Cambridge University has joined the ranks of terribly prestigious universities giving computer science classes away online, releasing a 12-step course teaching how to create what it calls a "basic terminal Operating System" for the Raspberry Pi.
To create the OS you’ll need YAGARTO Tools and YAGARTO GNU ARM, a Raspberry Pi (not necessarily connected to a display), an SD card to insert into the Pi and a PC running Windows, Mac OS or Linux to get everything ready.
The tutorials start with some theory, progress into lessons explaining how to get a Pi's sole LED to turn on and off, and eventually explain how to display graphics and text. There's an obligatory Hello World exercise, and at the end of the course you'll have built a command line interface to play with, albeit one with just four commands. Read more...
The numbers might have been even higher if not for enrollment caps that some schools have put in place because they don't have enough faculty members, equipment or classrooms to meet demand, according to the Computing Research Association (CRA), which conducts the annual Taulbee survey.
"We don't have a way to gauge -- at least in the current survey -- how many students wanted to be admitted," said Peter Harsha, the CRA's director of government affairs. The association reported a 10% enrollment gain last year as well.
The steady gain in enrollments is a turnabout from what happened after the tech bubble burst in 2001. Read more...
Women may have come a long way in the high-tech field in the last 10 years, but there's still a lot of room for growth, according to a group of female tech executives.
And Marissa Mayer, a vice president at Google, said we're just not doing enough to get more women into the high-tech field.
"I think what we're really playing is a numbers game, " said Mayer, speaking as part of a panel at CNet's Women in Technology panel at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week. "Right now, it's a really great time to be a woman in technology -- but there aren't enough women in technology. I worry that a lot of times the conversation gets focused on what percentage of the pie is women. And the truth is the pie isn't big enough."
Part of the larger problem, she noted, is that the United States is not producing enough computer scientists.
"We're not producing enough product designers. We need more people to keep up with all these gadgets, all this tech and these possibilities and the jobs of the future," said Mayer. "We need a lot more people and if we grow that number, then the number of women, by nature, goes up." Read more...
Computer science found an unlikely champion today in the shape of education secretary Michael Gove - who promised to put "dull and demotivating" IT teaching to the sword.
But while few will mourn the passing of an IT curriculum that turned a generation of students off pursuing a career in tech, its hasty destruction could leave a vacuum that schools will struggle to fill.
Under Gove's proposal schools will no longer be bound to follow the current IT curriculum from September this year. From that point on they will be free to teach IT as they see fit, drawing on help from industry groups such as the British Computer Society (BCS), who have drawn up suggested IT curricula.
This freedom will, according to Gove, usher in a renaissance in IT teaching, one that will breed a new generation of tech-savvy students who will have created their first smartphone app before leaving secondary school.
Yet the precarious state of IT teaching in England highlighted in a recent report by Ofsted does not paint the picture of an school system with the know-how to reinvent itself by being left to its own devices. Read more...