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Petition to redevelop GCSE / A level ICT

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by ikon66, Nov 7, 2015.

  1. ikon66

    ikon66 Occasional commenter

  2. Twinklefoottoe

    Twinklefoottoe Senior commenter

    This is wrong. You should be celebrating the demise of ICT as a qualification. It is too easy to cheat in, is used as an easy way to get weak students an A grade so they can't be differentiated from excellent students and is used to boost school league tables.

    Please start a petition congratulating Nicky Morgan on making her first long-overdue correct decision and suggesting that she be made a Dame.
  3. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    Unlike CS which you can't cheat in. Er think many are - just look online!
  4. dog_walker

    dog_walker New commenter

    what's with the ICT hatred,

    I would assume better than trolling on a teaching forum,

    As a teenager i would want to learn ICT skills, but i certainly wouldn't want to learn how to programme, as other teenagers and they'd agree.
  5. gigaswitch1

    gigaswitch1 Occasional commenter

    @MrMSutcliffe . This hatred has been going on for about 5 years, ICT was not about skills it was about schools performance tables and filling the teaching of the subject with anyone that can use a computer. I don't want ICT back, I want to be able to walk through my staff room on results day and teachers say, well done for your results, all I got this year was 'can you fail ICT?", "How can you get a 'A' for a girl that got a 'D' in English and maths?" or laugh when you call it a GCSE. That has been ICT ever since OCR Nationals allowed you to get 3 GCSEs for turning up and the teachers teaching it were never trained in the subject, so it had to be dumbed down for them to be able to teach it.

    ICT is now a toxic brand, there is no point in trying to bring it back, the government has spent too much time decimating and undermining it. If a petition like this is going to work it needs a new approach, renaming and focusing on a qualification that will actually teach something and not be about trying to get a qualification that is easy to teach and complete.
  6. Twinklefoottoe

    Twinklefoottoe Senior commenter

    I am not against ICT at all (and frankly, describing opposing well-argued views as 'hatred' says more about you than anything about ICT).

    I think it would be good to teach ICT topics in KS3 and KS4, but ICT is too broad a label and lacks the academic rigour to be called an academic, Progress 8 qualification. It's a vocational thing and needs to be recognised for that.

    I'd like schools to focus in ICT e.g. on spreadsheets and then run a proper course on it, taking it up to a decent level over 6 months. I'd like the same with say video editing, or image manipulation, or sound editing, or website design and get those students in it actually up to some kind of standard. Other 'bits' could be filled in by subject teachers when they are needed.

    What happens in far too many schools is that they cobble together three weeks of this and four weeks of that and a couple of weeks of the other in each year from Year 7. The students end up knowing bu33er all as they are 'taught' a monotonous stream of fast-changing and shallow skills, teachers have to try and track their 'progress' from one ICT topic to another and the whole superfluous mess ends up as a joke. HoDs who rule over this kind of shallow, boring, waste of time ICT are responsible for a massive disservice to students and education.

    Less ICT topics in school, more in-depth, practical skills taught over much longer periods, teaching to the strengths of the ICT teacher and you might just end up with something you can hand out certificates for.
  7. dog_walker

    dog_walker New commenter

    The first statement was hardly well argued, it read like a student who dislikes a subject, and looks down on it with scorn. The second is much better where you have actually given a proper reason why you clearly are not a fan. Hence the hatred word
  8. sirspamalotless

    sirspamalotless Occasional commenter

    TFT wrote

    "I'd like schools to focus in ICT e.g. on spreadsheets and then run a proper course on it, taking it up to a decent level over 6 months. I'd like the same with say video editing, or image manipulation, or sound editing, or website design and get those students in it actually up to some kind of standard."

    This is exactly what we changed to this year at our school, after me banging on about the worthless two weeks here and two weeks there approach on a dozen pieces of software in each year for the last few years. You are are correct in that most schools seem to teach a dreadfully shallow version of a topic for a few weeks and then move on to the next one! What is the point? Students learn little. They can't get stuck into something and never feel like they have really mastered anything. Teachers can't track progress if you are making a spreadsheet starting in week one, doing a web page starting week four, doing eSafety starting week six and then designing a program and implementing it starting in week seven - how are any of those topics related and how, even if you tried to measure transferable skills in them can you make sense of any of it after just a few weeks of study?

    ICT was madness at our place, but I'm feeling quite positive since September, now we are teaching one piece of software per year group to a decent level from September to February, before moving to the next one for the remainder of the year. And for the first time ever, marking and tracking is actually sensible and meaningful and easy to do.
  9. Twinklefoottoe

    Twinklefoottoe Senior commenter


    Well done and I genuinely mean that. What a thoroughly sensible approach to teaching ICT as a parallel strand to Computer Science. If I was staying longer in the job, this is certainly the route I would be going down. The baton has been passed to you and I have a feeling this will work brilliantly for you. SLT here you come ........
  10. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    Isn't that part of the problem, though? They're recent additions to what's considered to be ICT, and I don't think they have a place in the subject - they're more Art, or Graphics, or Media Studies. My feelings on this are probably as strong as the feelings some people have here about Computing.

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