back to article Education Secretary Gove: Tim Berners-Lee 'created the INTERNET'

Facebook, Microsoft, IBM and BT have been signed up by the Education Secretary Michael Gove - who thinks Tim Berners Lee is the "creator of the internet" - to offer industry insights into the type of computer science skills British school kids need to be equipped with for the workplace. A £20,000 scholarship was also announced …

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  1. Tom 15

    Hmm

    The most important thing for teaching is good teachers rather than good subject knowledge. A CompSci graduate is complete overkill for teaching computing to lower years.

    It's bound to be better than the rubbish ICT courses that existed before though...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmm

      "The most important thing for teaching is good teachers rather than good subject knowledge"

      No, it's a balance. An excellent French teacher probably can't teach Physics, a good Computer Scientist probably can't teach the subject, without being taught how to teach.

      Also, ICT is designed to teach how to use computers as an every day business tool, rather than teach how to program, which is irrelevant to most people. Computer Science is designed to teach how to program or teach about infrastructure, they are different courses which serve different purposes.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hmm

        "a good Computer Scientist probably can't teach the subject" I gather some can't even teach the basic's properly to under-grads, due to their lack of Pedagogy

      2. Mike Richards Silver badge

        Re: Hmm

        'No, it's a balance. An excellent French teacher probably can't teach Physics, a good Computer Scientist probably can't teach the subject, without being taught how to teach'

        I agree, but isn't the point of Gove's free schools to allow anyone to set up, run and teach in a school no matter what their qualifications (or otherwise)?

    2. NomNomNom

      Re: Hmm

      I disagree. If you are teaching "algorithms, data representation and logic" you need a teacher that gets it. Just as if you are teaching math you need a teacher who knows how multiplication works.

      Without good subject knowledge the teacher will be rendered nothing more than a discipline enforcer. A good teacher might be able to detect the kids aren't "getting it" but if they don't understand what they are teaching they won't be able to fix that. They might indeed not "get it" themselves and be stuck trying to figure out why little johnny has done wrong in exercise 5b. Nothing is worse for kids to see than the teacher getting confused. In that situation the bad teachers tend to get angry. Lessons will descend into "follow the textbook and be quiet".

      CompSci graduate requirement isn't overkill at all. Quite the opposite in my opinion. Many CompSci graduates don't understand algorithms, data representation and logic and would also be unable to teach the subject.

      Frankly I think the idea has little hope. Finding math teachers is kind of easy because the whole population understands basic math. But logic, algorithms and data structures? Very few in comparison and there are a lot of jobs other than teaching for those that do (unlike math). I imagine all that will be accomplished is the attracting of a new type of "autistic pedo" to schools. P.E teaching pedos are at least predictable.

      1. Tom Wood

        Re: Hmm

        " Many CompSci graduates don't understand algorithms, data representation and logic and would also be unable to teach the subject."

        Not sure where these graduates are getting their degrees, then? CS graduates from any decent uni should know all this stuff.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hmm

        @Nomnomnom: I was with you until you started going on about pedo (sic) teachers.

        Seriously, what they hell are you on about? Get a grip.

        1. NomNomNom

          Re: Hmm

          "Not sure where these graduates are getting their degrees, then? CS graduates from any decent uni should know all this stuff."

          But I was talking about UK universities.

        2. Admiral Grace Hopper

          Re: Hmm

          "Not sure where these graduates are getting their degrees, then? CS graduates from any decent uni should know all this stuff."

          Having worked with many fresh-faced graduates clutching shiny CS degree certificates I can aver from direct experience that there are several universities churning out CS graduates ignorant of logic, data representation and algoirithms.

        3. localzuk

          Re: Hmm

          @Tom Wood - problem is, they aren't just looking for Comp Sci grads. They're looking for any graduate...

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hmm

          '...Not sure where these graduates are getting their degrees, then? CS graduates from any decent uni should know all this stuff.'

          Hah, a recent example, I know of one CS graduate I wouldn't let near a Ti Speak&Spell, let alone any sort of programmable computer. You hit the nail on the head with 'decent uni', want to know where these muppets are getting their degrees?.

          Her degrees (yes, plural) were rubber-stamped by a Poly-turned-Uni as part of their 'outreach' program (i.e. the local 'college of Hairdressing' offers a CS degree course, they accredit it and dish out the papers..).

          The particular example I'm talking about here, wouldn't know a B-tree algorithm if it jumped up and bit her (and, if I may say so, it would have to be a rather daring and brave algorithm to try such a feat), let alone have the programming nous to implement it.

          In case anyone thinks I'm being slightly misogynistic, I've had the pleasure of working with many talented female IT professionals over the decades, and it fscking annoys me that this one will be used as an example as to why women are 'useless at IT' wherever she goes, and possibly prejudice the employers against hiring another woman in the future. (I'm using 'IT' to mean 'anything computer related', sloppy, I know...)

