Primary education: listening and observing
Primary education: listening and observing

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1 What do we mean by computing?

As you saw in Session 5, the way we talk about digital technologies varies depending on how and where they are used, and this is also true for computing.

Computing in primary schools is also known as ‘computer science’ or ‘informatics’. Countries including Australia, India, Finland, France, South Korea and the UK have integrated computing into the primary curriculum in recent years (Euractiv, 2015).

Definitions vary, but, for example, in schools in England computing is made up of three core strands: computer science, information technology and digital literacy.

The core of computing is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Building on this knowledge and understanding, pupils are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. Computing also ensures that pupils become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world

(Computing at School, 2014)

In Session 5 you looked at digital literacy for children, and in this session you will focus on aspects of computing for children. Computing is a subject that has lots in common with mathematics, and you can think of computing as a way for children to understand the world.

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