And another speaker of the truth screams into the wind of ignorance in the hope that it may make a difference.
Synack, the trouble is most (not all) ICT teachers only know how to mark office or anything to that effect...what this person did is something that would have hit possibly an A / B at university level due to the complexity of it.
For me, the scary thing is the fact that they were FAILED for something that was so good. Any teacher worth his salt would know his student well enough to be able to tell, on questioning, what the basics were and whether they have created it themselves.
It does shock me, personally i was bored out of my brain in ICT, even to the point that as a student (about 10 year ago) in year 11, i found a lil script in a public share that was a simple script that was the proxy settings, by swapping the 2 groups around i could make it go around the proxy and give me unfiltered internet. I got in so much trouble, but it was way better than analysing why they need a DTP prog to do this and a Db to do that
ahh - reminds me of school. at least it's starting to change...
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!
Its a good point, the last three places I have worked the IT teachers could identify them and some knew what their purpose would be and 1 knew how they work (he made a living out of being a very very good IT consultant before becoming a teacher). But in the school down the road from me, the IT teacher could not tell the difference between a CD Drive / DVD Drive / BluRay Drive.
i'm not condoning what has been said, as i know our old IT teacher was just as bad, but it is a tad unfair to compare them to other subjects like that where they know the items in the confines of their classroom...
Perhaps like saying a DT teacher knows about soldering so should be able to make you a new motherboard (ok perhaps not on such an extreme scale)
we've got a student that reminds me of that article, he's doing A levels now (yr11) and is top of those classes. In yr 7 he'd set up a proxy server in his bedroom so he and his mates could bypass our (rather rubbish at the time) proxy - he's been on our gifted/talented ever since. by yr 9 the head of ICT said he had trouble keeping up with him. I can see why, he'll completely whip my scripting skills. I'm trying to get him involved in the Google Code-in (registrations next week) Google Code-in - Google Code If he wants to.
We had another student about 5 yrs ago who was maintaining his own linux distribution in yr10 (I forget the name) He'd written his own database driven package management system so that multiple systems could be upgraded or packages installed from a web front-end, before redhat did it. He entered that for his GCSE (orA-level, I forget) and it passed easily*.
It's not all doom and gloom if the teachers (and us technicians) are able to channel students into appropriate (opensource) projects. There's enough of a community out there that will be able to guide these students. The case above does suck, but I think most decent ICT teachers will be able to make sure gifted students pass the course AND get the extra cv points from contributing to larger projects outside of the scope of the course, whether or not they understand the underlying code.
* edit: I do recall that he did have to do some extra work in documentation to get the A*
as a slightly minor addition, for my music gcse, while others were just recording themselves playing piano etc, i used fast tracker to create a piece of music. it couldn't be accepted at first as there was no proof i had created it myself, so had to bring the program in, show the music teacher how it worked and how you create tracks on it etc before it was allowed.
It is of my opinion that newly qualified teachers should (at the very least) be encouraged to have some form of IT qualification, even if they never end up being an ICT Co-ordinator. ICT is very much cross-curricular these days and covers every subject.
To add to Dos_Box's comment, I think partly it's a generation problem. IT is still a relatively new tool in terms of teaching and it's all about how you use those tools to your advantage, or more to the point the pupils you're teaching.
I don't entirely agree that teachers need to have lots of technical knowledge, such as the differences between a Blu-ray and DVD drive. I'm sure teachers regularly use optical drives to play educational content. How it works and why it works are not important in the context of a teacher.
No but in this respect the teacher brought in a BluRay disc and tried to play it on a DVD saying "They are all the same"...its like trying to get Betamax to play in VHS...it wont work! Fine they may look the same but knowing the difference (even if knowing that a bluray player will play bluray, dvd and cd, a dvd player will play dvd and cd, and a cd player will play cd) would be key and it is a fundamental of the PC/Laptop/Unit
You could argue though, (as with a lot of things in life), it's all about trial and error. That teacher now knows Blu-ray's will not work in a DVD drive. I can only conclude the teacher meant 'they're all the same size' which is technically true.
As to whether or not they researched and found out why it doesn't work is something else :)
There are times where I have had to give assistance in students "Required" Coursework because the teacher doesn't have any clue. Surely that means they are not qualified to do their own job? I have been so busy in the last 12 months that every time a question pops up I blow it out of the water. I wish I was being sarcastic on the busy part but I find my self turning up early and getting normal jobs out the way to do my own work before any one else is in...
There have even been times when we have had to do prep work for the ICT Staff because they didnt plan ahead on the course of what the students needed and waited till they got to that "unit" to decide what they needed. E.g BTEC Students needed to practice some exercises on a domain (like active directory). The staff member in question waited till they started the Unit to decide to ask for the above...