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Learning Network Manager Thread, New ICT curriculum - No ICT teachers. in Technical; Not sure where to put this but... I'm the ICT Network Manager for 3 primary schools all within close proximity ...
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    New ICT curriculum - No ICT teachers.

    Not sure where to put this but...

    I'm the ICT Network Manager for 3 primary schools all within close proximity to each other. They hired me collectively and my time is spent equally between the 3 schools. At the moment, there are no teachers who specialize in ICT in any of the schools. They're all aware of the new curriculum starting in September 2014 and that it involves a lot of computer science.

    They're preparing the kids for this by getting myself to run an after school club once a week, which isn't compulsory for the kids to attend, to teach Scratch. Not being a qualified teacher, I don't think I'm fit to be teaching the kids even on subjects I know, and it seems like they come, complete the worksheet, leave without taking any of it in - and that's the kids who attend every week seeing as you get some that turn up every now and again just because their parents are late. It took a lot of persuading senior members of staff that KS1 kids, who are just learning how to log in and type their name into MS Word, may not be ready for Scratch. It feels like they're burying their heads in the sand, and getting the only person on site who knows anything about ICT to teach them whether they're a teacher or not.

    I'm worried about what's going to happen in September when computing becomes compulsory and they still haven't hired a teacher to be able to deliver this. Some weeks I'm only at a school for 1 day, I have other things to do rather than teaching. And after September, it won't be a few kids in after school club, it'll be classes of 30.

    Anyone else in a similar sort of situation?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kineas View Post
    Not sure where to put this but...

    I'm the ICT Network Manager for 3 primary schools all within close proximity to each other. They hired me collectively and my time is spent equally between the 3 schools. At the moment, there are no teachers who specialize in ICT in any of the schools. They're all aware of the new curriculum starting in September 2014 and that it involves a lot of computer science.

    They're preparing the kids for this by getting myself to run an after school club once a week, which isn't compulsory for the kids to attend, to teach Scratch. Not being a qualified teacher, I don't think I'm fit to be teaching the kids even on subjects I know, and it seems like they come, complete the worksheet, leave without taking any of it in - and that's the kids who attend every week seeing as you get some that turn up every now and again just because their parents are late. It took a lot of persuading senior members of staff that KS1 kids, who are just learning how to log in and type their name into MS Word, may not be ready for Scratch. It feels like they're burying their heads in the sand, and getting the only person on site who knows anything about ICT to teach them whether they're a teacher or not.

    I'm worried about what's going to happen in September when computing becomes compulsory and they still haven't hired a teacher to be able to deliver this. Some weeks I'm only at a school for 1 day, I have other things to do rather than teaching. And after September, it won't be a few kids in after school club, it'll be classes of 30.

    Anyone else in a similar sort of situation?
    My school asked me to run a club after school, I replied and said I will if you put up my pay and they disagreed. I am not a teacher, I am not paid to teach, if I was teaching I'd want more money! Simple. I have never had to do a club and I am a happy bunny! Don't get me wrong I'd like to but first they'll ask you to do a class and next thing you're covering lessons all for the same pay, not having them walk over me like that.

    It's up to them to train their staff to teach the kids how to use scratch it's up to you to install it and make sure it works ok that is where you job ends.

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    I think everyone is to an extent, its the cross over between vocation and academia. Most of us have teachers that are barely able to grasp the basics mascaraing in front of the students teaching them bad practise and not setting a good example. The important thing to remember is how people view ICT as a subject, you feel like the kids aren't learning the way they should and that bugs you. Unfortunately the view from the teaching staff is probably a lot more relaxed. They don't view this change as significant and don't wish to invest in it. They can give the kids the work sheets, you'll sort the rest and at the end of the day its another lesson delivered where the teacher isn't an expert in the subject but they have delivered some content to the students.

    Key thing to remember is that although you , I and many of the 'geeks know this isn't ideal the teaching staff will be happy and ultimately its their problem. Let them deal with it. You'll fight a losing battle trying to improve teaching standards and you'll end up on the dart board next to Gove should you take an interest and try to change things.

