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General Chat Thread, Fewer Students Taking 'A' Level ICT as a Subject in General; This isn't so suprising is it considering how boring we've made the subject - this what we've all been saying ...
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    tech_guy's Avatar
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    Fewer Students Taking 'A' Level ICT as a Subject

    This isn't so suprising is it considering how boring we've made the subject - this what we've all been saying for so long:

    BBC NEWS | Education | Computer lessons 'lagging behind'

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    pooley's Avatar
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    As you said its not surprising. I reckon a bright Year 6 kid could pass GCSE IT

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    tech_guy's Avatar
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    Wasn't there a 9 year old who did GCSE ICT last year?

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    tech_guy's Avatar
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    [Nostalgia Trip]

    When I was doing my 'A' Levels back in the stone-age (early eighties), ICT was unheard of and computer studies had only just come in as a subject although it was largely paper based.

    Students could compile code by writing it out and send it away to be run on a real computer!

    I couldn't do it at my school as it wasn't on the curriculum and it only had a single BBC B computer which was fiercely guarded by the science department who had purchased it.

    They did however allow us to write our own programs during lunchtimes and test them on the BBC Micro. Happy days!

    I still have my Sinclair machines on which I taught myself BASIC.

    [/Nostalgia Trip End]

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    webman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gibbo View Post
    The "fun" has gone out of it - especially when they're taught to make websites with frames (what year is this?)
    Or Powerpoint.

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    tech_guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webman View Post
    Or Powerpoint.
    Ouch...!

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    TechMonkey's Avatar
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    Especially as A level ICT is really a glorified business studies course. I made the mistake of going for that one.

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    My son was asked to do AS level ICT early, in year 11 rather than GCSE - he loves computers and hated the course as it was almost entirely about Excel.
    He dropped it as soon as he could so instead of having an A grade GCSE, he has an E grade AS
    Terrible course

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    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
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    There is a common misconception that A-level ICT == A-level Computing, and it really really doesn't (yes, I got bitten by that one too).

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    somabc's Avatar
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    Hmm we had BBC Model B's but this was in the mid 1990's

    If I were an ICT Pupil asked to make a Powerpoint presentation I would bring this in for the teacher.

    Stop Killing Students With PowerPoint
    Death by PowerPoint
    Last edited by somabc; 3rd March 2009 at 11:56 AM.

  11. Thanks to somabc from:

    tech_guy (3rd March 2009)

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    Me and the missus were debating this as we fell asleep. We've got a new tech, who's 17. Good lad, but he couldn't ID a "discrete" audio card versus an onboard...

    It occured to me that he's probably grown up on integrated kit - not ones with the seperate expansion boards etc.

    We (me and NM) were also reminiscing about BBCs, CP/M, mainframes, reel-to-reel tapes, 386s and the coming of the almighty DX, early pentiums, amiga workbench, monkey island etc yesterday..he looked lost.

    His idea of "retro windows" is Win2k.. I've a good mind to VM 2.03, 3.0, 3.1, NT4, and OS/2 if I can find that, and say "right. THIS is retro. Now configure me a CDROM driver in DOS."

    Might also see if I can find a 286/386 and say "build it up, get it running, install DOS and windows 3.x, lets see if you can..". I like the lad, I do, but...for all of his "Xenos academy" training, he seems remarkably lacking in some of the basics. heh.

    It's true though - the courses are dumbed down. We had 3 girls in the office asking US for advice on the configuration module, and it was news to them that PCs don't "see" the GUI, but talk in 1's and 0's, and are just at heart a mass collection of switches that are going on and off millions of times a second. It took a lot of explaining.

    Ditto refresh rates for monitors. I said "Do your TVs flicker?" "no.".

    "Hmm. OK. These lights...they're turning on and off roughly 60 times a second or so..that's similar to what an old style monitor/TV does."

    They didn't believe me, so I got out a digicam and said "look through that".

    They can put things in, but have no understanding of the underlying principes and systems. How many still confuse "hard drive", or "cpu" with "base unit"? Too many.

    It's a crying shame...they seem to find the underlying reasons and tech quite fascinating! Same with "web page design"..Frontpage or Studio. Then they look at me like I'm mad for doing it in notepad! CLI? They're lost. Even changing the GUI loses them..they're NOT learning, they're just copying someone else.

  13. Thanks to Sirbendy from:

    powdarrmonkey (3rd March 2009)

  14. #12

    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirbendy View Post
    They can put things in, but have no understanding of the underlying principes and systems.
    ...
    It's a crying shame...they seem to find the underlying reasons and tech quite fascinating!
    I concur wholeheartedly (I was the kid that took his toys apart to find out why they worked how they did...)

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    Sirbendy's Avatar
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    oh yes. Me too!

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    tech_guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by powdarrmonkey View Post
    I concur wholeheartedly (I was the kid that took his toys apart to find out why they worked how they did...)
    Lol me too - and the telephone, the tv, the radio - drove my parents mad. Always put them back together though and they worked.

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    webman's Avatar
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    I did the same too. Sometimes they didn't work though

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