The Aberdeen Computing Collaborative, an innovative multi-agency partnership with the local digital sector to promote interest and opportunities in digital learning and careers, has launched.
The collaborative comprises Aberdeen City Council, NEScol, the University of Aberdeen and Robert Gordon University and will focus on local implementation of the recommendations from the Scottish Government commissioned Scottish Technology Ecosystem Review.
The recommendations being taken forward through the collaborative include attracting more graduates to Computing Science teaching positions while also increasing opportunities to undertake Professional Graduate Diploma in Education locally through a variety of routes/entry points. This work will involve reviewing the curriculum to ensure that it is attractive for learners, demonstrates the opportunities within the digital sector and is joined up across school, college and university.
The collaborative is tasked with developing effective professional learning for Computing Science and other teachers to help maintain skills and knowledge to deliver learning which recognises the pace of change in the sector while also developing a model for delivery, support and promotion of extra-curricular related activities.
The launch which was attended by Aberdeen City Council’s Education Operational Delivery Convener, Councillor Martin Greig and Vice convener, Councillor Jessica Mennie, saw primary and secondary pupils and teachers take part in learning workshops on themes such as Minecraft coding and robotics and programming.
Councillor Greig said: “This new computing hub will make a significant difference in improving educational opportunities in the city. This project is an excellent example of partnership working that brings together the school, college and university sectors in our area.
“By joining up, we can offer enhanced learning experiences, especially for the benefit of young people. This is an important step forward to ensure that the city develops as a centre for digital innovation.”
Councillor Mennie said: “The collaborative is a really positive step in helping us attract even more young people to career pathways in growing job sectors such as digital technology. We have the talent and it is crucial that we have the learning resources in place to help our young people become the digital innovators of the future.”
Professor Peter Edwards, Vice-Principal Regional Engagement at the University of Aberdeen, said: “The University is excited to be part of the Aberdeen Computing Collaborative as part of our wider commitment to support the recommendations of the Logan Report.
"Academic colleagues across Computing Science and Education are working with partners in the city to enhance professional learning for teachers and to help develop the next generation of digital professionals.”
Dr John Isaacs, Dean of Computing at Robert Gordon University, said: "Computing is the creative language of the future. The Aberdeen Computing Collaborative is a unique collective approach to inspire young people into digital roles and support the pathways to help them get there.
“The launch is only the beginning, the first line in our code, and I am excited to see what we can achieve together for the city as the project develops."
NESCol Principal Neil Cowie said: “The College is proud of the role it plays in developing the region’s digital economy. Partnerships are essential as we work together to meet shared goals and the Aberdeen Computing Collaborative is an example of that approach in action.
“We’re excited about the opportunities the technology sector offers to our staff, our students and to school pupils who are inspired by that bright future as they consider their next steps. We look forward to driving positive change as part of the collaborative.”
Mark Logan, co-founder of Ipso-Facto Consulting, and an advisor to the Scottish Government on technology policy. said “I’m extremely impressed by Aberdeen’s leadership in establishing the Aberdeen Computing Collaborative (ACC).
“It’s vitally important to Scotland’s economic future that we interest many more people in careers in the tech industry and that we equip them with the skills required to participate.
“The ACC is a thoughtful, strategic and highly collaborative initiative, which is moving forward at pace. It is a true exemplar to our country of the art of the possible.”
Communications with parents and carers which promote the sector will also be developed.