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Plans if ICT dies

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by robot1, Jul 20, 2011.

  1. robot1

    robot1 New commenter

    There have been a number of recent threads about the demise of ICT as a secondary school subject. I am not entirely convinced but accept that it is certainly a possibility.

    What I would like to know is what colleagues who rely on teaching ICT to put a roof over their families heads and food on the table plan to do? I know some of us came from other subjects and may be able to go back to those. But what about those of us ‘ICT specialists’ who are not able to offer another subject?

    I trained in Business Studies (with ICT) back in the day as there was no PGCE in ICT alone at that time. Business Studies seems to already be dead so I am very worried at the moment. I am considering maths as a possible area to explore.

     
  2. robot1

    robot1 New commenter

    There have been a number of recent threads about the demise of ICT as a secondary school subject. I am not entirely convinced but accept that it is certainly a possibility.

    What I would like to know is what colleagues who rely on teaching ICT to put a roof over their families heads and food on the table plan to do? I know some of us came from other subjects and may be able to go back to those. But what about those of us ‘ICT specialists’ who are not able to offer another subject?

    I trained in Business Studies (with ICT) back in the day as there was no PGCE in ICT alone at that time. Business Studies seems to already be dead so I am very worried at the moment. I am considering maths as a possible area to explore.

     
  3. Ah, ICT as a subject will be fine. Gone will be the 100% of students through Nationals / GNVQ / DiDA in an hour a week from Year 8 - so some departments may shrink, but the subject is not about to disappear. We've never been a compulsory subject at KS4 in my school anyway and numbers are quite healthy with over 30% of the cohort. Add to that the branching out into Computing for some academic rigour and I'm not losing any sleep.


    That said, if I had to I could teach Maths easily enough. Heck, I dare say I could cope with half the curriculum at KS3 at a pinch. MFL and Art might be a struggle, and those who know me will be aware my only role in PE would be as a large medicine ball, but Science, Music, even English if I could stomach the marking would all be doable.
     
  4. tonyuk

    tonyuk Occasional commenter

    I would agree though we are compulsory for Functional we have opted ICT as well and this is always healthy with many pupils opting for it - even though the government see no value parents do - as I am always told at parents evening "they need computers for everything these days".
    I will not loose any sleep!
     
  5. The problem will arise if it is dropped from KS3 as a compulsory subject, - there have already been murmurings from the DfE in relation to this - I know it's completely mad to think that other subject areas will teach ICT well in a cross curricular fashion, but I fear that this might happen with the next shakeup. This then might have a knock on effect on number choosing at GCSE. In addition some schools have clearly been scared by the movement towards seeing the new ebac as a measure of school performance and are cutting hours for DT and other related subjects ( i.e. like ICT and Business Studies) - there is already a thread about this on workplace dilemmas where a school is moving to 2 hour maths lessons:
    https://community.tes.co.uk/forums/t/506261.aspx
    I think it probably depends upon the school that you're in, the current strength of the department and the nature of your pupil cohort as to whether the subjects will survive. If you work in a Grammar or Independent have you thought about Economics as an alternative?
    All the best
    Bouga

     
  6. djphillips1408

    djphillips1408 New commenter

    Oh please it won't die, too many chickin lickins on here for my liking.
     
  7. colwynexile

    colwynexile Occasional commenter

    ouch, isn't that a bit of the sky just bouncing of me head, ***, on the last day of school as well. Well poke it, it'll have to be teaching citizenship full time next year then!
     
  8. DEmsley

    DEmsley New commenter

    OT (due to holiday started)
    Oh I don't know - of the Modern Languages I can manage Python, Java and passable in C#.
    I can even do some classics - Pascal, COBOL and BASIC ;-)
     
  9. I've always thought the language of Java could be easily argued as well as (if not better than) Short Course Welsh....
     
  10. Tosha

    Tosha New commenter

    The future is computer science. How can it not be when it is a part of every STEM course at university
     
  11. The doom merchants need to get a grip.
    ICT is most certainly in a very uncertain period. If you look at the NC review statement on the DfE website, read various statements from ministers; join the dots.... I personally would practically guarantee that ICT is going from the NC. I am not despondent about this, its a case of anticipating it and rising to the challenges that will bring. Its a strategic chess game and you know that that move is very likely coming.
    The reaction will depend on the importance of ICT in your school, how much it is valued by the head/SMT, and the quality of learning and outcomes seen from your area. ICT teachers will be made redundant in swathes of schools and safe as houses in others. I think that will depend on the values and vision of your head.
    I'd say that the arguments and the positive PR for ICT need to getting away in earnest now. Don't justify ICT in terms of league table boosting (look at today's announcement that voc subjects are out as a performance measure), rather justify as an important subject to prepare students with the skills, understanding and competencies for the modern digital world. Good luck with that message!
    Hell, there may be all new exciting opportunities in the demise of ICT as an official statutory requirement and subject title. What was previously "ICT" on the statutory (KS3) curriculum transforms into "Digital design" lessons if you are an artsy schoool. "ICT" turns into "Computing" for Maths/computing schools, etc. ICT turns into "Learning to learn" lessons if you want to justify ICT as learning skills and practical skills that support everything else.
    Couldn't one argue that the shackles are off when ICT is gone, and passionate teachers can carve a whole new niche on the curriculum with the freeedom of a blank sheet for the programme of study? Anyway, just thoughts... I'm really worried about the future, but I'd argue the case again - despair isn't the only option.
     
  12. tonyuk

    tonyuk Occasional commenter

    Well as SSAT is on its way out I think specialist schools are numbered rather they will all be Academies - and give it 7-8 years and ICT will be back centre stage again when employers start complaining that their latest recruits are using word art in business letters!!!
     
  13. papakura

    papakura New commenter

    ICT as a subject had a great future but there are teachers who coach their students in an environment of 100% internal assessment - basically cheating for the sake of their own performance management.
    The integrity of vocational qualifications is in doubt. I would agree that there needs to be an element of external assessment. Where I work, some staff seem to think that a middle set can achieve a GCSE with 40 hours of lessons and the students will be guaranteed a pass. They will have all sorts of reasons as to why this is the case but it devalues ICT as a GCSE subject.
    Sorry to all those who do the right thing. I actually like the OCR Nationals and DiDA and think they and all of the other vocational qualifications should be a great boon to the education of our young people and ICT teaching to boot, but racing kids to get as many GCSE equivalents in as short a time as possible has turned me against the whole system of vocational ICT.
     
  14. Well said Tayberry ! !
    ICT is too well integrated for it to be sidelined. And it is a dynamic entity that evolves daily. The problem lies with who controls what could and should be taught in schools.
    There is a place for vocational skills, because we're all trainers for Microsoft. There is also a place for academic rigour, currently provided by Computing. The weakness seems to be what's left in the middle ground. No shortage of potential there though.
    If we here can't agree on what ICT is/does/means -- and we can't - collective views are too disparate -- someone somewhere will make that decision for us.
     

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