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So, no ict at all in the EBac?

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by mossonbrick, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. So you're a big supporter of gcse ict? Why? You're a twit (see how easy it is to throw insults - far harder to give a reasoned argument). Look at the waffle taught, the crazy new coursework, the drop in numbers taking a level ict and the demise of computing. I don't know about you but we carefully survey our pupils each year and the message is the same - they hate ict cos it's boring and they really loathe the coursework. The ict advisors at the lea did a pupil survey after concerns were raised last year across schools in the lea. Same message. The gcse computing course by ocr is ok but when you get to the detail, and you compare to their as, their is very little difference if you are bright pupil, and indeed, over two years and with no coursework hoop jumping it is perfect for g&t kids.
     
  2. How do you explain the collapse in uptake in the sixth form? Why do many unis not rate a level ict (you have to actually speak to admissions officers to get the answer - bet you have never spoken to one). When you do your surveys of pupils doing gcse ict, what have they told you - bet you have never done one? You clearly never ask pupuls what they think or you'd be better informed. The new gcse in ict is RUBBISH, better than the old one ( that was 90% rubbish and this is only 80%).

    I'd love to know why you think ict gcse is great?
     
  3. BrianUK

    BrianUK New commenter

    @mosson. I apologise. I meant to include the above comment in my earlier reply but it seems to have not worked. I was not referring to your comments at all. In fact as far as GCSE ICT is concerned I do tend to agree with most of what you say. As far as tokyoprince is concerned, his unfounded and unsubstantiated claims that GCE ICT is a "soft" subject and not accepted by many universities needs evidencing. I beg to differ. It was to him/her that my remarks were aimed.
     
  4. BrianUK

    BrianUK New commenter

    We have a very good uptake of ICT in our 6th form and our results are very good. In fact they are way above average. We have two teachers with over 30 years experience between them in the IT industry and another 12 years in teaching. I blame poorly qualified, poorly experienced and quite frankly poor teaching for the drop off. Our pupils like A Level ICT and it is very well taught. As for talking to admissions officers , I personally know two from Russell Group Unis so am quite well informed. They understand quite rightly that A Level ICT is a tough subject to score well in and that to do so requires a very diligent and determined pupil. They suport the subject whole heartedly and if you read their latest report you will see that it is indeed mentioned twice as a valid supporting A Level for two of their courses. It is not mentioned as a soft subject and quite rightly so.
     
  5. "We have a very good uptake of ICT in our 6th form and our results are very good." Well done but it's irrelevant. The national trend is what is important and it speaks for itself. Numbers are way way down on just a few years ago.
    "is a tough subject to score well in" It's very very easy to score something in, to get a grade. EPractically everyone who takes A Level ICT gets a prize. However, it is very tough to get a top grade in (look at the national breakdown of grades and ICT at A grade is always one of the worast). Why, well take for example OCR's coursework this year. One of the questions is undo-able by most teachers (judging by the OCR forums) and the others are so easy that a GCSE student could do them. The examable topics are just waffle, all things to all men. Result: few can second guess what will be in the exam papers, no matter how hard everyone works.
    This is what is wrong with ICT - it isn't a 'real' subject. It's a set of pet topics brought together by a small committee at OFQUAL and then farmed out to exam boards to make of them what they can. OFQUAL's ICT A Level committee is clueless, doesn't consult, doesn't know what it's doing and is constantly in a mess. The framework they put together is shockingly bad.
     
  6. BrianUK

    BrianUK New commenter

    I repeat this because there are ill informed trolls on this forum that keep dissing the A Level and make unsubstantiated claims about it being a "soft" and or "boring" option.They are wrong. It is the 2nd hardest A Level to score a top grade in and is validated by top universities. Again, perhaps the problem lies with the teachers who are not qualified or experienced or simply not good enough to make the subject engaging and interesting. Teachers who are able to draw upon real world experience and provide real world examples and who are genuinely excited by the subject will inspire even the dullest topics and motivate even the most challenging students.
     
  7. Lol! Love the "ill informed troll" comment - no irony
    there. In my posts I often quote research; and these quotes are
    ignored or the originator is rubbished (Ofsted, e-skills, Royal
    Society, Computing.co.uk magazine). Given that every school *I
    think*, uses predictive data for students the relative difficulty of
    A-level subjects is well known. Here's one document for your viewing
    pleasure:

    http://www.cemcentre.org/attachments/Alis_A-Level%20Subject%20Difficulties.pdf

    As you'll see, the hardest subject to get an 'A' in is
    General Studies - not valued at all by most universities. Log on to
    the CEM secure site to compare predicted grades for your students in
    their different subjects; or if you can't do that ask your sixth form
    team to print the data out.

    "Boring" is a matter of opinion. I think most
    people like me; techie, programmer, find ICT courses unfulfilling.
    In my experience teachers capable of teaching Computing i.e. they can
    program reasonably, know about number representation etc. always enjoy Computing more even if they've decided to offer ICT not computing for reasons of
    results etc. I have the impression - I may be wrong - that for a lot of 'ICT only teachers', Computing is thought too difficult to teach.




