I have blogged before on the unfortunate separation of the National Museum of Computing (home of Colossus and the related computing and cybersecurity education programmes) from the new Bletchley Theme Park . I have also commented on the way Bletchley showed how eminently suitable women are for many of the key roles in information security and cyberwarfare : unlike the Snowden‘s or Winterbotham‘s of this world, who put public recognition before confidentiality.
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I recently demonstrated my luddite credentials by paying the postage for a mailshot in support of a fundraising exercise in support of some of the museum’s educational programmes. Part of my reasoning was to test the hypothesis that letters reamin the best means of getting through to those suffering from electronic overload. I should perhaps add that I recently came across one organisation that has reverted to hand written envelopes with postage stamps when it wants to get attention. What I did not appreciate when I made the contribution was that it would be matched by funds from a £million donor.
The main objectives of the appeal which I supported were to fund:
• dynamic learning materials and activities to promote a better understanding of the use of ciphers in modern life, cyber crime prevention and the education and career opportunities in this sector
• ways to encourage girls to explore the subject of computing by better presentation of artefacts and activities
• pre- and post-visit learning materials so that students get the most from their visit — these are intended to include audio and video material of the artefacts, applications and interviews with computer professionals who are changing our world
• access to the latest technology to promote an understanding of the legacy of earlier technologies.
Among the planned deliverables is a follow up to the award winning package of the history of computing targeted specifically at encouraging girls to appreciate that computing and security really are suitable jobs for a women. Events and activities are also being planning in co-operation with the Cyber Security Challenge and the groups that bring together women currently working in security.
The non-luddites among you will find donation details for the main appeal here.