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    I don't mind assisting in lessons, but planning and delivering them requires time I don't have. It was obviously cheaper for each school to pay 1/3 of my pay rather than training all of their staff in delivering ICT. They all used to get ICT support from a third party, and it's now clear why they chose to employ someone directly for them to walk all over. I even asked the schools for a teacher willing to assist just to deal with troublemakers in the club, and no one came forward.

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    The schools may not have a specialist ICT teacher, but surely they must have someone in the role of ICT Co-ordinator? It would be their responsibility to make sure that they are adapting and adjusting their curriculum to the new Computing subject for September. And to be fair, it's not a completely new subject and many of the elements of what have been taught previously will still be relevant from September onwards - for example, most teachers will have taught Control using things like Beebots, Roamers, Flowol etc. which links into the the coding requirements of the new curriculum.

    So the teachers really shouldn't be expecting you to do all this. As a technician, I am supporting some of the new areas such as coding and networking, I have started giving tours of the school network, showing primary students what the infrastructure is that makes their netbooks and laptops work, and being in the classroom in some ICT lessons, e.g. on iPads, coding etc. to support. This is all done within my normal hours though.

    I think your first port of call is to speak to the ICT Co-ordinator in each school and see what their plans (if any) are. There are loads of resources coming out all the time and I'd be happy to signpost some if needed.

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    It's shocking to think they're burying their head in the sand. You could argue if you did take on the responsibility now, what will happen in 12-24 months when it moves along even more and eventually when they're inspected by Ofsted?

    I agree it's one that Michael Gove unfortunately hasn't addressed. The framework is very 'loose', so I suspect the first 12 months will be very experimental for all schools concerned.

    In my experience, every ICT Co has taken this as an opportunity to make their mark, with my support in the background (as it should be) and as it always has been. Some ICT Co's have decided to take the lead in the first year, with teachers shadowing them, but in year 2 it'll be the other way around. Makes a long of sense if you think about it.

    Giving all the responsibility to just one person permanently is just asking for trouble. As the old saying goes, a problem shared, is a problem halved...

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    i did (with help from the classes teacher and ta's) teach a class of kids to write html using notepad++ but the 1 hour (might of been less) took me a heck of a lot of planning and testing because its not something i normally do. While i did really enjoy doing it and the kids seemed to like it the amount of work needed means i wouldnt want to be having to do it as a regular scheduled lesson ontop of my other work. Now granted over time the prep work will reduce as you can reuse old smartboard slides etc but still its more work than you would think (probably 4-5 times the amount of time planning as delivering

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    Quote Originally Posted by sted View Post
    i probably 4-5 times the amount of time planning as delivering
    Depends if your on the teaching equalvent of edugeek, or subscribe to content websites as our teachers do. Then its just find lesson, download lesson, do lesson, go home. Great example of this is our lead ICT teacher, every time he's off the students get shown that weeks click on Iplayer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by strawberry View Post
    Depends if your on the teaching equalvent of edugeek, or subscribe to content websites as our teachers do. Then its just find lesson, download lesson, do lesson, go home. Great example of this is our lead ICT teacher, every time he's off the students get shown that weeks click on Iplayer.
    i wouldnt know where to start and for the same reason i try to write my own batch/vbs/html id much prefer to plan lessons as that way i dont get stymied trying to work out what some other person did/meant. If i do it all i know how/why i did it that way and can only blame myself it it dosent work. It was an interesting challenge being far enough outside my comfort zone

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    Quote Originally Posted by strawberry View Post
    Depends if your on the teaching equalvent of edugeek, or subscribe to content websites as our teachers do. Then its just find lesson, download lesson, do lesson, go home. Great example of this is our lead ICT teacher, every time he's off the students get shown that weeks click on Iplayer.
    I really am against this sort of teaching method. Using a website as a tool to support the Lesson Objective is fine, but using a website to deliver the lesson - well what's the point a teacher being there?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    I really am against this sort of teaching method. Using a website as a tool to support the Lesson Objective is fine, but using a website to deliver the lesson - well what's the point a teacher being there?
    babysiting/crowd control?