     
  8. BrianUK

    BrianUK New commenter

    Here's a quote from me :)
    There lies and there's stats - yawn.
    Geek: "a common term for someone who is overly obsessed by their computer ".
    You see, herein lies another angle to this whole poor teacher issue. Geeks like programming. Programming suits geeks. Computer Science allows geeks to find a way of expressing themselves with other geeks.
    In my opinion, ICT schouldn't be taught by geeks either. Geeks SHOULD be teaching Computer Science or Maths and not forced into teaching a subject that is not worthy because it has no programming element to it. It really can't be good for the soul not being able to stuff Python down pupil's necks at every opportunity.
    Computing is thought too diificult to teach by the majority of ICT teachers because they are not sufficiently geeky enough to be able to teach it. And quite frankly they would hate it too. Let's face it. Binary floating point representation doesn't really float your average ICT teacher's boat now does it? I could be wrong of course?
    ICT is so completely different in its context and content that it cannot be taught effectively by teachers that who are not already experienced professionals in the IT industry - and that doesn't mean programmers. And herein lies the next problem - there are very few teachers of ICT that have relevant business knowledge that they can apply in the classroom. They are either Office experts (read: PE teachers looking towards retirement), maths teachers who are really little boys who can't stop being little boys, or geeks who really have spent too long fiddling with their computers. Very strange, angry and cynical bunch of people who really shouldn't be teaching ICT A Level. - in my opinion.
     
  9. "Mankind have a great aversion to intellectual labour; but even supposing knowledge to be easily attainable, more people would be content to be ignorant than would take even a little trouble to acquire it"
    Samuel Johnson
     
  10. just seen this:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/8346276/Exams-should-be-done-on-computers-says-watchdog.html
    Started a thread on opinion about it. So, no ICT in Ebac and likely to be no discrete ICT in KS3, but prospect of massive spending by schools in order to be able to provide this. Can't see it happening - unless central exam centres set up, - although not sure how that would work, given that everyone should take exams at same time.
    Just doesn't seem to be any joined up thinking at the moment

     
  11. Different people have different opinions and why shouldn’t they? Most people quoted in the article seem to be against the idea in principle or think it impractical.
     
  12. BrianUK

    BrianUK New commenter

    And your point is?
     
  13. djphillips1408

    djphillips1408 New commenter

    Of course the bit they did not mention in this article is that the woman who made these comments is leaving ofqual TODAY and moving to Singapore to be some sort of education advisor, where guess what they do lots of exams on computers. Seems like an appropriate thing for her to say bearing in mind the job she is off to do. Certainly it does not mean her view will be that of the organisation that (as it's 4.50) will cease to be her employer in what about 10 minutes time....
     
  14. True! Amazing what a little bit of context does for you, isn't it[​IMG]
     

  15. Which is why I teach kids to prepare their replies in MSWord (or
    similar) and having checked spelling and grammar, to cut and paste
    corrected work into the Faecebook/*******/forum or whatever to which
    they are replying. This method also allows for tempers to cool and word
    counts to assist concise flaming.

    It has been my experience that
    those who "learn on the job" (IFH that expression) learn only the
    rudiments of the job from others who have, in turn, learned from others
    who were incompetent. Having worked in many offices I can attest to the
    astonishingly low level of skill displayed by seasoned drones.

    BTW
    most British mid-level managers have the same training scheme in place
    and this explains the appalling lack of competent managers in most
    British businesses (with very few exceptions). Almost all my friends are
    highly qualified (graduates, etc) professionals: Civil Engineer,
    Electrical Research Engineer, University Lecturer, two Senior Bank
    Managers and an IT teacher, Executive PA in a large organisation, etc
    and except for the other teacher, none have complete skills in the IT
    which they use every day and several call me regularly to confirm how to
    do what they want. They all assume that we are teaching the next
    generation, whom they will soon be employing, a better basis of skill
    than they had.

    The Miniature for Adulation is patently a
    nincompoop of the first water whose mind needs to be changed in regard
    to IT and to several other subjects and issues if we are to continue to
    enjoy a sensible education system.

    AAT: teaching is no longer a profession, it is a craft - ***? To be learned on-the-job without need of HE input,



    Plumbing is a craft (not a trade) and it is learned in college
    for three years. Gas Fitters (specialised plumbers) are retested every
    five years and they all earn more than most teachers.



    Electrician, similarly train for long periods in college and as
    partially qualified workers, they continue to train in college to
    advance their skills; they must re-qualify every time the edition of
    Electrical Regulations changes (at their own expense - like the gas
    chaps) which might be why they too earn more than teachers.

    Solicitors
    and Physicians are professionals who qualify once with a degree and/or
    MD and then continue to be professionals for the remainder of their
    career. I put it to you that lawyers and GPs rarely affect the entire
    life of the children they encounter in their work which rewards them
    handsomely and which they perform by consulting books to support their
    over taxed memories.



    Teachers learn their skills in schools having already learned their subject knowledge in university and whilst learning their professional competencies in
    universities at the beginning of their careers. They then continue to
    study their chosen vocation in the form of pedagogy throughout their
    careers. Teachers are the most PROFESSIONAL professionals.

    If
    anyone seriously wants their children educated for life by any random
    bod who wanders in off the street to learn a craft on the job as they go
    along with someone showing them the ropes in those long stretches of
    time they have free between lessons of their own then I suggest that
    person should send their kids to an academy or a free school which can
    employ unqualified, unrestricted, underpaid, uneducated, experts to
    teach said kids how to get by in life without the inconvenience of
    testing, appraisal, knowledge, discipline or ambition.

    But I doubt
    the one who advocates the idiotic cuts would consider sending his own
    offspring to any ordinary establishment anyway so with the likes of
    Harrow, Eton, et al available why would he worry?

    Sorry, I
    promised myself I would answer one point and stop but the whole
    situation is so insane that I cannot help myself . . . so anyway thats
    why we need IT teachers. Now, anyone know of a job going, south of London?
     

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