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General Chat Thread, My ICT Teacher cannot mark my homework in General; Were focussing a lot here on this being the IT teachers 'fault' for not understanding technology, or having experience as ...
  1. #31


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    Were focussing a lot here on this being the IT teachers 'fault' for not understanding technology, or having experience as a software developer!?!

    I think that this situation is often down to exam board assessment criteria - The ICT teachers can only set tasks that will meet the criterion laid out by the exam board, and as such the teachers will only be versed in those technologies. We've attempted to let students use modern technologies such as CMS to present e-portfolios, but the exam board wouldn't allow it. I'd guess that they wouldn't allow any custom written app by a student, no matter how revolutionary it may be; because most of the 'ict' course is judging the amount of multimedia they have in their presentation. I hope new GCSE programming courses will help address this.

  2. #32


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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    Why do people all presume that music needs to get down and funky with music tech? What would happen to all the incidental music in drama? What about composition and understanding the difference between Baroque and Classical? Sampling and mixing isn't everything.
    Don't get me wrong, you can't have music tech without composition its just not possible, but I would certainly argue it is far far more useful to know music tech than the difference between Baroque and Classical.

    In the end school and education is for one main thing, preparing kids for the big bad world, mainly getting them a job, and where are the jobs? Of course it is good to have a bit of culture, thats not what I was saying, what I am saying is why can't we have both?

    We also need to remember that ICT is not exactly computing, computer science, systems management, computer engineering, IT support ... and in the same way that English is not all about Chaucer, Shakespeare, Carol Ann Duffy, Emily Dickinson or understanding the Dewey Decimal system.
    Exactly, but ime ICT in schools is pretty much one thing; MS office. You might have a bit of dreamweaver thrown in but, at least in my experience, it is taught by someone who doesn't even understand the basics of html.


    Schools have moved on a lot even since I left school but in a world where the likes of India are training to very high levels we can't compete by moving slow. Subjects need to change their curriculum so that they are relevant to the big bad world. What good is it knowing about Baroque, Shakespeare, powerpoint, etc if you don't also have the knowledge which is going to make you valuable to an employer?

  3. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dos_Box View Post
    It's rather strange that if you went into a home economics (or whatever it is called these days) classroom you can guarantee the teacher would be able to use and instruct on every piece of equipment and tool in there. Similarly, if you went down to the technology department (it used to be called woodwork/metalwork way back when) all of the saws, awls routers and machinery are known intimately by the department teaching staff.
    ICT however.....Switches? Wireless equipment? Servers of various descriptions and roles? Tape libraries? SANs? The actual insides of a PC? All essential tools of the IT trade, but (and I know there are quite a few exceptions to this rule) how many ICT teaching staff know anything about them beyond perhaps recognising the item?
    Sorry, I had to get that down in writing before I forgot about it!
    I would disagree and say it would be like expecting a HE teacher to know how to cook every form of cuisine from all parts of the globe including preparing a puffer fish safely, sharpening their own knives and also being able to sew, crochet, knit, create macramé, create jewellery and all teh other types of craft!

  4. #34
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    I disagree and agree, I believe a ICT Teacher should have a better understanding of IT then other "non ICT" people shall we call them the Normal User? ICT Staff should understand more.

    Our previous head of ICT actually understood a lot, then he was the head of IT Support as well and dealt with everything, if he didnt deal with it you could bet that he was involved when it came to IT accross the college. Since he retired IT Support has grown - it needed to grow due ot the growth of IT Accross the school. We no longer have really anything to do with ICT Classes, we can no longer dedicate our time to making sure the ICT Suites are clean and tidy and working 100% and fix every issue with the PCs. Mainly because we have ICT suites throughout the college and even PE have 4 suites and time table lessons in additional 2 (non ICT Dept ones). If just one of our servers went down out of 10 you can place a huge bet on how many people will complain.

    Personally I feel like schools are saving too much money by getting unqualified staff over qualified to save money - how bad is it that schools have to save money? We recently suffered redundancies as well and employed even younger (ex Students) as Teaching Assistances. Not forgetting the 15 PGCE Students and a couple of Volunteers (unpaid) who are doing more then just assisting teachers but are some times taking full classes on their own.

