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4 Briefings 6 National digital strategy 8 Working as ‘one team’ 9 100 use cases for AI 12 Data bringing harmony 13 Te coding influencers 16 e-Sgoil makes the grade 18 Andreas Schleicher 20 Transforming history 21 Te school in the cloud 22 Having a ‘1:1’ 24 Sensor network for schools 26 Hidden secrets of dark web 29 Te rise of ransomware 30 Strong connections count 32 New vaccine certificate app 34 Health board’s digital plans

“We need to develop first class humans, not second- class robots”


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Andreas Schleicher, director for education and skills, OECD

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For daily tech news, events, and weekly newsletter go FUTURESCOT | SUMMER 2021 | 3 Halting the decline

Computing science in schools is a subject in “crisis” according to Mark Logan, the former Skyscanner executive whose vision for revitalising Scotland’s tech economy has become a key government priority. After publishing the Scottish Technology Ecosystem

Review last year, Logan is now overseeing its implementation, which includes a range of proposals for business, investment and education. His focus on boosting tech skills is likely to be one

of the hardest recommendations to realise, however, given how resistant the “system” has been to previous attempts at reform. Logan has secured the support of the teaching

community, though, and a new Digital Technology Education Charter launched in May is a grassroots movement gaining significant industry support. Tat is why we are backing Toni Scullion, the

inspiring computing science teacher leading the charge with not only great passion but everyday determination to bring about real change. She has identified the disconnect between what is an exciting, challenging and varied career in tech and

how the subject is taught in schools, which is too often “boring” and unstimulating. And that’s not mentioning the shocking gender

disparity at Higher level, where 80 per cent of its students are boys. In the words of Edinburgh Napier University’s eminent cryptographer Professor Bill Buchanan, if Scotland is to succeed in building a truly digital nation we need “tech creators, not tech users”. Tat message should be at front of mind for the

finance secretary Kate Forbes, whose support and encouragement for digital has given the sector a status boost at the highest government level. It could not be a more important time to instil

computing science skills in children, as Scotland’s institutions face ever-growing cyber threat levels. If we are to “build back better”, one of the first big

shifts in government policy for the next school year should be to urgently address the computing science teacher decline, and make the subject mandatory at secondary level, as called for by Logan.

Kevin O'Sullivan, Editor

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