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Screenshots

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by gimmeabreak2, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. Hi all,

    I'm currently doing a PGCE - really enjoying it so far.

    I'm a little dismayed by how ICT is taught however. The two schools I have been at do OCR Nationals.
    It seems that the courses are very easy and pupils spend most of their time taking
    screenshots rather than learning how to use computers. I get the feeling that the pupils are following
    the steps of the procedures, taking screenshots as they go, and not really learning from what they are doing.

    I suppose the fundamental reason for this approach is the difficulty in examining IT work. My own view is that
    there is too much emphasis on exams. Pupils are taught to pass exams rather than learn skills.

    Maybe its time that a different approach was tried ? Portfolios of work instead of exams ? It works in the world of
    work well enough.

    Apologies if this has been argued to death already somewhere else. Any thoughts anyone ?

    Jon
     
  2. Hi all,

    I'm currently doing a PGCE - really enjoying it so far.

    I'm a little dismayed by how ICT is taught however. The two schools I have been at do OCR Nationals.
    It seems that the courses are very easy and pupils spend most of their time taking
    screenshots rather than learning how to use computers. I get the feeling that the pupils are following
    the steps of the procedures, taking screenshots as they go, and not really learning from what they are doing.

    I suppose the fundamental reason for this approach is the difficulty in examining IT work. My own view is that
    there is too much emphasis on exams. Pupils are taught to pass exams rather than learn skills.

    Maybe its time that a different approach was tried ? Portfolios of work instead of exams ? It works in the world of
    work well enough.

    Apologies if this has been argued to death already somewhere else. Any thoughts anyone ?

    Jon
     
  3. DEmsley

    DEmsley New commenter

    It has.
    Numerous threads on this already exist.
    One of the things that is taught on all courses, however easy, is how to use the search facilities.
    Just my thoughts.
    ...and where were you in May? I did not see *YOUR* name on the ballot?

    How about you complete your PGCE, get a little experience in the classroom and work with school management for a few years and find out what they want. If you read the threads on this topic, go on courses for the OCR Nationals, discuss it with many teaching colleagues you'll see that death by screenshot isn't how it's meant to be. Now I don't know how many schools you've experience of but as a PGCE student I suspect <=2?
    Perhaps you could list the *skills* you want students to *learn*. Then explain to us who've been doing this for some considerable time where we're going wrong because obviously we've a lot to learn from you keen experts new to the profession.
    And whilst you're at it you could explain how what you're saying is different from wanting to *train* rather than *teach* students?
    When you've made that list of skills compare it to the OCR Nationals specification and explain how *YOU* would want students to evidence they have those skills.

     
  4. Thanks for the reply. If I make it sound as if people who have been in the profession far longer than I have are getting it wrong I apologise. I absolutely feel naive as an ICT teacher. I can't really see a great deal of different between training and teaching ? I suppose for some topics I would like to see pupils creating real IT projects. Ecommerce sites for A level perhaps?

    It's certainly a fair call to suggest I read the OCT Nationals specification and also to practice my search skills which I will do having a look for previous threads.
     
  5. Such a welcoming post for a new teacher. I suppose people who haven't been teaching that long don't get entitled to an opinion? Yes, it has been discussed to death but no need for an attitude about it.
     
  6. colwynexile

    colwynexile Occasional commenter

    I agree that everyone who teaches ICT is allowed their own ideas and thoughts and have the right to discuss those.
    However,
    1. This is a topic that has been discussed to death here. A quick search of these threads would have shown that Death by screenshot is not the way to do this course and the OP would then leave with knowledge that the placement school is doing it wrong rather than a vague disquiet or feeling
    2. I'm sure DEmsley is big enough to with your criticisms of his reply, and I won't dream of criticising you for criticising someone else's opinions, as we all have the right to say what we think (within the bounds of taste, decency, and brevity)
    3. To clarify for the OPs benefit, under the new curriculum I would say the only times you need to screenshot in Unit 1 would be;
    a) to show you can set favourites in their own folder within IE (AO2)
    b) to show the process and results of your internet searching (AO2)
    c) to show the email processes you use (AO2) which we then use to create an email user guide as our multi-page document for AO4
    d) to show you can set slide transitions and custom animations (AO3)
    e) to show you can spell check (AO4)
    f) to show the process and results of creating queries (AO6)
    This is much less than the original curriculum where for AO1 you had to produce a minimum of 5 screenshots just to get a PASS. Anything else is based on the work produced, and instances of screenshots other than these are wasting your time, the kids time and does nothing to build on their knowledge (now waiting with baited breath in case someone comes in and points out the obvious thing I've missed but not realised I have)
    DEmsley's point is this. The OP has been in two schools where OCR is being taught badly (by the sounds of it). But OCR doesn't have to be taught this way, in the same way that kids don't need to be given a GCSE text book and told to start reading it themselves in lessons. He was just upset that the OP was coming across as the typical "I'm doing my PGCE so I know it all" person that occasionally inhabits this forum when patently the OP doesn't. No need for an attitude about it[​IMG]

