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Future of ICT

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by joelh, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. Hi guys,

    I'm an NQT teaching ICT in a school in Dorset. At present all KS3 students do ICT 3 times per fortnight. At KS4 all
    Students do core ICT once per week, and we have half of the year doing it as a chosen GCSE. I had an observation today from an assistant headteacher on behalf of the county as part of my NQT program. He believes that sadly although his is a ICT teacher he feels ICT will be phased out as a discreet subject over the next few years. The current government seem to recognise ICT as being important, but not as a discreet subject. Does anyone else have any thoughts on the matter of ICT still being a discreet subject going forward?

    Cheers

    Joel
     
  2. Captain Obvious

    Captain Obvious New commenter

    Who knows?
    But given how badly many (non-specialist) teachers use ICT, I dearly hope not. Many teachers have such a shallow understanding of the software that they'll end up teaching their subject with computers and a few web pictures thrown in for good measure.
    Given the amount of money schools have invested in ICT equipment, it probably won't go any time soon, and it's likely that we see more computing-oriented topics thrown in.
    That's how the subject is likely to survive.
     
  3. It's true that ICT does not appear in such a discrete way as it did on the new OFSTED framework. My understanding, though, is that this is not because it is not valued, but because it is now such an embedded part of the whole curriculum. IMO, ICT should be used in all curriculum areas when it is the best way of doing something. We certainly need to move away from using discrete ICT sessions to teach children how to use MS office. We need to be equipping children with the transferable skills they need to survive in a world we can't begin to imagine - teaching them how to troubleshoot, how to deal with an inconceivable amount of available and often contradictory information, and, most importantly, how to use 'undo'. I suspect we'll continue to see a move away from sessions of ICT in a suite of PCs in a separate building, and a move towards trolleys of laptops and tablet devices which move freely around the school for use in other curriculum areas. The question is, if we do move in that way, how do you ensure that across the school there is a genuine and meaningful progression of skills. It's too easy to 'get the laptops out' and do a lesson where the children find images on google to add to a powerpoint presentation about whatever subject they're covering.
     
  4. I think you make a very good point. The ever changing society and environment that we are living in means we are teaching children to use technology that in 5 years time will be outdated. Taking this into consideration you are spot on in saying we need to teach children transferable ICT skills that can be applied across the board. I just fear that teaching ICT in a non discreet way will simply not teach children the essential skills needed within ICT. Like you quite rightly say incorporating ICT into a English lesson by creating a badly designed powerpoint is not suffice. I just fear that all the money and resources that the last government invested in will be put to waste, as we will see more and more pupils not knowing the fundamental ICT skills needed for the big wide world.
     
  5. discrete not discreet

    blimey!

    /petpeeve
     
  6. Yeah well I agree that ICT needs a big kick in the pants.

    It should be the most dynamic and exciting subject in school!
     
  7. Captain Obvious

    Captain Obvious New commenter

    ICT serves many masters. It should be about making a good presentation, not about using PowerPoint; it should be about constructing effective spreadsheets, not Excel...and so on.
    ICT is both exciting (colourful presentations and games) and utterly mundane (word processing and file management). We've got to equip our students with the skills and the mentality for the stages in a project that aren't interesting as much as enthusing them about what they're creating.
    It should be a subject that is close to reality compared to the more abstract subjects like English, Maths or MFL - it has highs and lows and is ever changing. It's as much about teaching them how to cope and understand in a world with computers as anything else.
     
  8. I teach Functional Skills ICT in FE and am absolutely amazed at how few students have a basic understanding of IT - using PowerPoint for absolutely everything! Very few receive discrete classes - instead it is "embedded" to the point of invisibility!
     
  9. Khashoggi

    Khashoggi New commenter

    Now such an embedded part of the curriculum? I very much doubt that this is the case. Yes other Faculties may book computer rooms to type up an essay, reseach a subject or even produce (usually very poor standard) presentations, but this isn't exactly my idea of embedding ICT in the whole of the curriculum.
     
  10. <font size="2">I totally agree with you and in regards to ICT across the curriculum? Yes, I agree that happens in school's but i think what we should be talking about is the QUALITY of cross curricular ICT in school. In most school&rsquo;s it is horrendous. If, and that is a big IF, ICT was dropped as a discrete subject from the NC then i think that would be a devastating move by the government. What i don&rsquo;t understand is why don&rsquo;t they actually listen to teachers who teach these kids? ICT teachers who see these kids on a daily basis and see the ICT skills they come in with and then go away with at the end of KS4? I would love Gove or anybody else for that matter to come into one of my ICT lessons and tell me that as a subject ICT is not engaging, interesting etc. </font><font size="2">Also i don&rsquo;t know if you guys are aware but the government has responded to the Next Gen report. The report that was written In July 2010 by Ian Livingstone OBE, Life President of Eidos, and Alex Hope OBE, Managing Director of Double Negative. They listed 20 recommendations to the government and the government has now published a report responding to the recommendations. The one that stands out to me and the response from the government is the one below:</font>"Recommendation: Bring computer science into the National Curriculum as an essential discipline. 12. As outlined within the Next Gen report, ICT is currently part of the National Curriculum at all four key stages (ages 5 &ndash; 16) and allows for the teaching of some of the skills associated with computer science. However, the Government recognises that learning the skills to use ICT effectively and acquiring the knowledge of the underpinning computer science are two different (albeit complementary) subjects. Furthermore, the Government recognises that the current ICT programme is insufficiently rigorous and in need of reform. 13. The Government is committed to introducing a slimmed down, more focused, and more rigorous curriculum. As part of this commitment, a review of the National Curriculum was launched on 20 January 2011. The review aims to develop a new National Curriculum which clearly sets out the core knowledge that all children should acquire, while giving teachers more freedom to decide how to teach and design a wider school curriculum that best meets the needs of their pupils. 14. Department for Education Ministers announced at the outset of the National Curriculum review that English, maths, science and physical education would remain as subjects within the National Curriculum in all four school Key Stages. They are currently considering the place of all the other subjects that currently feature within the National Curriculum, including ICT, and will bring forward proposals shortly. If ICT were to be included as a discrete subject within the new National Curriculum, then work on a new Programme of Study would begin next year. As part of that process the review will consider the teaching of computer science within ICT. The Government recognises that, in the event of ICT not remaining part of the National Curriculum, attention would still need to be given to ensure children could acquire computer science skills. The Government would work with the sector to find the best way to achieve this. 15. The Government recognises that the IT GCSE is in need of reform, and will be looking at ways to improve the course. The Government welcomes e-skills UK&rsquo;s &ldquo;Behind the Screens&rdquo; project which aims to trial a possible reformed IT GCSE curriculum. e-Skills UK are aiming to establish a new way of delivering IT in secondary schools, initially concentrating around Key Stage 4 and bringing in employers to provide a bank of resources as stimulus materials for the projects<font face="Calibri"> </font>

     
  11. Credit to you for creating an exciting and engaging curriculum. But your optimism about ICT staying in the NC is unfounded - I fear it will go. Recommendations don't mean anything to ministers (inside education or out) - they are routinely ignored.
    If it does go, the fate of ICT in a school will most certainly depend on your head's/SMT views and the perception of the value of your curriculum. in your case ypatel, you'll probably be safe. I've spoke to many HoDs are there is genuine unease. Its all a bit of shame. A decent Computing and technology based curriculum should be a statutory entitlement (but please lets drop the term and concept of "I C T" - a nonsense mishmash).
     
  12. I have heard Managers come out with this UCP tripe for years/decades. It may change. How could it go? Wubbish!
     

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