Education Meets Industry

Due to the fact I wear several ‘hats’ in school, my remits often get to cross paths, this is one of those occasions, and probably one of the more exciting!

Along with another few schools in the authority we’re piloting Google Apps for Education. I was keen to be part of the trial following my Google Hangout with the St Louis International School of Milan in late 2015 as I think there’s huge potential for a positive impact in Education, particularly at the top end of the school.

My idea, and I say mine despite the fact I’m pretty certain it’s been done all over the world before, is to ask industry experts to give up 20-30 minutes of their time to have a Google Hangout (or Skype call) with senior classes to empart their knowledge. I’m thinking specifically of Higher and Advanced Higher classes, where those in industry have their fingers very much more ‘on the pulse’ that those in education. The big advantage for us in education being that we get the latest information straight from the horses mouth; is what I learned in my Computer Science degree in 2010 still relevant? Do employers still look for graduates with skills in PHP, MySQL & the normalisation process or are they looking for candidates who have a wealth of App Development experience?! By using video conferencing technology, we can ensure this information reaches multiple schools with minimal impact on the busy life of our willing presenter.
As for the guest speaker? Well surely the feeling of giving something back is enough…I jest! Given the press recently about the push to get more students interested in Computer Science (evident in the changes in GCSE offerings coupled with the BBC Micro:bit initiative) surely an inspirational, external speaker will do more to spur young people into a career in Computing more than their teacher who is 5+ years out of university! Investing a little bit of time in todays students may mean you see the return in a promising apprentice this time next year, or an enthusiastic graduate in 4 years time.

So what’s my point?!

I’m looking for experts, specifically those with a background in software development or analysis to give up a some time to discuss the Software Development Process with Higher & Advanced Higher candidates in my local authority. Someone with experience of Project Mandates or Project Specifications would be great but it’s not a requirement, I’m just looking for someone who can talk about how they decide if a project is worth pursuing and a very very brief overview of the process you follow.

Think you can help? Amazing! Drop me an e-mail paul AT mrcasey.org