• “pay (CS) teachers more”: ain’t going to happen with current Union/Local Authority cabal; witness Mr Swinney’s travails.

If it needs to happen for our economy, it should. Could we create a new grade of teacher? The current system is failing, so it needs to be fixed, and it should not be because a union said no. Our kids are likely to face the most difficult economic environment for many decades, and we need to make sure they are fully supported in making the best of the opportunities that schools provide them. If we did not have enough Maths or English teachers, we would do something about it, so why not in Computer Science, and show all our kids the possibilities of this information age?

  • ditto “Get politicians to define a high-level KPIs” As Max Tegmark said on Sunday Brunch yesterday there is very little informed public discussion on such as AI (the new CS) apart from doom mongering.

Parents are tax-payers, and, if they feel strongly about supporting their kids and in building a strong economy, they can push politicians to make changes. If a school drops Computer Science, then parents should have some say on this. Other countries are investing heavily in creating a coding generation, but we sit back and watch our kids being switched-off before they even get to the point of enjoying creating things with technology.

  • “Cloud”, “Crypto”, “Blockchain” etc That’s a lot of tech to have school teachers master. Have you seen the maths in the next big thing: Differential Privacy, as advertised by Apple and used by such as Google in Federated Learning. Such are too advanced.

It doesn’t have to be complex. Drop the complexity in fact, and make it simple.

Cloud is simple. With a few few lines of Python and I can create a face recognition system, and two lines gives me a machine learning method. In another two lines I can create amazing charts in any form I like. If we use Python, it will just work no matter which system we use. In the Cloud, things are much simpler than they used to be, and in a few lines of code we can achieve things that would have take thousands of lines of code.

Blockchain is also not a difficult concept to understand, but it will have a massive change in our society, so why not tell kids about it, and let them debate the best way forward.

For cryptography, just teach them the basics of Bob and Alice, and public key encryption, as it will be a fundamental part of the world that they will be entering. The more complex things can come later, we just need to engage our kids with the opportunities (and the flaws) of this new world. Teach them about why the see the green padlock, and why it is so important (but how others can trick you with it).

Professor of Cryptography. Serial innovator. Believer in fairness, justice & freedom. EU Citizen. Auld Reekie native. Old World Breaker. New World Creator.

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