          On the bright side, however, she *will* 'poison the well' as far as anyone who is foolish enough to employ her is concerned apropos employing anyone in the future with Degrees from either the 'hairdressers' and 'rubber-stampers' institutions, once bitten and all that. The sad thing here is that there *are* some people coming through this system who *are* capable, and they'll be overlooked thanks to the actions of idiots like her. Maybe eventually the 'awarding bodies' will get the message about handing out 'bits of paper' like party favours and implement some sort of quality control, it may look good on some of the figures to have lots of graduates, but it has already been noted by the bean-counters that very few of them are getting jobs in their chosen fields, and the knives are being sharpened (or so I've heard..)

          Like I said at the start, this is a (very) recent example. Having been in this game for a couple of decades I can think of other people I've come across over the years who, despite having the requisite paper qualifications, in a couple of cases awarded by Universities in the top 10 world listings, I've found to be almost totally useless (Cue: stories about the Camford idiot who trashed two years worth of someone else's research data and other similar jolly reminiscences...), it doesn't really matter who issued the degree, there are some/a lot of people out there with paper qualifications who are, putting it bluntly, totally fucking useless, and this isn't just true of people with Degrees, it's applicable across the board regarding all paper 'award' systems.

          (P.S. The person I'm taking about as the 'recent example' has yet to be employed in any computer/IT related work since gaining their last degree in 2010, the Universe is safe...for the moment)

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hmm

        >Finding math teachers is kind of easy because the whole population understands basic math.

        You must be joking, right?

        Or is math == numeracy in your world?

        1. NomNomNom
          Trollface

          Re: Hmm

          Do I look like I am joking??

          1. Gio Ciampa

            Re: Hmm

            Michael? Is that you? Internet != Web and Teacher != Pedo

            1. Gio Ciampa

              Re: Hmm

              (aimed at NomNomNom by the way)

      4. edkirk
        WTF?

        Re: Hmm

        "Finding math teachers is kind of easy because the whole population understands basic math. But logic, algorithms and data structures?"

        You do realise that "logic" is a field of mathematics in this context and that "algorithms and data structures" are an area of computer science heavily rooted mathematics right? Being a recent "CompSci graduate" in theoretical and applied CS I know this.

      5. Richard Jones 1

        Re: Hmm

        Many years ago I was taught maths by a teacher who really did not 'get' maths - yet he was said to be one of the best there was at making a dense subject accessible so that pupils understood.

        Why?

        Because he taught the method behind maths, (I am not talking basic times tables addition subtraction and division.)

        He was successful because he had to lay out the subject so clearly, that even he could follow the material - that is not an insult he was a classics scholar and would have freely admitted his problem.

        He had a grip on the way that things had to be put across clearly, logically and openly. I suspect he might well have been the same with all subjects.

        Some of the least successful are those whose superior knowledge makes them resent having to present material in a simple, clear, open way.

        So finding 'x subject' teachers is not easy, because finding people with the skills and the desires to put the material across is hard, the pre GCSE and GCSE syllabus material might have been designed to blunt even the most interest pupil or teacher but that is another story.

        Some teachers have the ability some do not and I am not at all sure it is something that can be taught. I am certain that taking anyone disappointed by the results of their own studying and expecting to turn them into high achieving teachers is plain daft

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Who taught you classics?

          Maybe your classics teacher and your maths teacher wandered into the wrong rooms at the beginning of the year and couldn't be arsed to switch back.

      6. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Hmm

        >Finding math teachers is kind of easy because the whole population understands basic math

        Finding maths teachers is easy because the school curriculum has about as much math in it as ICT has computer science.

    3. Keith Langmead

      Re: Hmm

      "The most important thing for teaching is good teachers rather than good subject knowledge. A CompSci graduate is complete overkill for teaching computing to lower years."

      I disagree, the most important things for a teacher other than the ability to teach are enjoyment and knowledge of the subject. If the teacher doesn't have a passion for what they teach then that will come across to the students and the lessons will be boring. Think of those great teachers you've had that engaged with the class and generated excitement about their subject, they're the ones encourage students to learn. I can't imagine an arts grad who decides to do this for the extra beer tokens being nearly as good as a computer geek who wants to pass their knowledge on.

      A CompSci graduate may well be overkill for many students, but the same could be said for science teachers with degree's in their chosen subject. When a gifted student gets ahead of the class and asks tricky questions attempting to push themselves, that's when that additional knowledge comes in and becomes important.

    4. john devoy

      Re: Hmm

      Teachers teach all years; i haven't seen a secondary school with enough teachers to have them teaching only specific age groups.

