Today was the day I was introduced to IBM Waston (Take a look at how IBM Watson beat two former winners of the American quiz show Jeopardy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFR3lOm_xhE) and the IBM Bluemix platform. It is very clear how quickly these technologies are adapted and improved almost daily. It was also the day I met one of IBM’s distinguished engineers! One of only 600 worldwide!!! We discussed what experience is needed to reach that level of expertise and the journey taken to get there. I was also able to see the latest technologies in action. At times I was blown away by how sophisticated the systems are and what they are capable of.
I will now be able to talk to my students about technologies that I have been exposed to first hand. All of this information has got my mind buzzing, thinking about curriculum ideas, tweaking current units of work and potential new projects. Making sure my students are aware of what is going on in the real world of computing and the variety of STEM roles out there. It was also very interesting to discuss the qualities that IBM identify when selecting potential employees. There seems to be a continuous theme – candidates’ not just needing technical ability but a combination of technical ability, business acumen, creativity and almost most importantly a good attitude. More useful information to take back to school and share with students and colleagues.
The second part of my day involved being part of a meeting between IBM and Nesta, (an innovation charity). They are working in partnership to deliver the Longitude Explorer Prize 2017, it is a practical opportunity for students to develop their STEM skills. It was great to be part of the meeting and see the project progress through the different stages. I was also able to contribute and give an insight into school life. I believe projects such as the Longitude Explore Prize are key to inspiring more young people into STEM careers, they give the opportunity to enhance their learning experience and raise their aspirations. I will definitely be registering my school!