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Can you help me please?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by ElizaWilford, Mar 3, 2018.

  1. ElizaWilford

    ElizaWilford New commenter

    I created a petition on the government website about reinstating GCSE ICT so students who are not interested in coding (computer science) are not missing out on valuable skills that could help them secure employment. It only takes a minute to sign, thank you for your help and hopefully with enough signatures we can push for change!
  2. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    I'm not sure that it does in any way help prepare for employment - I've never once found that any ICT I learnt on any one job was of any relevance or value to any other job - I think you just learn to use whatever systems your current employer wants you to use.
    magic surf bus likes this.
  3. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    I would agree (and will sign) that there could be a place for both a Computer Science GCSE and an ICT Applications GCSE. Although I would argue that the name of the qualification is changed to make it clear this is an applications based qualification. After a long thought I thought a suitable title could be "Applications of ICT GCSE" (but then I don't have any form of imagination :oops:).

    Its true that applications vary between employers but once someone has the basis idea of how to use: spreadsheets, data input, presentation packages its easier to pick up different versions.

    There might even be a case to make an "Applications of ICT GCSE" a compulsory one.
  4. ElizaWilford

    ElizaWilford New commenter

    Maybe you didn’t have a great ICT teacher
    Some of the skills that are being lost are spreadsheets, databases, word processing (not just your standard letters but mail merge etc.), presentation software, networks, systems... the list goes on
    Around 90% of jobs require ICT skills so we are doing students a disservice by not at least offering it as a choice.
    wanet and les25paul like this.
  5. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    Haven't you noticed that the current NC seems to deliberately eliminate anything of practical use in favour of facts!
    (Wearing my cynics' hat again)
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  6. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    So much of our 'modern' teaching seems to fail children for work other than gaining a set qualification such as 5 gcse's.
    This si why people with work experinece are so needed in the range of skills of teaching.
    lexus300 and les25paul like this.
  7. emilystrange

    emilystrange Star commenter

    lots of these skills are covered at primary. computer science isn't just coding. IT quite specifically mentioned in the NC for KS3 and 4.

    able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information
    and communication technology
    – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active
    participants in a digital world.

    can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems

    are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.
    magic surf bus, Stiltskin and Pomza like this.
  8. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    "skills that could help them secure employment"-quote from OP, sorry the actual quote function is glitching

    Maybe a couple of posts are missing the point, that the campaign is not about giving the children the skills per se to enable doing a job, it's about reinstating the GCSE to make them a more viable candidate on the job market. You could say the same about, say the Core subjects. Few jobs require you to have understood a Shakespeare text, yet that is what you might get served up in English GCSE, and that in its turn is what is required to progress in many many career paths.
    If having GCSE ICT would give you better chances of getting a job than somebody who does not have it on their CV, then yes, bring it on, fgs.
    wanet likes this.
  9. emilystrange

    emilystrange Star commenter

    do secondaries not embed all these skills in other subjects anyway? or is that patchy? by the time they reach KS4, most of it should be second nature to the point where it would be like having to take a GCSE in addition
    magic surf bus and ilovesooty like this.
  10. notrevlim

    notrevlim Established commenter

    Computer Science is a bit like DT. You can either describe the tools or you can choose the correct ones and put them to use. I wasted my time creating a program of robotics, 3D design and the programming to make it fit together. I left before being able to put it properly in effect.. It takes a fair few skills, but it is very engaging.

    ICT was going nowhere fast. People who need those skills tend to learn them fairly quickly. Kids have no problems with mobile phones.

    Computer Science contains a lot of Ccience and Maths and can enhance both.
    magic surf bus likes this.
  11. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    I taught KS3 & 4 ICT from when it began in the early 1980s until 2013 when I left teaching. I was appalled how my subject was reduced to little more than basic skills training in Microsoft Office, just a service subject for others to benefit from. No way should KS4 students be still messing with Powerpoint, and who actually compiles databases? Shouldn't the development of MS Word skills be offered by all subjects who use it? If mail merge is so brilliant why don't English or Business Studies teach it? Spreadsheets are so useful that they should be employed in almost every other subject, so why does ICT alone get saddled with it?

    Some of the most tedious times I spent in teaching were spent shovelling bored kids through MS Office skills lessons at the behest of unimaginative specification writers and limited department heads. There is so much more that the study of information technology could be, and at least Computer Studies has gone some way to introducing some variety. How can a country that produced Bletchley Park and the people who made it work ignore all of it when children are taught about IT? Huge opportunities being missed, even today. I'm sorry, but no way am I signing a petition to restore what is basically GCSE MS Office.
    needabreak, roman_eagle, T34 and 2 others like this.
  12. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    The trouble was that ICT became effectively secretarial/office skills.

    One problem with Computer Science is programming has been so heavily shouted about, the other areas are overlooked as @emilystrange has pointed out, such as databases and networks.

    Things like word processing, spreadsheets and presentation software are tools that should be taught and used in the relevant subjects (most jobs don't need you to be able to do anything beyond the basic functions of office packages).

    One thing that should be made stronger is improving students understanding of cyber security.
    magic surf bus likes this.
  13. emilystrange

    emilystrange Star commenter

    i didn't point it out. i think that these are skills that are now taught much earlier. input to spreadsheets and creating charts is Y2 now.
  14. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    Well said! Apart from a few secretaries, I don't know anyone who regularly uses maill merge. But should they need to do it, it's not hard to find out how these days - http://lmgtfy.com/?q=How+to+mail+merge+in+ms+office
    needabreak likes this.
  15. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    Sorry putting words in your mouth. Yes, WP, spreadsheets and presentation software is covered well in Primary (sometimes too much)
  16. emilystrange

    emilystrange Star commenter

    don't worry, we don't over do it at ours.
  17. notrevlim

    notrevlim Established commenter

    When they've been taught, do these office skills have a purpose? The failure of ICT was for it to remain in ICT lessons.
    needabreak and magic surf bus like this.
  18. ElizaWilford

    ElizaWilford New commenter

    Some good points being raised and in theory the idea of ICT skills being taught in other subjects etc. sounds positive but in reality that’s not what is happening. Many primary schools do not have the infrastructure in place for students to be taught the basics properly and quite often are taught by someone with little experience. Because of time pressures, limited resources and emphasis placed on other key areas in school students in KS3 get very little time in computer rooms outside of their 1 or 2 lessons a week.
    The push towards computer science was absolutely needed and a positive change but computing and ICT are two very different subjects and this is recognised by students but rarely elsewhere.
    If you read the petition you would see that 110,000 pupils took ICT in 2015, making it a popular choice with students. If ICT came back as a GCSE yes it would need some reform but it’s about letting students have a choice rather than limiting their options.
    sbkrobson likes this.
  19. 50sman

    50sman Lead commenter

    Computer science is also currently dying - no one to teach it and now 100% exam courtesy of coursework cheating with answer being put on the internet within a week of publication (it took the kids about 24 hours it find it - it took Ofqual much longer)

    OCR just been fined for putting previous livecoursework solutions in their text books.
    ElizaWilford likes this.
  20. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    I wonder how many of us here did GCSE ICT. I didn't, it hasn't prevented me from learning and using them, I learnt those skills on the job and updated them there too as they are so often developed, expecting schools and qualifications to keep up is a big ask. It may be more useful post 16 or for adults who have missed out and who are nearer to the actual jobs they will be needing those skills for.

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