  2. Andraž 'ruskie' Levstik

    so in other words....

    two ad salesmen, a service guy, a telco guy and a mix of the lot will try to show what's important for IT tech... Sounds like a plan...

  3. foo_bar_baz
    Facepalm

    D'oh

    Get it right, Mr. Secretary. Sir Tim created the *Interwebs*!

    1. James 139

      Same old problem all the media and non-technical people seem have.

      Internet is NOT the Web.

      Hard drive is NOT memory.

      Information Superhighway IS a retarded term.

      The "big boxy thing with the cup holder" is NOT a CPU.

      You do NOT "log on" to a website unless you input a username and/or password.

      1. Chika
        Alert

        Yes, and the "big boxy thing with the cup holder" is also NOT the Hard Drive

        The power switch on the monitor does NOT switch the whole system off

        The browser is NOT the only thing on the Internet

        1. Gordon 11

          Re: D'oh

          Microsoft is NOT the only desktop software provider.

          (Apple is NOT the only fruit.... etc.)

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          > the "big boxy thing with the cup holder" is also NOT the Hard Drive

          'course not - that's the CPU!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            All I can say is better MS, Facebook and IBM get an input and not you guys. I got bored of reading through all of that pointless discussion.

            Shining example of tech brilliance there, well done. Oh look a hair, anyone care to split it?

      2. foo_bar_baz
        Happy

        Heresy!

        Next thing you'll be saying my monitor is not the computer!

        1. Thomas 4

          Re: Heresy!

          How's that 15 year old purple iMac doing these days? =p

        2. tirk
          Coat

          Next thing you'll be saying my monitor is not the computer!

          No, the tape drives are (he said, showing his age).

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: my monitor is not the computer!

          And the box under the desk is NOT the "CPU"

        4. elderlybloke
          Paris Hilton

          Re: Heresy!

          Dear foo_bar_baz,

          My beloved wife once asked me if she could play her games if though the Box wasn't there.

          (Box was away on R&R)

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Err...

        Hard drive is memory.

        You do log on to a website, it's just the browser handles all the hand-shaking for you.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Err...

          "You do log on to a website, it's just the browser handles all the hand-shaking for you."

          No you really don't. You send an HTTP GET, the website returns what you requested. There's no "hand-shaking" involved after the TCP 3-way handshake. If you consider the TCP handshake to be a "logon", that's only because you don't know what you're talking about.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Err...

            If I have not got a connection with a server and "something happens", then I do have a connection to that server and sessions on it, I've logged on to it.

            1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

              Re: Err...

              Con you've connected to it, and the TCP connection is established.

              That's not logging onto it, that's connecting to it. There's been no authentication involved, so you're not logged on .

              The term largely arose from the fact that the system tends to log who's logged in (though not generally the case with web stuff, admittedly). All that's being logged prior to that (if anything) are the requests you're making.

              You're not logging onto abc.com you're accessing it.

              Ultimately though, it's all semantics and rather moot.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Err...

              Too many pedants on here...

              RAM is memory.

              Hard drive is storage.

              Say what you like, but that's the way it is 'cos I and everyone who says likewise deem it so, and we know more than you :p

              Also, more Megahertzes does NOT always mean it's faster.

              And you don't ignore things by "x-ing out of them".

              1. Don Jefe
                Happy

                Re: Err...

                Pendants on an IT related site? Goodness. Who would have thought that the techies would do online what they do at work: Resulting in a huge lack of respect with the general public & their managers.

                If you go to a doctor and say "my knee hurts" they don't reply with 'Well, I can't do anything about that because you haven't used the technical term. I need to know exactly what part of your knee hurts."

                1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

                  Re: Err...

                  If you go to a doctor and say "my knee hurts" they don't reply with 'Well, I can't do anything about that because you haven't used the technical term. I need to know exactly what part of your knee hurts"

                  Actually my doctor does tend to ask exactly which bit of my knee hurts, which I must admit is almost preferable to him poking me to find out. I say almost because it's normally by him prodding my knee anyway.

                  Sometimes you need extra detail, "My computer isn't working" isn't a whole lot of good, especially if what they mean is they can't get Excel to open. It can be taken too far though, asking them which of their drives is making the noise they're reporting is probably a step too far.

                  1. TBx

                    My Knee Hurts.

                    If I tell my doctor (G.P.) my knee hurts she sends me to the knee doctor (physiotherapist). Then types up her good work on the internet,web,hard drive,memory apple thing.

                2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

                  Re: Err...

                  > 'Well, I can't do anything about that because you haven't used the technical term. I need to know exactly what part of your knee hurts."

