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New Office/Computing Curriculum

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by Tosha, Dec 21, 2011.

  1. Tosha

    Tosha New commenter

    Maybe a skills based course in using office applications and a Computing/Database/It management style course for those that wish to go into the subject.
    This would get rid of the ridiculous A level in ICT which tries to graft (outdated) computing design principles onto spreadsheets for the practical element and waffles about ICT legislation and management in the theory.
    Such a pity as if your local bookshop the it and computing section is often the largest, there is so much to learn
     
  2. Tosha

    Tosha New commenter

    Maybe a skills based course in using office applications and a Computing/Database/It management style course for those that wish to go into the subject.
    This would get rid of the ridiculous A level in ICT which tries to graft (outdated) computing design principles onto spreadsheets for the practical element and waffles about ICT legislation and management in the theory.
    Such a pity as if your local bookshop the it and computing section is often the largest, there is so much to learn
     
  3. jweb2k

    jweb2k New commenter

    Ok, here goes - lets pick it apart! (based on one, one hour lesson per week)

    <u>Year 7</u>
    <address>1. Ways of Presenting Information - PowerPoint, Publisher, Word and basic office document skills </address><address>2. Internet Safety - Profile Security, Information sharing, Data use and Misuse, Phishing, Antivirus etc</address><address>3. Manipulating Information 1 - Spreadsheet skills including formulae, functions, graphs and importing data</address><address>4. Logic and Control - Flow diagrams, Sequencing, Scratch programming etc</address><address> </address><address> </address><address><u>Year 8 </u></address><address>1. Website Design - Including the use of jQuery / Flash (Actionscript) to create interactive content</address><address>2. Manipulating Information 2 - Database skills including normalisation, queries and reports and looking at real life databases like Amazon</address><address>3.Collaborative, Online Tools - Wikis, blogs, online apps and new technologies - a research project into them (split class into groups)</address><address>4. Computer Hardware - Including taking apart a PC, wireless, inputs and outputs, health and safety etc
    </address><address> </address><address><u>Year 9</u> </address><address>1. Programming an Android Application / QT application / VB6 program.... </address><address>2. The Open Source Movement - Github, open source applications and writing code for a large project</address><address> </address><address> </address><address> What have I missed, what's unnecessary and where could it lead to? </address>
     
  4. Credit to you for putting up the ideas. I like your spirit - wanting to challenge the students. BUT:
    jquery and actionscript with year 8s? Come on now!!
    Normalisation (to BCNF?) with year 8s? Come on now!!
    Programming for a large project with year 9s? Come on now!!
    Sorry, I think you are niave in your ambitions - their understanding of these various topics on 1 hour per week would be wafer thin.
    In fact, I could go further: scrap the whole programme of study you've suggested and instead have extra English and Maths time instead; because lets face it what students need in life is a further mastery of their educational basics rather than twiddling with actionscript. Your programme of study plays like a suicide note for compulsory IT education.
     
  5. tonyuk

    tonyuk Occasional commenter

    Must admit I would agree!
     
  6. Tosha

    Tosha New commenter

    I think you would be suprised what kids can learn.
     
  7. Tosha

    Tosha New commenter

    I reckon what you should do is repeat PowerPoint each year!
     
  8. As a college lecturer, Teaching BCNF to A-grade A2 students is 'difficult'. Some people just struggle to think in that manner. In year 8, I think maybe 3 out of a class of 25 might understand the rough idea.
     
  9. Captain Obvious

    Captain Obvious New commenter

    With my very bright year 7s I'm going wildly off topic and teaching them Flash, mainly because I'm sick of PowerPoint with them and wish to avoid two terms of Publisher. I may even throw in some simple Actionscript for the sake of it (stop/play). Would I do it with any other year 7 group I have? No. Year 8s? Hell, no. Year 9s? ...no...
    Some skills just fly over the heads of most students and I'd avoid databases like the plague if I could (Personally, I love them; I just hate teaching them).
    Some topics are just hugely optimistic for the majority of students. The technical stuff should be used sparingly to get the high-flyers interested while not turning off the rest of the rabble.

     
  10. jweb2k

    jweb2k New commenter

    We've got the ball rolling, excellent! As HTML is currently in our Year 8 SoW I don't think it's a huge departure to be teaching the principles of jQuery ("i want to show the box.... i type .Show(), I want to fade...., joining commands together and seeing viusally what they do etc). You're correct that 1 hour a week is nowhere near enough to cover it in depth but that isn't a reason not to do it at all.
    Normalisation... yup, point taken. Build it into a new GCSE spec then but keep the rest of the database stuff in. I'd use AO6 OCR Nationals Distinction as a template for what we should be doing in Y8.
    Programming with year 9's would be lovely! We already play wtih VBA in PowerPoint and the developer toolbar to create touch screen powerpoints, no reason not to take that further and out of the PowerPoint shell.. Our programming club at school is most popular with 8's and 9's, and to be fair - Flash builder is very easy to use!!
    I don't mind being shot down on any of the PoS points, I'd love some alternatives though and what we're missing. Geniunely I think this is one opportunity we have to show how ICT as a discrete subject does work... we're all good practioners here, it's just finding the right syllabus and appropriate teaching level! (or maybe it's just me not wanting another 20 years of spreadsheets and powerpoint design skills...)

