there is also the corresponding digital infrastructure necessary.

Conclusion - digitization and school

In an ever-evolving digital world, teaching basic digital skills in schools is more important than ever. Ways must be found To combine digitization and school. In addition to the well-considered use of digital media such as tablets in the classroom, the permanent inclusion of computer science lessons in the curriculum appropriate. In order to really understand the digital world, children and young people also need technical knowledge. Programming as part of the lesson also gives them the opportunity to help shape the digital world. Media skills and a responsible use of the Internet should of course also be topics that are addressed in school. Trained computer science teachers are of great importance for the implementation of this. To ensure this, it is necessary to recruit more new teacher training courses in the MINT subjects.

The University Education Report 2020 can be found here:

University Education Report 2020

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About the author J Bohlken