                  True - but if you took the car to the garage and said; the engines broke, when you mean you have a flat tire then they might be a little confused

                3. W.Hower

                  Re: Err...

                  I don't mean to be a pedent, but I think you'll find that Techies can be dicks as much as the next department, impenetrable legalese, financial jargon, marketing nonsense.

                4. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Err...

                  "...Pendants on an IT related site?..."

                  I think you'll find there's no N before the D.

                  [Sorry to be pendantic!]

                  1. pPPPP

                    Re: Err...

                    The one that gets me is when people say their computer "forgot" their documents.

                    The analogy to use with such people is that memory is the same as what's in your head. The hard drive's the same as when you have to write it down because you'd forget otherwise. And if you turn off your computer it will forget everything it hasn't written down.

              2. Jaybus

                Re: Err...

                " And you don't ignore things by x-ing out of them".

                Unless, of course, you are using a Mac.

        2. Chemist

          Re: Err...

          "Hard drive is memory"

          Yes, I agree BUT I've met many intelligent but computer naive people who thought the hard drive was the ONLY memory.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Hmm...

        Tedious semantic definitions do put new people off careers in IT.

        You don't need to know these specific definitions where the colloquialism will do, yes if a consultant used them I wouldn't be too impressed, but if a newbe used them, who cares?

      5. Badvok
        Mushroom

        Pedant

        But ...

        "Internet is NOT the Web." - to all and sundry who only ever experience the internet through their web browser the term is synonymous these days - and like most words that make up our wonderful language the definition of a word is defined by common usage, not by what a few techies think it should be.

        "Hard drive is NOT memory." - Errr.... yes it is! It may not be solid-state memory but it is certainly memory - or perhaps you live in some strange world where hard drives don't remember what is written to them?

        "The "big boxy thing with the cup holder" is NOT a CPU." - but it is what contains the CPU and that is the important bit.

        "You do NOT "log on" to a website unless you input a username and/or password." - wow, you actually live in a world where most websites don't track your sessions?

        1. Pete B
          FAIL

          Re: Pedant

          "or perhaps you live in some strange world where hard drives don't remember what is written to them?"

          or maybe he uses Excelstor hard drives? We had a batch with 100% failure rate under warranty; the ones replaced under warranty even then failed themselves, still within the original warranty.

          Icon self explanatory..

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Pedant

            @Pete B - Those drives are still memory, it's just they rather incontinently became write only memory...

            http://www2.vmi.edu/Faculty/squirejc/Research/IC_Datasheets/digital_cmos/Write%20Only%20Memory.pdf

        2. dajames Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: Pedant

          "Hard drive is NOT memory." - Errr.... yes it is!

          WIWAL "memory" meant magnetic cores -- what we call a "hard drive" today would have been "backing store". The distinction was that the "memory" could be addressed directly by the processor, while anything in backing store had to be copied into "memory" before it could be processed.

          These days, of course, the main system RAM of a PC is in a sense "backing store" as there are at least two levels of cache between it and the CPU. Funny how terminology wears out!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Pedant

            I still use "backing store" to describe cloud storage without being more specific.

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

            2. Mr Anonymous

              Re: Pedant

              > I still use "backing store" to describe cloud storage without being more specific.

              Cloud storage, that'll be an HTTP/FTP server on the Internet then.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Pedant

                No, it isn't. My databases and my system images are stored on logical volumes in some attached storage farm somewhere in cyberspace. Those logical volumes are the backing store. I don't keep working data on my servers, as that way a new image can be rolled out whenever necessary, by replicating an image from the backing store. I can also backup databases either by on-line replication or by making a copy of an offline database on another volume. Do try to keep up with this cloud stuff, dear boy.

          2. Jaybus

            Re: Pedant

            Much of the literature used the term "secondary storage", rather than "backing store". Secondary, in the sense that it could not be accessed across the memory bus by either a CPU or a DMA controller. Modern CPUs indeed only preform instructions on cached memory, and a memory controller is used to move data across the memory bus between cache and RAM. Nevertheless, system memory is still accessed via the memory bus, whereas secondary storage, such as a hard drive, is not. In any case the memory controller is an integral part of the CPU chip these days.

        3. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: Pedant

          "you actually live in a world where most websites don't track your sessions?"

          Er, yeah. There's an option in my browser to deny them access to the cookies they need in order to do that. HTTP is a stateless protocol.

          And apropos the original remark that led us down this path: You do not "log on" to anything without some pretence at proving that you are the same person as you were last time. If there's no "state", there's no "memory of who you were last time".

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Pedant

            I think you'll find it uses TCP so it IS stateful.

