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Blue Skies Thread, Making ICT Relevant in General; After sitting in lessons yesterday (Want to become a teacher once I finish my OU degree) it struck me that ...
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    Making ICT Relevant

    After sitting in lessons yesterday (Want to become a teacher once I finish my OU degree) it struck me that kids just dont see the point and I'm sure it's the same in every subject, so how can ICT become relevant to kids?

    I grant them the fact that ICT is boring in school, lessons yesterday consisted of searching for houses on the net and putting their details into a spreadsheet along with identifying which demographic that house would appeal to. From that information they then had to make a slideshow to advertise the houses using the information they had found. That, ideally, teaches the kids how to research, filter information and then take the relevant information and store it in an appropriate format for a purpose. But the kids didn't see the point and I can understand why but surely there must be something that teachers and to an extent support staff, can do to make ICT more relevant.

    Anyone have any ideas?

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    unixman_again's Avatar
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    IT is boring in the real world too, so school is giving them a taste of what it will be like. I wish I had 1 for every user I've created, every toner I've replaced, every time I've had to re-install a computer, etc. I'd be richer than Carlos Slim Helu if I had! IT consists of nothing but repetitive tasks, exactly like your students have been doing.

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    Grey-gear's Avatar
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    A way they could make it more intresting for the students would be to aim the lessons that include things that the students would have opinions on. I know that is easier said than done but a lesson with spread sheets could be comparing different types of music from staff and students in the lesson that was collected by a questionnaire made in a word document and then the findings shown in a power piont would be more intresting to them as they have opinions about music. This could be used for a range of topics such as gaming, TV shows, Celbraties and other things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by unixman_again View Post
    IT is boring in the real world too, so school is giving them a taste of what it will be like. I wish I had 1 for every user I've created, every toner I've replaced, every time I've had to re-install a computer, etc. I'd be richer than Carlos Slim Helu if I had! IT consists of nothing but repetitive tasks, exactly like your students have been doing.
    While that's true I also disagree. Depending on my mood and the motivation sometimes I absolutely love coming to work knowing that I've got a load of PHP coding to do or the challenge of a cable run. Replacing toners and stuff is boring, there's no denying that but there are more interesting things in IT and end user support is one of the more dull activities but things like planning rebuilds, coding and developing new systems etc.. are all quite enjoyable most of the time.



    A way they could make it more intresting for the students would be to aim the lessons that include things that the students would have opinions on. I know that is easier said than done but a lesson with spread sheets could be comparing different types of music from staff and students in the lesson that was collected by a questionnaire made in a word document and then the findings shown in a power piont would be more intresting to them as they have opinions about music. This could be used for a range of topics such as gaming, TV shows, Celbraties and other things.
    Not a bad idea! Conditional formatting for different genres of music etc... counting the number of people that like XYZ, making up an "activity day" type sheet which shows how many students would be in Room 1 with genre X, room 2 with Genre Y etc...

    Hmm....Nice idea!

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    Quote Originally Posted by unixman_again View Post
    IT is boring in the real world too, so school is giving them a taste of what it will be like. I wish I had 1 for every user I've created, every toner I've replaced, every time I've had to re-install a computer, etc. I'd be richer than Carlos Slim Helu if I had! IT consists of nothing but repetitive tasks, exactly like your students have been doing.
    Sounds like you're in the wrong job! Every job has some element of repetition, that's life, but I personally don't find IT itself boring.

    I'm not a teacher and know nothing about the curriculum, but is there any scope to teach them a little programming? I'm not talking C++ or even Python for that matter, but something like Scratch can teach core programming and logic skills and be fun at the same time.

    @Grey-gear is on to an excellent point there I think; if you are strictly confined by the curriculum, you need to find ways to make it appeal to the kids. One thing I see teachers doing a hell of a lot is sticking rigidly to their books when delivering lessons; they show no passion for the subject they teach. If the teacher has no passion, how on Earth will the student? Granted, it's hard to remain passionate about a subject you have to teach the basics of every day, but if you open it out to cover some of your own interests in some way then that'll make it more fun for you, which in turn must have a positive impact on the student's attitude to the subject, musn't it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by LosOjos View Post
    Sounds like you're in the wrong job! Every job has some element of repetition, that's life, but I personally don't find IT itself boring.

