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IT News Thread, UK ICT Classes Should be Overhauled in Other News; Originally Posted by GrumbleDook They can all be regarded as separate groups but with a lot of cross-over. Some of ...
  1. #16

    TechMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    They can all be regarded as separate groups but with a lot of cross-over. Some of the best ICT teachers I have come across are those from non-ICT subject backgrounds but have fallen into teaching it because they have a passion for it.
    But surely this is part of the problem. It was great back in the day when there weren't IT teachers so someone who liked to dabble got involved. Now those people should be used by their own departments to integrate ICT into their schemes of work or into other teachers lessons. Those people are great & all credit to them but IT needs to move on from the basics to something more substantial. You are right though, It needs to be embedded in other lessons more and this is the role those people should have. I know one school where the ICT department was disbanded and they just had an IT coordinator that helped all subjects put IT into their lessons. This sounds a great idea but leaves a world of technology out.

    You wouldn't have a teacher who had a passing interest in chemicals teaching science lessons would you?

    I think AML is onto something but maybe there should be some programming in there, just a basic level to show them what is possible and get them thinking about statements, procedures, logic and the different types of programming.

  2. #17

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    The thing is that a good number of these teachers I am referring to are not in the group of having 'passing knowledge' ... they have worked and studied hard, and are far more clued up than most ICT teachers. *These* are the experts, not the people getting class after class to sit online test labs for MS course rather than teaching them.

  3. #18

    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AMLightfoot View Post
    The way I see it, young people should be taught the basics of hardware maintenance and basic networking. They should be taught to build, install and configure a PC and connect it to a simple network. Some have argued that pupils should be taught programming languages but I disagree as there are too many to choose from and from a practical perspective you can't teach them all.
    I think pretty much exactly the opposite - hardware maintainence and networking shouldn't be taught at KS3, GCSE or A-level, i.e. as an academic subject, although there's nothing wrong with having vocational courses available at KS4/KS5. Programming should be introduced as a useful problem-solving tool at primary level - which language doesn't matter as most are computationaly equivilent anyway.

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    Personally I think a combination of the theoretical side of Maths (logic and structure) and the ability to learn vocabulary (MFL) are perfect for introducing people to computing. I fall down on the vocab side

  5. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    I think pretty much exactly the opposite - hardware maintainence and networking shouldn't be taught at KS3, GCSE or A-level, i.e. as an academic subject, although there's nothing wrong with having vocational courses available at KS4/KS5. Programming should be introduced as a useful problem-solving tool at primary level - which language doesn't matter as most are computationaly equivilent anyway.
    Yes, they should start very basic programming with basic algebra, it is the same thing afterall.

  6. #21

    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    Personally I think a combination of the theoretical side of Maths (logic and structure) and the ability to learn vocabulary (MFL) are perfect for introducing people to computing. I fall down on the vocab side
    It sounds rather as though we're heading for a bah-humbug-stuff-'em-full-of-the-3-R's-it-were-good-enough-for-me-etc routine here. I think MFL should be given more importance than it seems to be at the moment, however I was absolutly terrible at French at school and have never really agreed that ability at forign languages has anything much to do with ability at computer languages. Computer languages are, after all, designed entities, with easily-parsable syntaxes and no ambiguities being pretty much their whole point - programming languages, and indeed the whole of computer science, is simply stuff made up by humans to be easy (ish) to understand. Written and spoken language is the opposite, with ambiguity in a language being a feature (puns, etc), not a bug.

    The problem with this type of discussion (and there's been several on pretty much this exact topic on EduGeek and TES over the past few years) is that we're all coming at this from different angles dependant on our own workplace and educational experience. I was at school before "ICT" was invented, therefore my educational experience of computing was mainly via maths lessons where we were presented with assorted problems and often tried to shortcut a way to a solution by writing a computer program to do all the hard work for us (never underestimate the power of laziness for providing inspiration). I work at a private school where pretty much all of the pupils will end up at university - we concentrate on providing a good academic underpinning for later study, vocational courses aren't really our thing. My degree was in good, old-fashioned Computer Science - my first practical work experience with computing was at 21 when I left university (I promptly left after 3 months and went back to do a masters). Other people's "What we should do is..." opinions are going to be somewhat different to mine, depending on the type of pupils they have in mind when they write their piece. This, hopefully, is where IT-as-a-tool, as opposed to ICT-as-a-subject comes in - personalised learning for each pupil, depending on their current needs and what they're aiming for.

  7. #22

    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    It sounds rather as though we're heading for a bah-humbug-stuff-'em-full-of-the-3-R's-it-were-good-enough-for-me-etc routine here. I think MFL should be given more importance than it seems to be at the moment, however I was absolutly terrible at French at school and have never really agreed that ability at forign languages has anything much to do with ability at computer languages. Computer languages are, after all, designed entities, with easily-parsable syntaxes and no ambiguities being pretty much their whole point - programming languages, and indeed the whole of computer science, is simply stuff made up by humans to be easy (ish) to understand. Written and spoken language is the opposite, with ambiguity in a language being a feature (puns, etc), not a bug.

    The problem with this type of discussion (and there's been several on pretty much this exact topic on EduGeek and TES over the past few years) is that we're all coming at this from different angles dependant on our own workplace and educational experience. I was at school before "ICT" was invented, therefore my educational experience of computing was mainly via maths lessons where we were presented with assorted problems and often tried to shortcut a way to a solution by writing a computer program to do all the hard work for us (never underestimate the power of laziness for providing inspiration). I work at a private school where pretty much all of the pupils will end up at university - we concentrate on providing a good academic underpinning for later study, vocational courses aren't really our thing. My degree was in good, old-fashioned Computer Science - my first practical work experience with computing was at 21 when I left university (I promptly left after 3 months and went back to do a masters). Other people's "What we should do is..." opinions are going to be somewhat different to mine, depending on the type of pupils they have in mind when they write their piece. This, hopefully, is where IT-as-a-tool, as opposed to ICT-as-a-subject comes in - personalised learning for each pupil, depending on their current needs and what they're aiming for.

    I agree, the whole issue with computers now is that people have got hung up on the wooly headed, doe eyed, thick witted end of facebook and iTunes rather than the epic extencible tool end that can do whatever. This leads to the whole, I know how to use a computer culture because they can work iTunes.

    Dumbing down computers to the point where the drooling masses can use them does has its benifits but this current trend of people thinking that they are uber haxors because they can work an iPhone is not helping anyone and making any form of real education about computers difficult to get accross as everyone thinks they already know it all already.

  8. #23

    nephilim's Avatar
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    i teach year 5, 6 and 7 ICT...so far, my year 5's are so far ahead that they are mid way through year 6 work, year 6 are on end of year 7 work and year 7 are on year 9 work...the curriculum is poor, and does need an overhall. I have taught them what they need to know for the year and they have all blitzed our "end of year" tests with flying colours. They need to know the fundamentals, rather than learning how Flowel, Office, Pivot and Scratch works.

    Year 7's are asking for harder work, so I am at a loss because the year 10 and 11 work isnt that much more difficult than the year 9 stuff. All have done the microsoft academy certification as well (which we would normally do in year 8).

  9. #24

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    On top of this, there is not much leeway for me to modify the course much apart from going on the next years work

  10. #25
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    I agree there should be some basic introduction to programming too, a me and techmonkey were talking about on Minecraft lat night. It would spark more interest in ICT I think, I stayed at school and took ICT A level, it bored the hell out of me and I finished with a D. Then I went to university and having something I found intersting my marks shot up to high A's. Programming left me abit stumped tho as it was all new and almost all the class had previous experience from college.

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