            1. TRT Silver badge

              Re: Pedant

              When I worked at Radio Shack in Canada, I got a brief North America regionalisation briefing by my manager. One thing I recall her saying is "And if people come in here asking about batteries for the convertor, they usually mean the remote control for the cable convertor; it was the first battery remote many people had seen so they started calling the remote the "convertor" and the convertor itself they called a "cable box". Just so you know. Oh, and the remote for the TV? That's the clicker. Even if it doesn't."

            2. feanor

              Re: Pedant

              It's stateful at Layer4 perhaps, but as already pointed out to be "logged on" implies authentication of a user. So he was talking about stateful at the application layer, which HTTP is not. When you provide user specific authetication you are considered to be "logged on"

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Pedant

                @feanor

                I tried to troll, and failed.

            3. Ken Hagan Gold badge

              Re: "I think you'll find it uses TCP so it IS stateful."

              Running a stateless protocol over a stateful one does not make it stateful, any more than sending broadcast packets over a point-to-point link makes them unicast, or using perfect grammar makes an erroneous statement any less wrong.

            4. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Cost

              Originally it was said "You do log on to a website, it's just the browser handles all the hand-shaking for you."

              Now it appears to arguing for the sake of arguing. So my tuppence is that even if you call the connection stateful, it is only with the machine and not the webserver service running the http service which normal users call....a website.

              Either way you are accessing a website. Logging in/on to a website is something is something different.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Pedant

          And "brightness" only adjusts the screen, not the user..

          (saw that somewhere)

        5. Mr Anonymous

          Re: Pedant

          A hard drive is mass storage.

      6. No, I will not fix your computer
        Thumb Down

        Re: Hard drive is NOT memory.

        That is being rather picky, I always used to say (to people who didn't understand comupters) that computers have short-term memory for things you're working on, lost when you turn the power off (RAM) and long-term memory for things that you want to store away (hard drive/floppy/cd).

        Besides, if a disk isn't memory remind me what CDROM stands for.....?

        (ps. "retarded" is a rather non PC term, PC... get it?)

        1. Steve Knox
          Boffin

          Re: Hard drive is NOT memory.

          Besides, if a disk isn't memory remind me what CDROM stands for.....?

          As far back as I can recall, CD-ROM stood for Compact Disc - Read Only Medium.

          While wikipedia may disagree, the standards (ISO 9660/ECMA-119 and ISO 10149/ECMA-130) do not expand the acronym (they're also rather inconsistent on the use of the dash...) -- so absent an official definition, I would choose the logical one: CD-ROM certainly is a medium; whether or not it is memory depends on the very term under debate. It does not make sense to use the debated term to define a term being used to justify one position on the term under debate -- therein lies circular logic, so I will continue to define the acronym as I have above, until an authoritative source can be found.

      7. Tony Gosling
        Angel

        and "hits" are not a sensible measure of how popular a website is (should be unique visitors or at least pageviews)

  4. Goldmember
    Thumb Up

    Ha ha ha

    That link to the Escort agency directly from the DfE site is fantastic.

    Well done Gove & Co, your incompetence has certainly brightened up my Friday. And if you carry on like this, you'll make sure my job (as a programmer) is safe from competition for MANY years to come.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Ha ha ha

      Obviously a page layout problem, it should have been in the "Government Procurement" section just above.

      1. frank ly Silver badge

        @Phil Re: Ha ha ha

        I'd have thought 'Temporary Staff', for various reasons :)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ha ha ha

        Somebody has to hire all those helpful short term very personal assistants for when the armaments industry needs to do a spot of flogging military tat to foreign governments. Surely this is just part of the service?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Facepalm

      Re: Ha ha ha

      Decide whether to buy or lease ICT hardware - these two options can involve very different costs.

      Decide whether to buy equipment in conjunction with an installation and testing service, or even as a whole managed service.

      Identify whether the supplier is able to provide cost effective maintenance and servicing.

      If buying more than just equipment set up a service level agreement, stating what is expected from the supplier - include targets such as, response times and what to do if equipment is proving unreliable or faulty.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ha ha ha

        I'm sorry, is this about ICT hardware or the escort service?

        Buying, leasing or renting does involve very different upsides and downsides in both cases. As do the rest of your considerations.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    nice dress

    is all :-D

  6. Anonymous Cowerd
    Facepalm

    *facepalm*

    sigh

  7. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    He can get a column with the Wall Street Journal

    A few months ago, a columnist there decided the government was not responsible for the development of the Internet. His evidence was largely Xerox PARC, which developed "the ethernet". The tech community was not impressed.

  8. Captain TickTock
    Trollface

    He's been reading Dan Brown

    In Angels & Demons, CERN proudly claims to have invented the internet.

    So it must be true!

  9. Christian Berger Silver badge

    Education needs to start from a base

    That's why I'm all for mandatory programming classes. Just like with math, school children need to have a basic understanding what a computer is.

