Information systems valued

21st September 2007 at 01:00
In last week's paper, you reported that students were being turned off computer studies because it was boring and irrelevant. The problem with computing courses is that we should be studying information as well.

Today's society appears addicted to information. The current rush to broadband shows we can't get enough of it. The high accessibility, however, means educators need to understand about information itself. The business world has always formally analysed, understood and maximised the value of information: it is time for education to do the same. We need to look far beyond word processing and email skills.

In the curriculum at Eastwood High, we offer information systems from S3 upwards, from Intermediate 2 progressing to Higher. Core units at both levels re using information and relational databases. The optional unit is the internet, expert systems or applied multimedia. Problem-solving skills, akin to programming in traditional computing courses, are central to relational database normalisation.

With curriculum space for either information systems or computing, we have opted for the former, since it first appeared in Higher Still. My only criticism of its content is that the context could be less business-oriented and topics such as informatics should be added.

We need a major debate about where we are going before we lose the opportunity to forge some very important connections.

Ann Laird

PT computing, Eastwood High, East Renfrewshire

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