The digital world and cross-subject curricula (October-December 2016)


  • From code to animations

The page is a crossroads with signposts to topics in numerous areas, several of them oriented towards coding, especially in the ‘Resources for schools’ chapter, and others focusing on topics ranging from logic (Boolean logic) to image-making (from pictures to binary digits), and including varied applications such as ‘Making animations’ and ‘Programming robots’.


  • Theory and practice in robotics

The digital world redefines the usual divisions between areas of study, leading to partnerships between institutions with distinct outlooks. Traditionally, the University of Edinburgh focused on theoretical sciences, and Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh on close connections with industry. The developing field of robotics has led them to create a Centre for Doctoral Training in Robotics, where students both study ‘Robotics: Science and Systems’ at the University of Edinburgh and ‘Autonomous Research Systems’ at Heriot-Watt including activities with industrial partners.  The elective classes range from ‘Advanced Vision’ at the University of Edinburgh to ‘Artificial Intelligence’ at Heriot-Watt University, supported by each university’s specialised research groups, such as the ‘Institute of Perception, Action and Behaviour’ in the first case and the ‘Intelligent Systems’ centre in the second case.

Similarly, the University of Sheffield (focusing on a more theoretical approach) and Sheffield Hallam University (working with industrial partnerships) have teamed up to create Sheffield Robotics . The Futurelearn course ‘Building a Future with Robots’ by the University of Sheffield is based on experiments conducted at Sheffield Robotics. You might look at other Futurelearn courses on related topics to find out more about their teams.


  • Views from elsewhere

Let us also look further afield, as we frequently hear news thanks to sources from abroad, which mention out-of-the way topics; the website of the Spanish television has put up a page on the US natural wonders in immersive experience – Bryce Canyon for instance.

The President of the French Ecole Polytechnique has recently given a summary of the main features of the digital transformation in education: it appears both as object (computer science as an academic topic) and as subject (the digital medium as educational support).