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Anything and everything computer / ICT related in schools is pants .....

Discussion in 'Education news' started by binaryhex, Sep 25, 2018.

  1. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    We're DOOMED, DOOMED!!!!!

    It is time to jack in computer science in schools. It cannot be done on the cheap with substandard organisations and managers shaping the mould. It's time to save a fortune and invest it in other subjects.

    Computers are ker-appy and getting ker-appier:


    The Government has spent a million pounds on this website, and two years later, it still isn't ready:


    Over half of schools don't teach GCSE Computer Science:


    There are nowhere near enough properly trained computer science teachers, and existing ones are going to get just 40 hours each to 'upskill thanks to an 84 million pound budget, that excluded small companies of teachers from applying - say hello to Capita, Royal Society, BCS and CAS again. It takes 4 years intensive full-time to train a programmer via University and that is what they come up with:

  2. GeordieKC

    GeordieKC Occasional commenter

    Forget computing somebody needs some lessons in Maths: How can 84 million quid to provide 40 hours of CPD to 8000 teachers, be value for money!
    -Maximilian- likes this.
  3. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    I suspect that the powers-that-be didn't realise that changes from ICT to Comp Sci would mean drafting in so many more C teachers. I honestly think that some/many expected that the Bus St teachers who'd previously taught the ICT would be able to take it on.
  4. elder_cat

    elder_cat Lead commenter

    Personally I think it never should have been foisted onto the curriculum the way it was anyway. Another example of people in high places, being advised by those living in ivory towers, on what should happen at ground level. Some folks seem to think that simply shepherding students en masse into the subject, will result in large numbers of proficient coders. Unfortunately, in my experience, not every student has the right mix of academic ability and genuine enthusiasm for the subject, needed to be able to tackle it successfully, regardless of the quality of teaching they get. CS should be reserved for those students at A Level who have the necessary qualities to be able to make a go of it. Less students of the right calibre, rather than masses of students, large numbers of whom are either not interested enough, or not capable enough, to get a decent result from having taken the subject.

    In my youth there were certain grammar schools that emphasised technical subjects. So if you intended to become a draughtsman, engineer or architect, those were the schools you went to. Maybe we need to go back to that sort of system. The CS graduates could work in the tech schools, and the 'IT' teachers could work in all the others.

    But if those subjects don't actively contribute towards addressing the shortfall of computing professionals we are told we need to remain competitive, then it's a bit like throwing good money after bad.

    I imagine the people who supply schools and colleges with their computers, software, and assorted tech items, are salivating at the thought of schools nationwide having to replace all their computers, because they have been deemed 'ineffective'. The cynic in me can't help but wonder how unbiased this 'independent survey' actually was, given it was carried out by 'the British Educational Suppliers' Association', the members of whom will presumably be involved in supplying the necessary new kit to schools.

    Nothing new to see here then. The inability of stakeholders (on both sides of the fence) to agree between themselves what is required, and scope creep due to the rapidly changing nature of IT in general, have been the bugbear of computing projects for years.

    Nothing much appears to be happening to convince them that offering the subject is a good idea.

    Fingers in pies, mixed with a morbid fear of accountability issues.

    IMHO, CS should have been split from the outset into two distinct routes: Programming and 'Other'. In my experience, I have come across numerous students who were more than capable of taking on board the elements of Computing such as hardware, networking, etc, but struggled with programming. Those kids could move on to a job as a User Support Tech or Server Admin, without needing to be proficient coders.
    agathamorse likes this.
  5. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    The quality of new trainee teachers is poor, in my experience. Many have Business/IT degrees which contain almost no computer science theory. Most have a single small unit of programming. I have recent experience of trying to train 4 trainee teachers with Business/IT degrees. They could not even begin to solve very basic programming tasks which I have taught to primary. Not their fault. They should never have been accepted onto the course.
    agathamorse likes this.
  6. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    My last school spent loads of money on new computer rooms, with whizzy-looking monitors and key boards (the sort of stuff that looks good on prospective parents' evenings) but did not bother much with the system that ran them, which was already creaking under the load.
    agathamorse likes this.

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