     
  11. DEmsley

    DEmsley New commenter

    The main problem is that PowerPoint, Word and Publisher are tools used in other subjects and we have to teach them to use them correctly whereas other collegues frequently do not bother. "Pat's Poor Presentation" springs to mind here.
    Alternatives to these tools are important too - what are they? where can they be located, accessed and used?
    BASIC office documents are boring but are they an essential skill?
     
  12. DEmsley

    DEmsley New commenter

    The content that jweb2k has suggested is very much the content of the Key Stage 3 National Curriculum Pilot 2000-2002
    <u>Year 7</u>
    7.1 Using ICT (4 hours)
    7.2 Information and Presentation (5 hours)
    7.3 Processing Text and Images (7 hours)
    7.4 Models, rules and investigation (5 hours)
    7.5 Data capture, structure and presention (6 hours) (link to teachfind.com)
    7.6 Control (5 hours)
    7.7 Measuring Physical Data (4 hours)

    The beauty of the SOW in the pilot is that it did not try to define a specific set of software but defined a body of knowledge with the intent that schools could define themselves the approach to be adopted to fulfil the criteria.
    With hindsight where this went pear shaped was the pilot resulted in the production of the Standard Teaching Units which were much too prescriptive and needed a lot of work to get them in any form of useable format whereas many schools used them as presented rather than developing them. See the link above to Teachfind.com and the content of 7.5.
    I applaud jweb2k's ball rolling but we need to exemplify what might be included in the units rather than prescribing.





     
  13. jweb2k

    jweb2k New commenter

    </address>
    Thanks DEmsley. What i've tried to do is remove the bits I felt unnecessary from NC2000, shorten the number of units needed per year and finally update some of the learning at each point of the key stage. Presenting Information can then become 10 or so weeks and with built-in homeworks and e-learning site you can do a heck of a lot more than pat's poor presentation + about me.
    I think I've got the balance about right between technical, theory, analysis and design but I don't claim it's the finished article! I take on board some of the points made:

    1) ".... it did not try to define a specific set of software" - yup, totally agree with you. I added in PPT, PUB etc in the first one as no doubt the kids that come from primary school / home will recognise them as traditional ICT. We have to start somewhere before branching out - even if just for their parents sakes! I'm non-descript in most of the other units, you could present Internet Safety as a poster, podcast, blog or cartoon as a wrap up.. (I refuse to say "assessment"!)

    2) "BASIC office documents are boring but are they an essential skill" - I do think it's essential they learn how to set out a letter, add formatting etc... but we're going back to the "what OCR Nationals" teaches argument and we'd encompass many of those skills into Y7/Y8 depending on what medium you were presenting the information in. "Traditional ICT" (I think David Braben of Rasberry Pi likened it to the old subject of Typing) is definitely still needed.


     
  14. jweb2k

    jweb2k New commenter

    I'll put this topic in the bin then after the latest news (unless any universities or businesses are looking at it and basing the new curriculum on it.....). Seriously, would it have been worth consulting a panel of teachers in secondary schools too to find out what we think should be in the curriculum we have to teach?
     
  15. Captain Obvious

    Captain Obvious New commenter

    Don't you remember the fact that we are all actually trained in other subjects? (You see what I'm getting at ;) ) We aren't employed for opinions :p
    Office skills are still necessary, and if you want to really play the system you starting doing modules on:
    Project management: That'll be making sure it comes in on budget. Wait a second, that's the Excel unit!
    Project documentation: Users and future developers need to be able to understand how to use it/how it works. Hold on, that's a publisher/word unit!
    Dragon's Den: Students have to present and justify their idea to their investors so their project is green-lighted. Hey, that's a PowerPoint unit...
    ...etc.
     
  16. I despair, I really do; this is why we have the problem with ICT in the first place.
    No, they really are not. And if they were then you should teach those skills and not just how to use Microsoft Word and so on. We are in education, for crying out loud, not an advertising medium for Microsoft products!
    No, it isn't that and no it is not open to being an Excel project. Project management is project management (not budgetting) and uses project managment software, Gantt charts and so on.
    Again, no it isn't. Documentation is either producing a PDF or a helpfile or - more often still - a wiki to be kept online for reference. Printed documentation went out with Maggie Thatcher. On top of that, it is about how to investigate operation scope and how to write it in a concise and clear way, including the use of diagrams.
    If by now it has not become obvious that you want to carry on boring the **** out of your learners it is now! Have you not got the message that this attitude is precisely why the changes are being made?
    You could at least have thought about what the changes really do require to be taught instead of grasping at the straws you used as examples.


     

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