i Editor's Letter: A belated happy 2012


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The Independent Online


Blimey, that was one hell of a lie down. I haven't seen you all since the dog days between Christmas and New Year (thanks to Victoria and Rhodri for holding the i fort), but I feel like a Time Lord: Henry and Scholes are in the Arsenal and Man Utd first teams, Margaret Thatcher's legacy is being debated everywhere and a referendum on Scottish independence is top of the news agenda. Even Antony Worrall Thompson is back in the headlines – however unwillingly.

My solitary holiday tale is the observation that for the first time, iPads and Kindles appeared as ubiquitous as "real" books on the beach. More women had Kindles – is it because they are lighter and smaller? Among those reading old-fashioned books, it was clear many a male got a hardback copy of the Steve Jobs biography under their tree and (unlike me) could even be bothered to lug the giant tome halfway across the world.

Being in Asia, reading the New Straits Times and other papers, the contrast between their huge interest in, and ready embrace of, new technologies, science and maths education and our own ambivalence to such vital building blocks for our future was stark.

That said, ICT as taught in our schools today, should be scrapped. Many children can already use technology to the level it is taught a long time before they get to senior school. It must be made more challenging. So, inevitably, my new year's resolution is to better understand, employ and embrace new technology both for i, and I – while being all too aware that millions of young Asians would find the need for such a resolution puzzling.

However you are reading this, a belated happy 2012 to you all.