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    I've had a read through my job description, as I was worried that they may have put this in there and I overlooked it. No, it's not. Only thing similar is "Advise and train individual staff and pupils; produce detailed help sheets and other documentation". Nothing about teaching, delivering the curriculum etc. However much I don't want to do the after school club, I get on with it. It's nice to know I have a leg to stand on when they come to me asking me to do more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sted View Post
    babysiting/crowd control?
    Who knows, but the point is why then limit this kind of activity to just ICT? Using this logic teachers will no longer be needed and we can learn everything from the internet just by watching/reading theories. Actually getting your hands dirty and doing it in practice is totally different and you'll make mistakes. Isn't this the whole process of learning ever since teaching began?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    Who knows, but the point is why then limit this kind of activity to just ICT? Using this logic teachers will no longer be needed and we can learn everything from the internet just by watching/reading theories. Actually getting your hands dirty and doing it in practice is totally different and you'll make mistakes. Isn't this the whole process of learning ever since teaching began?
    yup why not just use ta's and get someone from the it industry to skype in and teach it, someone from a lab to skype in and teach physics ot just turn school into a building to make kids watch open universtity programs. Teachers in theory should be interested in a subject and want to pass that interest on i would of thought or whats the point in having them when you can just have ushers and a screen to keep them quiet while they absorb facts

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kineas View Post
    Not sure where to put this but...

    I'm the ICT Network Manager for 3 primary schools all within close proximity to each other. They hired me collectively and my time is spent equally between the 3 schools. At the moment, there are no teachers who specialize in ICT in any of the schools. They're all aware of the new curriculum starting in September 2014 and that it involves a lot of computer science.

    They're preparing the kids for this by getting myself to run an after school club once a week, which isn't compulsory for the kids to attend, to teach Scratch. Not being a qualified teacher, I don't think I'm fit to be teaching the kids even on subjects I know, and it seems like they come, complete the worksheet, leave without taking any of it in - and that's the kids who attend every week seeing as you get some that turn up every now and again just because their parents are late. It took a lot of persuading senior members of staff that KS1 kids, who are just learning how to log in and type their name into MS Word, may not be ready for Scratch. It feels like they're burying their heads in the sand, and getting the only person on site who knows anything about ICT to teach them whether they're a teacher or not.

    I'm worried about what's going to happen in September when computing becomes compulsory and they still haven't hired a teacher to be able to deliver this. Some weeks I'm only at a school for 1 day, I have other things to do rather than teaching. And after September, it won't be a few kids in after school club, it'll be classes of 30.

    Anyone else in a similar sort of situation?
    <Governor hat on> @Kineas. You are not a qualified teacher or HLTA. Unless the schol is an academy, free school, or an independent school teachers are required to be qualified.

    You could, however, run an after school club for those with interest, but that is a local agreement and is not uncommon. If they are insisting that you do so, then it should be part of your job description ... and changes to that require proper consultation... and union involvment if you are being forced against your will.

    With regard to the new Computing (not ICT, that term is going for teaching purposes) national curriculum requirements, a club does not even nearly cover it. This, however, is NOT your problem. It is the problem of the Leadership and Management of the school (I.e. SLT and governors)... and they will have to justify the curriculum to Ofsted. Again, academies, free schools and independents have more freedoms and don't have to comply with the national curriculum.

    Run your club if you want to/agree to and enjoy it. With regard to what is being taught by the teachers, leave that to SLT and the ICT co-ordinator. If it isn't happening, then it isn't your problem any more than the failure of the teachers to teach the maths curriculum properly would be your problem. Do not get sucked into any sort of role that suggests you are responsible for the Computing curriculum.... Ofsted will have a field day if they turn up!

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    Kineas (28th April 2014)

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