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The telegraph's view of ICT

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by Tosha, Dec 23, 2011.

  1. Tosha

    Tosha New commenter

  2. Tosha

    Tosha New commenter

  3. Captain Obvious

    Captain Obvious New commenter

    But I always get a drink before turning on my computer...
    This is just one of those convenient articles aka "Kick a subject while it's down". I love the smell of journalistic bias in the morning...
     
  4. Is it bias? I don't read the T, but including these kinds of silly, silly questions in exam papers doesn't exactly enhance a subject's streetcred. When I think about it, I quite applaud the T's reporting. It is quite clear to me from many year's experience that exam boards have been driving standards down for a long time. OFQUAL really are the most useless organisation going in my experience. They are always the last to know about any problem. If you report something to do with the exam board, they will only refer you back to the exam board who you have a problem with!!!!!! They are clueless when it comes to the problems that controlled assessments are causing schools. They have little appreciation of the poor standard of marking that takes place with a largely unqualified peace-rate workforce. They just don't get why ICT and other subjects are in such a mess.
     
  5. Captain Obvious

    Captain Obvious New commenter

    Yes, but fairly clever bias. Toby Young fails to address two things: Firstly, that there will be more challenging questions on the exam paper and also that other subjects with all the exam boards are likely to have questions that are equally daft.
    He's not so much wrong, but it's being used as an attack on ICT when the problem is true of the wider examination system.
     
  6. "all the exam boards are likely to have questions that are equally daft."
    I disagree. Can you give some examples, please?
     
  7. Captain Obvious

    Captain Obvious New commenter

    "Which one of the following output devices gives hard copy output?
    Write the letter corresponding to your answer in the box given.
    A Digital projector
    B Monitor
    C Printer
    D Speaker"
    That's from AQA. I'd say that's fairly daft (or at least incredibly simple). But I think it has to be viewed in context that this sort of question is usually the first one on the paper and the difficult ramps up from there.
     
  8. The example you give is hardly in the same league as the T's examples.
     
  9. The first question on the T's site I actually remember being very similar on my own WJEC GCSE paper - except the last option was "Cook Food". We did have a good laugh about that after the exam!
     
  10. It's not bias against ICT. This particular story is about ICT because of WJEC's malpractice concerning their ICT exam; WJEC are responsible for drawing attention to ICT. The Telegraph is frequently critical of standards across all subjects. IMO, they are often right.
     
  11. Tosha

    Tosha New commenter

    It implies that ICT papers just consist of very silly multiple choice questions.
     
  12. robot1

    robot1 New commenter

    I do agree that the questions in the Telegraph look very easy. Presented to most adults including the readership of the Telegraph, these questions are indeed far too easy. But what they fail to explain is that all GCSE papers have to have some easy questions. This is because the paper has to assess at grades C to G (assuming its a foundation paper). Some questions have to be designed to sort out the G grades students from the U grade students. That is the purpose of this sort of question. It is sad but true that some very low ability students may even get these questions wrong. If the whole paper was like this I think they have a point. As usual, this is an example of lazy headline grabbing journalism.
     
  13. This "dumbimg down” is true in all subjects. Some of the multiple choice questions in so called "hard subjects" like Science are absurdly easy. W hat what you use to view the stars a: Periscope b: Stethoscope c: Telescope d: Microscope – was an actual question from AQA GCSE Science. In fairness to ICT the rest of the questions would be far harder. An analysis of GCSE A* to Cs results shows ICT has a similar pass rate to History and Geography around 76% . I would argue that no current GCSE is as difficult as the old O level equivalent. Those who applaud Gove’s back to basics curriculum should remember this. The “every one pass pass” mantra has resulting in massive dumbing down in all subjects.
     
