I have been invited to give a keynote lecture on the Induction day of the new Educational Computing students at UCL. It can be on a subject of my choosing. Unfortunately I am away on the date in question, but it did get me thinking about what I would say. How do I share my years of classroom experience with new teachers? What can I do to shortcut the miserable first year that they are likely to have and ensure that their passion for teaching doesn’t die but continues to flare? What golden nugget of wisdom could I pass on to them? I decided that I could adapt an old saying – you know the one about give a man a fish and feed him for a day, give a man a fishing rod and feed him for life. My adage is “Teach a child to code and you get them through a test, teach a child to think and you get them through life.”
Now I have no wish to belittle Computing or any other subject. Being knowledgeable is an admirable thing and certainly civilisation could not progress without the expert knowledge of individuals and teams. But if I could only give one gift to a child, much like the fairies in Sleeping Beauty, I wouldn’t give beauty or a sweet disposition (who the hell wants one of those anyway) I would give the ability to think. Because that pretty much covers all the bases.
And that explains my belief in the power of Roamer. I have seen with my own eyes, time and time again, how it can awaken children’s brains, and have been told by many many young adults how it develops a passion in them that they take with them into adulthood.
So that’s what my lecture would have been about. Unfortunately they won’t get to hear it. Maybe next year…