    A school child can watch "The Numberwang Code" and understand that it's all complete nonsense. They know that numbers are neither good or evil or neutral. They understand that there are no deadly numbers. That won't make them mathematicians, not even by a long shot, but it gives them some basic understanding.

    However when it comes to IT people are clueless. They believe in cyber terrorism as if IT systems somehow had intrinsic vulnerabilities. They believe in "copy protection" although computers are more or less designed to copy data. They probably even believe that "privacy" settings at Facebook mean anything to that company, or that they somehow can magically make data disappear from the Internet.

    If children would have a basic understanding of what a computer is, and if they would have understood a basic loop, they could make informed decisions in their lives. Then you can start teaching about such media and they will understand why they are like they are.

    However there's little profit in this, therefore politicians won't allocate any resources for it. It's just the future of your society, no politician cares about that.

    1. Elmer Phud Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Education needs to start from a base

      Yeah but . . .

      Gove seems to not understand the difference between ICT and Computer Science.

      Best not to tell him, though, about primary schools using things like Scratch - poor lamb would only get confused.

    2. NomNomNom

      Re: Education needs to start from a base

      Mandatory programming classes at secondary school is the kind of move needed if this country was serious about dominating the technology sector. We could have too. I am sure that if the government had made programming and computing a mandatory proper GCSE subject 20 years ago the UK would now dominate the technology sector. Many of the Googles, microsofts (well perhaps not that one), Apples, Facebooks and Twitters would all have been invented in the UK.

      Of course our government and the complicit population are fucking morons led by a ruthlessly self-interested media. There is zero strategic thinking in government in this country. Perhaps because MPs don't need to know jack shit to do their jobs and only have to worry about surviving elections, so I suspect they don't even understand the need to TRAIN the population for specific skills as a strategic move for the future (long after they've retired). They probably just consider education a process involving reading shakespeare to get a certificate which you can trade in to get an office job.

      So whereas Blair could have introduced a radical change in school to introduce subjects that would educate the population towards the obvious direction of technology, we instead get an Iraq War. Brilliant strategic thinking. They seriously are a bunch of fucking twats.

      1. Piro
        Thumb Up

        Re: Education needs to start from a base

        Well said, no argument from me.

    3. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      Re: Education needs to start from a base

      "Just like with math, "

      and pelling.

  10. edge_e
    FAIL

    I can't believe this would happen...

    Mistaking Tim Berners Lee for the creator of the internet would be like mistaking a blind man with a white stick for a psycho with a samurai sword

    1. Thomas 4

      Re: I can't believe this would happen...

      In fairness I would derive a certain satisfaction from watching Michael Gove get tasered though.

    2. NomNomNom

      Re: I can't believe this would happen...

      In fairness, in movies the "harmless" blind ones always turn out to be the most dangerous kung-fu master. If I was the cop I would use that exact defense.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Berners-lee invented the world wide web, but he also invented the internet.

    Definition here: - The intern net, a device for capturing gifted interns so that they can work at CERN

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tim Berners-Lee? I thought everyone knows it was Al Gore.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BCS

    Given the outputs I have seen from the BCS over the years I don't think I would consider them any more qualified to comment on the needs of the computer industry than Gove.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. Nev Silver badge

    But is Gove as bad as Jeremy Hunt...

    Who believes taking pure water can cure all and any illness...?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    > Education Secretary Gove: Tim Berners-Lee 'created the INTERNET'

    Tim Berners-Lee: Education Secretary Gove 'fucking idiot'.

  16. james 68

    heh

    gotta admit though. its a lot closer to the truth than what american schoolchildren are taught about how al gore invented the internet using a series of magical mystery tubes.

  17. nigel 15
    Facepalm

    The Distinction....

    ...between WWW and internet is actually relatively esoteric in the mainstream. it being fairly common to use the two interchangeably.

    hardly something to scoff with haughty derision at.

    1. captain veg

      Re: The Distinction....

      One is a platform, the other an application. It would be like confusing "a computer" for "Microsoft Excel".

      -A.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The Distinction....

        @Captain Veg. No, it really wouldn't.

        1. feanor

          Re: The Distinction....

          Yes, it really would. The Internet is a physical network and all the logical structures related to packet layer communications. The World Wide Web is an application. As is DNS, FTP, Gopher, email etc. The two are entirely distinct.

          Its really like saying that the telephone network is the same as the emergency services because you access the emergency service via the telephone network.

          Derp.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: The Distinction....

            >The Internet is a physical network and all the logical structures related to packet layer communications.

            Or the internet is a protocol on top of the wired network - or actually these days generally on top of some other packet protocol.

            It's friday and I'm feeling pedantic

      2. browntomatoes

        Re: The Distinction....

