The internet is 40 years old, the web not even 20 — yet the impact of both is evident in so many aspects of our lives. As computers become all but ubiquitous, teenagers, who have known no other world, need to be quick to adapt to new tools, skilled in understanding how to deploy these and agile in moving between them.
All too soon, adults can feel left behind, but we believe that the “digital native” is a myth. Merely being born into a world dominated by digital technologies does not in itself make our students expert in understanding how best to use today’s hardware and software. For one thing, the pitfalls and trade-offs involved in giving both attention and personal information to the galaxy of web services now available need careful consideration. The role of teachers here is very important: working with our pupils, we aim to create an ethos of mutual support where all can learn about and benefit from the applications that are shaping our world. Students have a lot to teach us, but we, too, have much to contribute.
Elsewhere in the curriculum
ICT is part of the PSCHE curriculum in the Fifth form and emerges again as part of the General Studies course in the Lower Eighth in courses about science-fiction, cities and the history of technology.
We are also developing new ideas about the ways in which ICT can work with the arts and the sciences, allowing pupils to explore new ways of bringing seemingly disparate disciplines and practices together. We are very fortunate to be in London where we can draw on links with RCA graduates, leading design agencies, entrepreneurs and academics — many of whom have given generously of their time in visiting and talking at St Paul’s.
After St Paul's
St Paul’s has a rich and varied history of entrepreneurial activity involving ICT and computers. Rockstar Games was co-founded by Old Paulines, Sam Houser and Dan Houser. Firefly, conceived by Simon Hay and Joe Mathewson whilst they were students at St Paul’s, powers our extensive intranet today just as it did when they, as pupils, helped the school create the first iteration of its intranet.
Today, we encourage and aid as best we can all our student entrepreneurs who work with digital technologies. George Burgess (whilst in the Upper Eighth, 2009–10) launched the first of his suite of iPhone apps for revision. Alex Muller (who left in 2008) was asked to become a Wikipedia administrator during his final year at St Paul’s. He’s now a software developer on the GDS Performance Platform, part of the Government Digital Service.
ICT Staff Members