What a year! A look back at computing news of 2015
As we embark on 2016, we take a look back at some top picks of computing news from 2015, and celebrate the life of computers and computing!
In January, a survey commissioned by Microsoft and subject association Computing at School found that two-thirds of teachers were worried their students knew more about computing than they did, leading to calls for staff to be given more training in the subject.
The study also revealed that more than eight out of 10 teachers wanted more training and development after the first term of teaching the new subject.
In February this year, as part of its Inventive Britain series, Royal Mail issued a special issue commemorative Colossus stamp with a special launch in the Colossus Gallery at TNMOC.
In Royal Mail’s 2015 Year Book, Tommy Flowers and Colossus are honored again with a four-page article written by Prof Brian Randell of Newcastle University about the development of the code-breaking computer, the secrecy surrounding it, the eventual disclosure of its existence to the public in 1975 and Tony Sale’s subsequent tribute to it in the form of the Colossus Rebuild at The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC) at Bletchley Park near Milton Keynes, England.
In March, The House of Lords Digital Skills Committee called on any future government to address the growing shortage of young people capable of filling jobs in the technology sector by making digital literacy the third core subject alongside literacy and numeracy.
In April, after a 20 year study, researchers at Ohio State University found that watching TV or staring at computer for hours ‘does not cause short-sightedness’
In May, pupils are told they will learn about cyber-security, be taught about the methods fraudsters use to access information illegally online as well as learning about online viruses and firewalls under a new GCSE course by the OCR exam board. OCR said it is to boost “essential 21st century computing skills”.
In June, The Youth Sports Trust, a national charity that promoted physical education and sport, surveyed 1,000 children aged between five and 16 and found that 23 per cent of children “think playing a computer game with friends is a form of exercise”.
In July, iRights found in a report that children and young people lack the skills and knowledge necessary to navigate the risks of the internet or to benefit from its many opportunities.
In August, computing saw the biggest jump in entrants for GCSEs – rising by a whopping 111 per cent on last year to 35,000 in 2015.
GCSE and A-level results from Summer 2015 show a sharp rise in pupils opting for computing. However, despite an increase of more than double the number of candidates choosing to study computing at key stage 4 compared with last year, it seems the proportion of girls remains low. In fact accounting for just 8% of A-Level entries in the subject.
This led to speculation as to why girls lose interest in computing by the time they reach their teens.
In October, a study finds that playing video games is more likely to have a negative impact on a child’s GCSE results than using social media.
It was revealed in November that at St Clement Danes School in Hertfordshire, they have made the leap to employ three robots in classes to help with pupils learning experiences.
Last month, a breakthrough was announced in the field of quantum computing by Google. Google believe they have found a quantum algorithm that is 100 million times faster at solving problems than conventional processes. If confirmed, this discovery could not only lead to iRobot-style artificial intelligence but also advance the US space program by light years.