        I think it would be more like confusing "using a car" with "using the road" (or even "inventing cars" with "inventing roads").

      3. nigel 15

        Re: The Distinction....

        @captain veg

        you'll notice i didn't ask what the distinction was. i just pointed out that in common usage they are often regarded as synonyms.

        the mistake is more of Hoover / vacuum cleaner interchange. it is absolutely nothing like confusing "a computer" for "Microsoft Excel" nothing at all.

        1. feanor

          Re: The Distinction....

          Wrong wrong, wrongity wrong wrong.

          The computer / Excel analog is entirely correct.

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: The Distinction....

      "hardly something to scoff with haughty derision at"

      Unless, of course, the context was "education", in which case getting your definitions right might be considered a pre-requisite to being taken seriously. Oh, hang on, this is a government minister we're talking about. No-one was ever likely to take him seriously. (A pity he's in charge, then, but still.)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        But this is Gove

        Everybody who knows him says how intelligent he is.

        Think about who knows him...and be very afraid indeed.

  18. TomChaton

    Sage?

    It isn't the "job of policy makers to ensure our children don't access this type of material".

    I wouldn't trust the majority of "policy makers" (whatever that actually means; substitute the word "policy" with the word "useless white noise" and it's perhaps a bit closer to the truth) to collect my recycling, let alone bring up my children.

  19. Lamont Cranston

    So near, yet so far.

    Gove's still a bellend, but I do have to give him some (grudging) credit for recognising that ICT teaching in this country leaves a lot to be desired.

    Still, asking facebook to get involved? Will my kids homework come back with a "Like" on it?

  20. Tom 38 Silver badge
    FAIL

    What is worse?

    A politician who doesn't know the difference between the Internet and the WWW, or a tech site that doesn't know the difference between the Internet and the internet.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: What is worse?

      "the difference between the Internet and the internet"

      Had you said "the Internet and an internet", I might have had some sympathy, but you didn't and neither did El Reg. Even "the one and only one true Internet(tm)" is still distinct from the web, and even people like Gove ought to be aware of this, since *surely* he has heard of email?

      If you are determined to blur all useful technical distinctions, at least have the decency to call it the "interwebs" or "tubes" so that everyone knows you are doing so.

  21. Ben Norris
    Thumb Down

    The problem isn't a lack of IT teachers at all but the general method. A seperate subject for advanced stuff and to improve skills is great but all the other subjects should be done using computers all the time just like in the workplace. Teachers of other subjects need to improve on their IT skills.

    At the moment we have the equivalent of 1 or 2 pens per class, once in a while a whole class gets one for a single lesson! Other countries have a pc or tablet per child all the time. We are *not* a world leader and will continue to be left further and further behind

  22. This Side Up
    Headmaster

    Re: What is worse"

    "A politician who doesn't know the difference between the Internet and the WWW, or a tech site that doesn't know the difference between the Internet and the internet."

    There is no such thing as the internet.

    There is Internet Protocol though. Internet means 'between networks'.

  23. Robert E A Harvey
    Headmaster

    deispite all the argument above

    The fundamental point for me is

    Gove == Idiot

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: deispite all the argument above

      >The fundamental point for me is

      >Gove == Idiot

      Even more worryingly, compared with almost every other minister that has buggered around with education in the last 20 years - he isn't.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    no no no! the big blue E is for the enterweb.

  25. JimmyPage Silver badge
    FAIL

    The shame of it is

    back in the early 80s, the UK was light years ahead of the rest of the world when it came to computing in education. Every *class* had a BBC micro by 1985. Even the US got worried by how quickly we'd started running with the ball.

    Not quite sure what went wrong.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: The shame of it is

      >Not quite sure what went wrong.

      The advantages of mastering:

      10 print "johnny is a w_nker"

      20 goto 10

      In the global economy, was rather less than we thought?

  26. feanor

    And what a brilliant wheeze to bring in MS, that company that is so innovative and forward thinking that they dismissed the internet as a "fad"

    Gove is such an idiot, and yet he dares to try to tell us about education. Somebody tell him what irony means.

  27. James Gosling
    Headmaster

    I think...

    What is frustrating is that the people who use these incorrect terms are generally people who have taken the trouble to enrol on some sort of computer training course (like ECDL) and they have been taught this nonsense by people who have used a computer for a few months and now consider themselves an expert. I fully accept that these classes don't need to be taught by professors in IT, but when you don't get the basics right you set these poor students up for ridicule (rightly or wrongly).

    As for IT as a subject in Secondary Schools, I do wonder if it's not a waste of time. Computers are an essential part of life, yes, but they cross the curriculum. You do not need to study IT to use a computer. If you want to learn IT you are probably better studying it in further/continued education where it can be given the depth of experience it requires.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: I think...