    ICT/Schools as a whole are suffering, ICT Staff do not need to know the ins/outs of top IT side of things (Servers/sans/switches) but they should have basic knowledge of everything they teach the kids. If I remember rightly servers/backups/switches do come in to their ICT work when it comes to description/understanding in which case staff should know?
    I was approached by the head of ICT and she did ask if the students could do a questionaire on things they need to know about servers/networking and the questions she was talking about was core details. Like what is the main server, what does it do, what makes it "work". I did politely say if she wants to gather them all together for me and forward the questions to me I will get back as soon as I can.
    Does that mean the staff member should of known those answers or instead should that staff member prepared it all for me so I could answer them easier directly with her and then she can pass it to the students? or should I be answering them directly with the students?

  5. #35


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    Quote Originally Posted by TechMonkey View Post
    I would disagree and say it would be like expecting a HE teacher to know how to cook every form of cuisine from all parts of the globe including preparing a puffer fish safely, sharpening their own knives and also being able to sew, crochet, knit, create macramé, create jewellery and all teh other types of craft!
    Our Food Tech staff might not, but they would make sure they had at least a working idea by the next lesson. Partly because that's all they teach - they specialise in one area.

    If a kid in ICT asked about say fibre channel vs FCOE vs iSCSI, it's much less likely to happen. It's easy to gain a basic understanding of differences, benefits, downsides and application of the tech if you've access to a web browser, but none of the teachers are dedicated IT teachers.

    Teaching IT is considered blaggable* by timetablers, so they'll sling any old spare PE teacher into the slot. Until that changes, ICT teaching (in general) won't improve.

    *I'll just read up quickly before the lesson......oh wait, I don't understand this....heeeelp.

    Quote Originally Posted by garethedmondson View Post
    Personally I believe everyone should be one big ICT Team. That is the ethos I try and maintain in my school. The ICT Technician is an essential part of my department. I ask him when needed to contribute as I feel his knowledge can be used. It's a shame more schools do not do more of this.
    There's a difference between "teaching ICT" and "supporting IT for 1100 users across 600-odd devices, with an expectation of support that would make corporate sysadmins cry into their bovril". While most IT Techs do both to varying degrees (even if they're just prepping the teacher on a subject) the latter, from an IT Technician perspective, is more important. The reason most network managers want an SLT member as a line manager and explicitly not the Head of ICT is that too often the latter doesn't grasp that (and all the implications that lead on from there).

  6. #36
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    I can't see this as the teachers fault how many software developers out there know every syntax language ever written and can comprehend all the naunces of code? I've done software development at a company many moons ago and it takes very little time to learn a new language syntax if you have one or two under your belt however understanding the program itself takes considerably longer. I'm not trying be nasty to the Year 10 kid who wrote the iApp but he went back and commented the code afterwards? By the looks of it he's a very talented programmer but uncommented code really? I thought you got taught that in your first computing lessons (must be mistaken) how else are you going to find out what it does after going back to it a year or so later without having to re-read the entire thing. Didn't the teacher have set guidelines on what the kids could use to develop this multimedia assignment? If so it needed to be in a language (s)he knew or could with the minimum of fuss work out.


    Wes

  7. #37

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    I didnt expect the teacher to necessarily understand exactly the coding etc but to fail a student because the teacher doesnt understand what she has done is out of order - as was said above, I would expect a teacher to go away and find out at least enough to get a grasp of what is being done

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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    I didnt expect the teacher to necessarily understand exactly the coding etc but to fail a student because the teacher doesnt understand what she has done is out of order - as was said above, I would expect a teacher to go away and find out at least enough to get a grasp of what is being done
    This is the problem, I'd say. There's always someone who knows something you don't, and that's fine, but to fail them is out of order. I got a C in GCSE IT - pretty bad, but then I didn't bother starting my coursework until the last lesson..

    My girlfriend at the time was at a different school (One that hits the top of the UK wide league tables..) and was tasked with building a website in her IT course. She wanted to do well and naturally asked me. I helped her do it, teaching her HTML, CSS, a bit of basic PHP and MySQL etc etc. The key thing is taught, I sat with her for hours - it wasn't a complicated website, really (And it'd look even less so nowadays, with Web 2.0) but it looked really professional and was 100% standards compliant.