  14. It's the same logic as gave us non-competitive sports days. You can't make anyone feel bad. Even employers find it increasingly difficult to get rid of feckless 18-year-olds - who remain feckless because anyone telling them they are feckless is accused of bullying.
    The Chinese, or Indians (etc), don't spend ages navel gaxing and feeling so sorry for little thick Freddie that they make 30% a pass. Instead, they put Freddie back a year where he can learn, or tell his feckless parents who let him off with not doing homework that it's their job to sort it out.
    Before you flame me, ask where all your money is going the next time you pay for goods or services. To quote my sixth-formers, we're being pwned.
     
  15. I agree with Captain Obvious - it's a case of Kick a subject while it's down'. Take a look at the OCR website and have a look at some of the Foundation papers for other subjects including English, Maths and Geography - you get equally 'dumb' questions. eg, For Maths - Write one thousand three hundred and four using figures. For Geography - 'You will have studied a location in the UK which is 'your' place - Name your place, Describe the employment opportunities in your place (just requires them to reproduce something they learnt in class).
    We all know that GCSE papers are supposed to provide questions which cover the full range of grades A*-G. Typical of the press to cherry pick the easy questions which create headline news!!
    Of course he could have quoted the higher level questions from the paper 'Explain the functions of an operating system' or 'Explain what is meant by multi-tasking' But where's the fun in that?
     


  16. To be fair, this is from Toby Young who has looked long and hard at education and found it wanting. He is the driving force behind the new free school in Ealing and a major player in Free Schools generally. He can't be written off as a headline grabber.

    While I'm no fan of free schools, I know enough about ICT to know that most of what goes on in schools is worthless. The Uni I did my PGCE at dropped the subject for that reason, having a throughput of graduates in subjects they didn't normally consider for postgraduate study.

    I used to believe that ICT could be made a worthwhile subject but the reality is that schools want something to bolster their 5 A* to C and that means that it is a dumbed down subject.

    The answer for the critics is to create a subjet that people like Toby Young can have confidence in. I don't see that happening any time soon.
     
  17. All that your questions require is that the student has memorized a list. They will be marked on how many they remember. They demonstrate nothing at all about "higher level" understanding.
     
  18. Young could find similar absurd questions in every other GCSE subject from Science through to Maths. The decision by exam boards to end two tier exam papers partly explains this. The "silly" questions are no doubt a means to distinguish between the F and U candidates. Yes- such candidates really exist! I dare say denigrating ICT as subject means that Young’s free school no longer has to provide IT access across the school. Think of all the money saved! It is far cheaper to buy a set of text books and teach “traditional subjects” in a dull old fashioned 1950’s style. Didactic teaching here we come!

    In fact I would argue the main reason why skills based subjects like ICT and DT have been downgraded in the new NC is due to cost cutting. The A*-C pass grades in the so called harder subjects are higher then GCSE ICT. Strange how that wasn't mentioned by Gove or his "experts".
     
  19. .
    I disagree totally, in KS3 my students do programming in Scratch which even the top sets find difficult. We also do spreadsheet and database modelling and web design using Dreamweaver and Flash which tests all abilty ranges. There are also ICT theory skills such as how to stay safe online and e-safety which is part of safeguarding. I find it absurd the way ICT is dismissed as worthless and wonder if some of the trolls on here really do teach the subject. Students generally enjoy ICT in my school and see it as worthwhile,. This is also the case for DT.
    I admit KS4 needs revamping as I do not like the new 2010 specs. I selected Edexcel as I found it the best of bad bunch. However I still believe there is a place for ICT at KS4 and it has an important role to play in providing "employabilty" skills. I have a wide range of friends in the private sector and all are suprised at the decision to downgrade ICT in the NC.

     
  20. This is just another "quack, quack, quack" from the tedious bore Toby "look at me" Young.
    What is really worrying is that the uninformed drivel he churns out could once be have been assigned to "tomorrows chip wrappers". However, due to Gove's bizarre "free school" experiment the likes of Toby Young are sponsored by the tax payer to play at being educationalists.
    A man who has nothing to say but feels he must say something.
     

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