EDUCATION, HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY
The influence of data, software and computation on the world is intensifying. The emergence of a dazzling range of digital technologies has fundamentally transformed many aspects of our political, economic, social and personal lives. Computer scientists are at the heart of these technologies and can have deep insight into how they affect and change the world – from theory to policy and practice.
Technocamps has made, and is making, technical contributions that are driving change, but also addressing questions such as these:
- Education. What education in computing should we offer (i) to school and university students and teachers; (ii) to people working in businesses, public services and the professions, and (iii) to citizens?
- History and heritage. What are the causes of changes? What are the inventions and innovations that are key to our current technologies, ambitions and concerns?
- Philosophy. How do our technologies speak to classic, human philosophical problems of what we can know, what we can do, and who we are?
As an established programme within the computer science department at Swansea, we take a holistic and multidisciplinary approach to such questions, bringing together knowledge in fields as diverse as, e.g., mathematical logic, the theory of computation, software engineering, artificial intelligence, data science, global and local history, classical philosophy, philosophy of science and technology, social and media studies. Philosophical discourses about epistemology, ethics, identity, etc., underpin current debates and future speculations. Furthermore, our investigations of educational, historical and philosophical questions are often directed at the development of policies in the public and private spheres.
Since the establishment IT Wales, the pre-cursor of Technocamps, in the 1993, we have built up substantial facilities and courses for staff and students to develop their knowledge and awareness of complex issues. Most importantly, we have reached out to many sectors and citizens to investigate current practices, understand how they arose, and what are support and changes might be needed. The facilities include:
- Technocamps, which provides a huge network of expertise focussing on school pupils, curricula, and professional support for teachers and businesses in Wales.
- Institute of Coding (IoC) in Wales, a community of learners, businesses and educators creating new ways to develop the digital skills needed in the workplace and beyond.
- History of Computing Collection (HoCC), which collects materials of all kinds to do with the development of computing and its social impact.