    I think she got a D. Of course, those who did it in FrontPage and made sure to include plenty of animated Gifs did great.

    Not that I care - I did fine without their help.

    Sadly, for me, it wasn't until college that lecturers would actually say "Wow, that's really cool - how did you do that?". I still have the graded exam that I did while there - one section was a mock proposal from an IT company to a customer. I just used what I knew, and made it fit with the questions and went into epic detail. It was simply annotated with "Incredible." I'll never fault my college lecturers.
    Last edited by hermand; 16th November 2011 at 11:36 AM.

  9. #39
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    Surely if you fail some one you fail them for doing the wrong thing not doing the right thing differently?

    Our students do website work in dream weaver, they have to show how they did it, what they did and put it in word/screenshots. Surely if some one did the same thing but made it look professional and fancy not just a few bits of text and animations deserves some high recommendations and merits? our students are currently making flash files and using them in their websites (again they show how/what they did as evidence).
    Then again what exactly are they marked on? if the criteria is met what do they get even if the teacher does not understand it? I guess like life even if you do all the hard work you still get shafted - kind of reminds me of IT

    Although it is interesting that @hermand mentioned Uni, University lecturers get paid a lot to actually spot the difference between an impressive piece of work done differently? they are also expected to "know their stuff". I could be mistaken but that's how I feel.
    Last edited by mthomas08; 16th November 2011 at 11:45 AM.

  10. #40


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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    And I suppose having some knowledge of setting up a domain, anyone knows it's not a five minute job.
    When I started here, the network was in a parlous state, Windows 2000 Server.....old, broken-down HP server...... domain all to hell etc, with a non-Windows FM network for curriculum.

    Head of ICT, our LM, came in one day and the conversation went thus:

    <HoICT> Right, <external supplier's name> have said we can have two of the application servers for Domain Controllers so we can build a new domain.

    <Me> Great, nice one, let's have a quick chat about it and I'll crack on.

    <HoICT> Chat? What's there to chat about?

    <Me> Well.........what do you want to call this new domain, for a start?

    <HoICT> Oh......I never thought of that.

    Three different HoICT's later, and still no improvement, other than the change of management structure so we're not LM'd by the HoICT anymore.

    <sigh> 100 weeks.

  11. #41

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    I assume you've all signed the e-petition mentioned at the bottom of the blog post?

  12. #42
    CAM
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    The student in that post learned one thing, always comment your code!

    Personally I have a lot of knowledge I'd love to teach the kids with the opportunity to enhance some of my own knowledge in the prcoess. There is no better way to learn then to teach someone else. But lacking a teaching qualification and the time to do it means I can't. And being put in position where I supervise them make it awkward anyway, our sixth form assume I am going to tell the off for something!

  13. #43

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    This is not a new problem...

    Many, many moons ago (ok mid 70s) I took one of the first computer courses in our county which was only a CSE (if you remember those then you is old like me ).

    Only the top maths set were allowed to do the course and the teacher (I found out later) had just done a short course in the summer holidays to be able to deliver the course.

    I and a few of the others took to computer programming like ducks to water but I had a slightly unfair advantage...my Dad was systems analyst for a large MOD computer training centre on the army base where we lived, so...at the age of 14 I was going over to the computer centre after school to play with the mainframe, writing code initially on paper tape and then...big fanfare...lovely new green screen terminals.

    With all this extra opportunity to practise I ended up producing slightly more complex progams than my friends, complex enough to fox our poor teacher...

    My final assessed program was a text based cricket game with full size teams and proper scoring based on a game called Owzat which was played with two special dice.

    Like the young man mentioned by the OP I had to spend a lot of time explaining how the code worked and after all that I still only got a grade 2, although that was probably because I was having so much fun writing code I that neglected the other half of the course which was concerned with the history and theory of computers

    What I find hard to believe is that nowadays the exam boards do not have access to experts in new technologies to help with marking these subjects.
    Last edited by CESIL; 16th November 2011 at 04:37 PM.

  14. #44
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    The teacher should have just given a list of acceptable applications / languages they understood.

    Not failing a student for not understanding, but not getting put in that position in the first place!

  15. #45

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    Am I right in believing that in all subjects except IT, you have to be educated to degree level in that subject to teach it at GCSE?

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