      That's the difference between ICT and CS.

      ICT (=typing up your HW in Word) crosses the curriculum and other than perhaps having typing lessons in junior school alongside learning joined-up-writing - probably doesn't need it's own GCSE

      CS is a reasonably genuine subject, it's either applied maths or applied engineering. So just like all the other sciences are applied physics but they still get their own classroom.

  28. Msnthrp
    Thumb Down

    Algore?

    The only thing Algore ever invented was Algore. He lies a lot.

    1. This Side Up
      Coat

      Re: Algore?

      Did he invent the algorithm?

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    42

    That's Numberwang!

    1. NomNomNom

      Re: 42

      my favorite was the episode where they accidentally said numberwank

  30. Arachnoid
    Trollface

    "My computer isn't working" isn't a whole lot of good, especially if what they mean is they can't get Excel to open"

    Is the internet down my explorer wont connect?

  31. pewpie
    Childcatcher

    Puh! Oh!!

    Buh!!!

  32. Alexander Hanff 1
    WTF?

    Maybe our Education Secretaries/Ministers should study cognitive/developmental pyschology

    Am I the only one who finds it seriously dodgy that our education ministers are trying to tell us what type of teachers we need when they have zero grasp of cognitive/developmental or educational psychology? Do you suppose Gove even knows who people like Donaldson and Piaget are or does he think they invented the toilet seat?

    As someone who studied computer science a loooong time ago and also as a recent (ish) graduate in Information Systems (posh name for ICT) I recognise that both subjects are completely different and both are just as necessary as each other.

    99.99999% of computer users (whether for pleasure or work) need to know absolutely nothing about computer science but they do need to know how to use computers for things like spreadsheets, presentations, email, MIS, workflow, CRM, accounts, POs etc etc etc.

    As someone who has taught thousands of people in an industrial environment who were forced to go from paper systems to workflows fully managed by software, I can say from experience that Gove is an ass.

  33. bexley

    teaching is a skill in itself

    I have met plenty of decent enough engineers who are terrible at training others.

    If you know how to teach properly (and being a trained academic teacher does not necessarily mean that you know how to teach properly) and you can research your subject matter then you can teach anybody anything at all.

    You don't need to have a degree in computer science to teach people computer related subjects, the ability to coach and train is way more important

  34. IT veteran
    Thumb Down

    If computer science is so important

    Why is it not part of the E-Bacc, whilst Latin is?

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gove

    The muppets muppet. No cabinet in recent years would be complete without one, someone so vile and instantly dislikable they add a touch of gloss and star quality to the mere 'complete losers' by comparison.

  36. Mr Anonymous

    Way to go Gove, invite the problem, Microsoft, to be the solution. Back to school for you.

  37. J.G.Harston Silver badge
    FAIL

    Hold on. This article is dated 19th October. I've just been to the scholarship application website and it says: closing date 2nd October.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tim Berners-Lee 'created the INTERNET'

    Where the web was born

  39. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge
    Big Brother

    RE: What is worse?

    "A politician who doesn't know the difference between the Internet and the WWW, "

    When it comes to taxing and regulating it, the less they know about things other than the Web, the better.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @everyone

    It's maths with a feckin' S on the end, because it's a contraction of "mathematics". It's not "math". Saying "math" makes you sound like an arth!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: @everyone

      Or American. The actual word is mathematics as you state. Math and maths are just abbreviations. Strictly speaking they should both be suffixed with full stops (or periods).

      The language has evolved since we colonised the world. And everyone's English came from the same place originally. You can fight it, but it's ultimately not worth it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @everyone

        Math would need a full stop (period) as it is missing the rest of the word. maths does not require a period as the last letter is at the end of the word.

        And that should be colonized (the original and still the best).

  41. Oliver 4
    FAIL

    Google thinks so too!

    According to Google he did invent the internet.

    Google "who invented the internet" and the top spot is TBL's wiki entry - so it must be true!

  42. MR J

    Bigger story was missed here.

    The fact that our IT is so bad they are going to start teaching children Facebook and Office to try and get them back on track!....

    My sons school doesnt support Open or LibreOffice and think every parent should buy MicrosoftOffice to do the "ICT" courses.

  43. dontwantahandle

    I hope to God none of you ever attempt to teach. The problem with Gove's little fantasy (mirrored in The Thick of It) is that when people turn up to work they need to know how to use Word, Excel and Outlook. They do not need to know how to write some silly thing for a mobile.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No, they need to be taught how to use a word processor or a spreadsheet. Knowing the concepts (Style sheets, Kerning, orphan text etc.) enables you to use the application (even Wordstar). If you only know how to use a specific application, then the industry stagnates.

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