Gordon McKinlays’ post about the teaching of Computing in Scottish schools very much endorses my feelings as an ex Computing PT. The subject has had a very mixed existence highlighted by the fact that the name kept changing from Computer Education to Computing Studies to Computing. In its very early days the programming element for an O grade certificate once included programming a BBC computer to display a simulated car dashboard with flashing indicators and a moving fuel gauge and speedometer if my memory is not exaggerating it. Nowadays programming hardly features in the curriculum. Partly I suspect the emphasis on word processing etc., came about through an ex Business Studies teacher being on the national subject panels.
Today, I think the only justification for Computing as a subject is teaching the analytical skills of programming and the fundamental structures of hardware and software, i.e Computing Science. This would be very much a minority subject and would free up the hundreds of computers in Computing rooms for more useful purposes as you need very little access to a computer to teach the subject in that form. Then they could be used across the curriculum to improve access to Glow.