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ICT subject leaders - ICT key skills

Discussion in 'Primary' started by bugsbunny, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. bugsbunny

    bugsbunny New commenter

    I've been asked to compile a set of key ICT skills for each year group in my school but I'm really struggling with this. To me, this is rather like going back to the QCA units and we have moved away from this. We plan according to the 5 themes in ICT (communication, control etc) and link with other subjects to make ICT links (as I'm sure we all do). This does not mean that we do not teach any discrete ICT, yes we do. But only when it is necessary to achieve the end goal. We do not ignore technical skills - after all without them, children wouldn't achieve very much! We have a technical skills list which is completed at the end of each year and passed on to the next class teacher so that they are aware of what the majority in the class are capable of. I'm really not keen on the idea of allocating 'specific skills' to specific year groups.
    I'm not quite sure what I'm asking for here - any thoughts / reactions? Thank you.
  2. I think it would be almost impossible to identify key skills for each year group because the children have so many different experiences of using ICT out of school. On a recent course I was told that ICT is pretty much the hardest subject to differentiate because the children bring such a range of experiences from home. I agree! I use the Skills Progressions here http://www.lancsngfl.ac.uk/curriculum/ict/index.php?category_id=200&page_no=&preview=1 for both discrete lesson planning of skills and cross curricular ICT. It's working quite well as it gives a long term view without being prescriptive about year groups. But I'm not sure if it's what you are after.
  3. I agree with your thoughts that ICT should never be taught as 'Key Skills'. The children should utilise ICT as a tool within learning journeys. With the onset of 'digital natives' (In their truest sense!) children need to be shown and develop a higher ability 'key skill' of differentiating themselves when and what ICT is appropriate, rather than knowing how to insert hyperlinks into a powerpoint.
  4. bugsbunny

    bugsbunny New commenter

    Thank you el-boo and bekseb, I agree completely with what you've both written. Thank you for helping me to confirm my own thoughts on this.
  5. becktonboy

    becktonboy New commenter

    user="Bekseb"]children need to be shown and develop a higher ability
    'key skill' of differentiating themselves when and what ICT is appropriate,
    rather than knowing how to insert hyperlinks into a powerpoint.[/quote] agree
    absolutely but how are they to make that choice, what is it to be based on -
    surely a knowledge and understanding of the potentials, possibilities, pitfalls
    and power of different applications which they can use competently and
    confidently. Identifying key skills and having an idea of where in the school
    curriculum map they can be taught can provide a framework to work from.
    Adequate differentiation can allow for overlap in ICT as in any area, SEN
    (including G+T) planning should deal with the extremes.
    It might be difficult but hardly impossible - the point about
    different starting points is true of every subject.
    sorry I
    think you have been sold a bit of a pup there. Differentiation is needed in all
    subjects and when teaching key skills you pretty quickly hit a level playing
    field because children bring few (to no) skills in the use of spreadsheets,
    databases, control or sensing technology, investigative simulations, graphical
    modelling (beyond the simplest act of choosing predesigned objects to fit other
    predesigned objects in predefined ways and places) or virtually any idea of
    e-safety whatsoever.
    I'm sorry but here technobabble meets edubabble. Does the word 'journey' go beyond or add to 'learning' here? Aren't you just
    trying to say ICT should be used as a tool for learning, as has been explicitly
    required by the National Curriculum for nearly 20 years? As for digital
    natives.... do we not consider native speakers of English in need of the
    teaching of key skills, to the point of focussing on things such as phonic
    understanding, handwriting, speaking and listening (skills acquired much
    earlier than anything digital), VCOP etc etc - we have separate, daily, discrete RML lessons at my school, so why not in ICT or indeed in maths. The skills the young digital
    natives I come across acquire relate in the main to social networking, gaming,
    watching video clips, scrolling images of celebrities of one kind or another,
    the pursuit of pornography and intellectual piracy.

    Whilst not being in any way an advocate of
    education as preparation for the world of work, I would point out that
    eventually they will go into a world that kind of wants/needs people who have
    some idea about generating a database query, manipulating data in a spreadsheet
    and knocking up a multimedia presentation like a native, all skills which more
    of our pupils may find more personally useful than creative writing or working
    with clay - both of which I would always want to teach children...
  6. Open the National Curriclum to the ICT section, there you will see a list of things that need to be covered!

    Job Done
  7. Sorry about my last post
    I use these star skills ladders they are awesome!
    Click on ICT and download
    They are based on the NC and you can see where they have pulled them out of the document so you can show Ofsted you are covering all the NC strands
  8. Beginning of a nice debate.
    I thought the words Digital Natives would inspire a response! If you look at what Mark Prensky said when he was referring to digital natives he is clear that it didn't mean children were so far advanced that educators could not teach them anything. Which is what has been suggested in many a follow up since!
    I think he did mean, infact, utilising children's desire and needs for ICT at the heart of their everyday lives in an educational setting.
    I was, of course, being over simplistic when I was saying that key skills should never be taught. There is a need to cover these skills during teaching so that children are able to create presentations or to manipulate a database. What I was suggesting is that these skills should not be taught in isolation as a seperate ICT lesson. Indeed creating presentations (I avoid using the word 'powerpoint' purposefully) for our Learning Journey including electricity recently with my Year 2 class. There was some input on how to insert pictures generally into presentations for effect. They were able to generalise this into their selected software, whether it be powerpoint, prezi or 2simple.
    It is this skill of generalisation that I believe is so important, without it we create Microsoft clones for the future. Not that there is anything wrong (ish) with Microsoft but the children need to understand how to select and apply ICT that is appropriate.
  9. becktonboy

    becktonboy New commenter

    we are in absolute agreement there. don't be put off by the notion of a separate/discrete lesson.
    Presentational stuff always needs a content focus and any teacher who is a teacher would use the opportunity to inform/enrich other work with and through ICT. Some things however just don't work well in a cross-curricular fashion.Control technology looks to the casual observer like 'giving insructions' but involves skills,understanding and knowledge only acquired across a number of lessons, while the literacy focus for giving instructions in any year group is usually covered in a couple of days. will the class teacher keep the literacy curriculum on hold while the necessary ICT skills are acquired? dream on..
    I have exercised this argument so many times in these forums that I eventually blogged it: http://becktonboy.blogspot.com/2011/01/embedding-ict-in-primary-curriculum.html
  10. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    I'm not an ICT specialist but we have a similar problem with Languages at Primary level, in that as co-ordinator for a subject we need to ensure progression for the children, so that by year 6 they will have covered enough of the basic skills.
    What I did for PMFL was decide on key criteria I would like them to have covered by year 6 and then suggest years when certain pre-knowledge would need to be covered so children could re-visit that skill and re-use / progress etc.
    Another poster has suggested such a list. So perhaps you could make a spreadsheet, which teachers tick when they have covered them, so future years can know whether such pre-knowledge is there or whether to re-visit and build upon. Yes I know one always has to 'revise as children have forgotton, but if one particlar skill area has been taught in several years, then it is the next teacher's duty to ensure they 'move on' and enlarge their skills.
  11. Totally agree, however too many times have I seen the 'Make a powerpoint about your favourite hobby' lesson. Which is completely irrelevant to the children's learning.
    We cover our control in year 5 over two days where the children (as part of their Space topic) are "flown" to the moon and have to control the moon rover remotely. Thus spending time experimenting, setting rules and finally developing a control sequence. I see this as integrated within the Learning Journey/ Topic and includes Science, Maths and English elements.
    Thanks for the blog link, will make interesting reading tonight when I am supposed to be finishing off my reports.


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