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Struggling with DIDA

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by ITrunaway, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. ITrunaway

    ITrunaway New commenter

    Hi, I qualified as a D&T teacher but have been roped in to teach DIDA as the group selecting it was too large. I have a previous career in ICT so ought to be well qualified.

    The fact is I'm really struggling - I just don't "get" what DIDA is about. It strikes me that the kids could put the evidence together in about a term when it's supposed to take them until March of next year! This is resulting in me feeling bored as we string things out, and therefore them feeling bored. Am I missing something?

    The ICT teacher is a bit batty and difficult to follow when I ask her - she just smiles, enthuses about how great it is and doesn't really give me any clear pointers as to what I ought to be teaching.

    To make matters more difficult my class is a combination of level 1 and level 2 students. So I feel constantly as if I'm split in two while teaching this.

    Help!
     
  2. ITrunaway

    ITrunaway New commenter

    Hi, I qualified as a D&T teacher but have been roped in to teach DIDA as the group selecting it was too large. I have a previous career in ICT so ought to be well qualified.

    The fact is I'm really struggling - I just don't "get" what DIDA is about. It strikes me that the kids could put the evidence together in about a term when it's supposed to take them until March of next year! This is resulting in me feeling bored as we string things out, and therefore them feeling bored. Am I missing something?

    The ICT teacher is a bit batty and difficult to follow when I ask her - she just smiles, enthuses about how great it is and doesn't really give me any clear pointers as to what I ought to be teaching.

    To make matters more difficult my class is a combination of level 1 and level 2 students. So I feel constantly as if I'm split in two while teaching this.

    Help!
     
  3. I first starting teaching DIDA in the summer term last year and I can relate to your post above. It does seem that there's not enough work, sometimes I find myself "teaching" parts of what they need to do, e.g. using the software or some background theory that they are not really required to know but will help them. I found the books (which you can get cheap on amazon) really helped me to understand exactly what they needed to show they could do. You might find that when it comes to creating their own website this can take as long as the project as so many things can go wrong with it, certainly in my school anyway.

    I teach a mixture of level 1 and 2 also and tend to let the quicker ones get on alone with regular checks against their plan (and mine!). We aim to do one unit per school year.

    Hope it helps !
     
  4. I have only quoted the previous post but this goes to both posters. I am actually quite shocked and disgusted that you are treating this as a "teach them to pass" course. This is completely against what DiDA is about. The course is supposed to teach these pupils how to think for theirselves so they can work completely unaided throughout the spb (obviously there is some guided learning in there at times). However, what you must NOT be doing is teaching this "as you go along". Where is the teaching before hand and after each project. Teach them the skills, give the pupils the project. This is exactly what is wrong with education these days, too many teachers are teaching to pass, and not actually teaching the subject.



     
  5. ITrunaway

    ITrunaway New commenter

    Why do you think I'm treating this as a "teach them to pass" course? I cannot get my head around what DIDA is for - that's all I'm asking. It seems to be a fairly simple project given in the SPB and there are no clues apart from that about what you're supposed to teach them. Are you saying that I should be giving them a thorough grounding in Excel, Access etc and then get them to work out for themselves how to put the project together? If so then I could go with that - that doesn't seem to be the expectation of the Head of ICT. Maybe it is but she hasn't made that clear to me.
    Like I said - I'm struggling and could do with some help - not criticism.
     

  6. Thats exactly the point im making. The spb isn't designed to be "taught" it is very much quite an open project and bar the usual "you must use reports" to do this section, and spreadsheets everything else is purely to the undestanding of the pupil.
     
  7. So there are a number of models. Some schools expect independent work on the SPB, others provide detailed templates and teaching and spoon feed. There are a whole range of in betweens. At the end, students get a pass which doesn't necessarily take account of their own efforts. Pragmatically, it would make sense to go for results.
     
  8. You should also get the better students to develop their solutions beyond the basic requirements. My students are doing the e-Safety project for Unit 1. On the web page task for example, the better ones have added their own animations, interactive actions such as rollovers and movies created in PhotoStory. By developing their own resources they also improve their mark on section (b) of the mark scheme.
    Not much help to you now, I know but DiDA is not suitable for your lower ability students, even at level 1. I run DiDA for our 'upper' groups and OCR Nationals for the rest. More work but less hassle
    You don't say how much time you are timetabled for. With only one period a week over two years I just manage to complete one unit. With option groups in the past I've managed two units in the first year.
    One idea that might help would be to register for OSCA on the Edexcel site - not necessarily to do the assessment exercise but to see examples of work that might give you ideas.
     
  9. papakura

    papakura New commenter

    Hi LiamWills
    I commend what you are saying but find it thoroughly at odds with the way things are at the chalkface. As a result, I feel complete empathy for the OP who has described a problem that Michael Gove and HMG should deal with - AND NOW!
    The pressure for a teacher to show the student how to get a pass is intolerable. You and I know that is wrong but what can we do? And if you object? Well, a Unit should only take 30 hours afterall!
    I am willing to give evidence if others are but the prognosis is my head being kicked around the parapet while the rest of you avert your eyes - looking to your next promotion ;-))
    I have already stressed my concerns to a leading Headteacher and wished I had not!! But give me the word and I will set up a petition at number 10!
     
  10. When the Headteachers demand results what are people supposed to do? Easy to criticise here - Bullying Exists!
     
  11. I think for those who know DIDA well, it has been - and remains - the most misunderstood qualification around. I am shocked, and more shocked, to read that schools (such as the OP) are still teaching to the test!! Unbelievable! Its a bit like saying I "i don't get what I have to teach" by looking at an exam paper. All units of DIDA are incredibly open and flexible, and it is a truly fantastic qualification. The SPB is such a small final part of it.
    My advice:
    read the spec - know what is covered in a given unit and then write a kick-ass programme of study that will really engage your students. The SPB has NOTHING to do with what you teach!
    At the end of your learning programme, students then tackle the SPB as a summative exercise to show what they have learnt and the skills that they have.
    DIDA is fantastic and its a massive shame that it has a limited shelf life.
    The only danger in DIDA is the very 'heart-in-your-mouth', 'pray to the gods' process of formal moderation. Edexcel has been criticised (perhaps duly) for a lack of common-sense and fairness, and bungling technical knowledge in many of the moderators they've chosen to employ.
     
  12. "DIDA is fantastic and its a massive shame that it has a limited shelf life."
    ROFLOL ROFLOL ROFLOL ROFLOL ROFLOL ROFLOL ROFLOL ROFLOL
    That must be the best joke I've heard since someone on here cracked that OCR was a rigorous qualification, worth every one of its 1/2/4/8/16/32/34345 GCSEs.
     

  13. Thanks, you just made mine and my HoD's day :)
     

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