    I'm not a teacher and know nothing about the curriculum, but is there any scope to teach them a little programming? I'm not talking C++ or even Python for that matter, but something like Scratch can teach core programming and logic skills and be fun at the same time.

    @Grey-gear is on to an excellent point there I think; if you are strictly confined by the curriculum, you need to find ways to make it appeal to the kids. One thing I see teachers doing a hell of a lot is sticking rigidly to their books when delivering lessons; they show no passion for the subject they teach. If the teacher has no passion, how on Earth will the student? Granted, it's hard to remain passionate about a subject you have to teach the basics of every day, but if you open it out to cover some of your own interests in some way then that'll make it more fun for you, which in turn must have a positive impact on the student's attitude to the subject, musn't it?
    The kids here do a lot of Scratch already... a lot but they have to for their coursework at the end of their GCSEs, quite a few of them wanted to play pacman yesterday rather than do any work so that seems like an opportunity to get them involved with making a simple version of Pacman in scratch (Which I did myself this morning and they would be more than capable of if it was taught in smaller steps). I guess they don't see the worth in ICT in the real world, none of them realise that ICT is needed in 99% of jobs out there.

    If/when I get more action in the classrooms I am very tempted to start up afterschool workshops, taking an element of their GCSE work (IE programming) and running an hour long session on it's practical uses and deeper aspects for the nerds. IE different programming languages, how they interact with the elements of the OS and advanced logic, functions, objects etc... not to teach them as such but more to show them what other elements are out there for them to research or just to put their learning into context. I know it would really help me if I were in their position. Could also involve some hands on, IE taking PCs apart and what not. Doesn't help in the classroom though!

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    IT consists of nothing but repetitive tasks
    You're doing IT wrong, IT consists of nothing but automating repetitive tasks so you have time post to forums

  8. 3 Thanks to mavhc:

    LosOjos (14th March 2013), markwilfan (14th March 2013), Steven_Cleaver (14th March 2013)

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    unixman_again's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LosOjos View Post
    Sounds like you're in the wrong job! Every job has some element of repetition, that's life, but I personally don't find IT itself boring.
    I've been in the wrong job for 35 years so it's a bit late to change now, besides while I'm doing this, I'm not taking a nice job from somebody else.

    As to making IT relevant, teach them how to use M$ products. Windows hasn't really changed much since the 1992 release. I'm not talking how it looks rather how it behaves. It is still a single user operating system, supports a single desktop and still uses the same file structure. I can't see this changing any time soon.

    To make IT interesting, perhaps try something off the wall. Can you use a Kinect to turn on a radio when you enter a room? (an example of process control). (The answer is yes AFAIK.) Build an analogue computer. Look at something other than binary. When I was at uni in the 1970's we were assured the ternary computer was just around the corner and it will revolutionise computations. It would had it gotten off the ground. Perhaps quantum computing will be the next big thing? Maybe organic computing?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mavhc View Post
    You're doing IT wrong, IT consists of nothing but automating repetitive tasks so you have time post to forums
    Excellent point and is exactly what we try to do automate it if it is repetitive then you have more time developing things and trying to make sure the things you develop have an impact and are being used. Your always going to have the odd thing you can't automate but always do as much as you can.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowx View Post
    After sitting in lessons yesterday (Want to become a teacher once I finish my OU degree) it struck me that kids just dont see the point and I'm sure it's the same in every subject, so how can ICT become relevant?
    You're spot on here. I queried this with some teachers and there seems to be some confusion between the kids knowing and understanding what the learning objective is and seeing what the point is. I was assured that all of the kids would know what the learning objective was. I thought that the teacher didn't see my point!

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