     
  7. gavcradd

    gavcradd New commenter

    The OP obviously hasn't been into the right schools so far then, or done much reading about what is expected from the OCR Nationals - as ColwynExile says, screenshots should very rarely be needed, students do not have to evidence the process that they took, just that what ever they did worked and was suitable. The vast majority of work can be evidenced from the finished product, whatever it may be. As for portfolios, have you even heard of DiDA? It's not a new approach, it's a very old approach that has been tried with mixed results. There's a world of difference between work (where one person is doing their best to evidence what they need to) and school (where one teacher sometimes has to drag 30 students kicking and screaming through).



    I'd also question the OP doing down his subject so much when he seems to have relatively little experience. He's delivered the OCR Nationals, has he tried GCSE ICT? DiDA? BTECs? Applied GCSEs? the iGCSE? iMedia? Computing courses? Functional Skills? There's a lot out there, please don't do your suibject down without a thorough grasp of the situation.



    On a more positive note, you're going to be in complete control of a few ICT classes in September, then is the time to put things right - don't listen to what others say, if you want to do something differently, do it. If it works, tell us all!
     
  8. DEmsley

    DEmsley New commenter

    OK a little harsh I agree; doesn't mean what I wrote was incorrect but I could have put it better.
     
  9. I'll chip in while I wait for my Y10s to arrive...


    In many schools ICT at KS3 and KS4 has turned into 'Office Studies' and sadly the approach of many to the OCR Nationals is to continue the trend by getting the most out of the kids whilst putting the least in. While this is a somewhat cynical approach there are pockets of resistance. The spirit behind OCR Nationals is a good one. It is the evils of the dreaded league table that lead to the politics and compromises in order to keep up with the Joneses. Sadly I can't see this trend changing any time soon as Gove moves the goalposts and I already know schools that are putting the current Year 10 students through compulsory MFL/Humanities after school if they haven't chosen it as an option in order to boost the EB stats.


    To the OP - Be careful how you phrase things as the majority of teachers here, and indeed elsewhere, want to do the right thing. So do most SMTs. Sadly compromises have to be made and, along with a significant minority of the apathetic, this does lead to situations that you have quite rightly identified as being poor (at best). I'm sure you didn't mean to, but suggestions that the entire profession is collectively at fault (while perhaps arguable) from someone with very little experience is unlikely to be received well.


    That said, there are a lot of good schools that teach a lot of good courses in very good ways. There is Computing (which is getting stronger and stronger), iMedia (for less spreadsheet and database inclined students) and OCR Nationals CAN be inspiring, challenging and exciting.
     
  10. Speaking as someone who is always reasonable, I did read Demsleys origninal post with astonishment.
    It was as though he had done a cover lesson in DT, walked past a vice and caught his balls in it by accident.
     
  11. IMO this is one of the problems. ICT is/was seen by management as the way to bump up the scores for the league tables and ICT teacher obliged by dragging the kids through several equivalent GCSE is a very limited time (did it make them feel superior to colleagues who could only get their kids through one GCSE in the same time?). And that's what they (SMT) want - more for less, so ICT teachers have to find a way to manage = death by screenshot (even though its not what OCR say they want). And I agree with the OP, there is no learning and no independence in this situation. The OP is right to be dismayed by this, and hopefully he/she will go on to put this right for the students that he/she comes into contact with, until we have more rigour in the examined ICT courses.


    There are pockets of good practise in the OCR nationals, not pockets of poor practice!
     

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