Are Welsh schools teaching enough digital skills?


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Pupils at Cardiff’s Ysgol Gyfun Bro Edern using iPads in lessons

In the past, relative prosperity in Wales came from iron, coal and heavy industry – but where will we make money and improve our economy in the future?

Doing innovative things with data and technology is often called the “digital economy” – this week we are looking at what is being done to grow it in Wales.

Here, Prof Tom Crick, a computer scientist at Cardiff Metropolitan University, asks whether our children are being taught sufficient digital skills.

In 2011, I was asked by BBC Wales to report on why ICT lessons needed to change in Wales.

Back then I was campaigning to change the curriculum. We should not just develop consumers of technology in schools, but challenge pupils to be makers and creators.

The Welsh Government agreed with the recommendations of the panel I co-chaired in 2013, and now changes are starting to be made.

Something called the Digital Competency Framework gives advice to schools and teachers on how to incorporate digital skills across all subjects.

It could be how to stay safe online, how to share information, how to research and evaluate sources or solve a problem with basic programming code.

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