Yesterday Denise tweeted a link to the video of Anna Debenham's talk on the state of web education to the London Web Standards Group.  Denise also popped some comments on it on her tumblr feed.

I stored it away in my "to watch" list, and got an opportunity earlier to take a look.

My reaction, firstly, you can make websites using powerpoint? really? I had no idea.  I knew you could use Word to do it - I stumble across them frequently in my day job at the moment (due to legitimately scraping shonky sites) and swear loudly every time at the poorly formatted html, littered with mso atttributes.  But why oh why are we teaching children to do this.  Whilst watching her presentation I had quite a few sweary outbursts, so many that Richard came in to find out what the matter was.  

Next weekend, I'm going to see my 14 year old nephew and will quiz him a little more intently on what he's currently doing in his ICT classes at the moment.  I know in the past there has been an emphasis on using powerpoint to do presentations, but I haven't enquired recently what he has been up to.  We tried to get him programming using python using the Hello World! book a few years ago, but once we weren't there to encourage him, his enthusiasm waned. 

Anna has since spoken at Mozilla Drumbeat to (she says) mixed reactions, although everything I've read seems positive.

She tweets:

Reading some nasty comments about my presentation. "naïve", "20yr old thinks she knows everything". Expected but really, really hurts :(

but I'm with Seb and Aral

Aral says:

@ @ Just went through it here and it looks perfect, Anna. Let's set up an event in Brighton on this issue.

And Seb replied with:

@ @ @ Where do I sign up to be a part of that? :-)

The following is the video of the talk that Anna presented at Mozilla Drumbeat (watch this one if you're short of time and want to get an idea of her message - its only 10 minutes long):

Anna Debenham at Drumbeat Barcelona from Alex Halavais on Vimeo.

My other take away from this, beyond the shock of how out of date the curriculum is, is a reminder to make sure that any events I organise are accessible for the under 18s/under 21s as well as making participants feel comfortable (see my list from a few months ago)