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Thread: ICT in schools

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    Senior Member DonTregartha's Avatar
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    ICT in schools

    At last old Govey has done something sensible.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-16493929

    Reading this post and some of the comments gives me both optimism and a good dose of pessimism about the future of Information and Computer Engineering in this country.

    One of the comments though sent a shiver down my spine
    This is crazy. Using Word and Excel may be boring but that's what most people will need in the real world. Not many will become programmers in the future.
    and this was from a programmer...

    Microsoft Office training AKA ICT is killing off digital imagination. I would hate to have to sit through that lot each week.

    I sat in a school parents meeting last year when my kids school decided to abandon the separate teaching of ICT and instead embed it into the whole curriculum.

    There was a small uproar from several parents who said the kids should have lessons in MS Office each week - they did get very upset indeed.

    I pointed out (until my kids nudged me to stop embarrassing them) that in all likelihood that Office as it stands will have changed by all recognition by the time anyone of them hit the workplace - how much better it would be that they learned what makes IT tick, how they can use it to make stuff and learn to develop as it develops.

    Still looking at the hordes of students attending the Computing Engineering School show rounds at uni open days - the MS Office hadn't put them off.


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    While I think it's a good decision, I'm not sure I agree about Office. If you take away the glitz, Word 6 for Windows 3.1 had substantially the same user interface as Word 2000. Of course, the toolbar thing changed that - but that's well over 5 years of the UI not changing substantially, and even with the toolbar, 15+ years on, the principles are still the same.

    Neil

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    The unpaid help ASLChris's Avatar
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    The biggest problem for me is that most school leavers don't actually know how to use Office software anyway...
    Chris Hawes, District Media Manager, Watford North Scout District and Watford Scouts; Group Treasurer and Webmaster, 9th North Watford Scout Group.
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    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    It is unusual for anybody to attach a photo to an email.

    For some reason (and i have zero idea where this comes from), people insert them into word documents and email the word doc to me.

    This happens more often than people simply attaching a jpeg.

    I do not understand.

    Beyond that... my explorers detest ICT A-level, my scouts hate ICT GCSE and it is only a year since we looked at some A level coursework projects on here that included animated gifs and hit counters. Geocities lives in the national curriculum.

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    Yes, I've got the T-shirt Sparkgap's Avatar
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    Blehhhh! Kids these days have it easy! When I did IT at school we didn't have any computers: I had to go to the local tech where they didn't have any computers either and learn about things called logic gates, cobol and basic, then write out a programme which I typed up on paper tape before dialling up the nearest computer which was 20 miles away at Southampton Uni, feeding in the tape on the teleprinter and seeing if I got something legible back! None of this dancing paperclip stuff or being able to print your name in rainbow colours!
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    GSL & AESL shiftypete's Avatar
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    The trouble with ICT in Schools is the majority of kids know more about it and are better at it than many of the teachers trying to teach it. We always had a computer in the house when i was a kid and I can't recall being taught a single thing about computers in school that I didn't already know how to do from using one all the time at home.

    As for computing courses at Uni I believe it is still the case that more programmers have a mathematics degree than a computing one.

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    Map Geek marcush's Avatar
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    Agree with Pete, kids are getting fantastic at using IT, but have ni udea how it actually works, which hopefully will help, as tbh I'd barely done any programming before uni, and what I had done was VB6, and I struggled with parts, hopefully this will improve that as currently there's very few qualifications that have a good amount of programming in them, so people then struggle when they go to uni

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    Quote Originally Posted by marcush View Post
    Agree with Pete, kids are getting fantastic at using IT, but have ni udea how it actually works
    Which is of course a massive change from those of us who learnt by programming ZX Spectrums and the likes (the 2000ish generation of CS graduates)...

    Neil

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    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Williams View Post
    Which is of course a massive change from those of us who learnt by programming ZX Spectrums and the likes (the 2000ish generation of CS graduates)...

    Neil
    10 PRINT "I am bored of this"
    20 GOTO 10

    MUM! everybody else has a NES... this is booooooring...

    <puts in tape>
    <waits for blue and yellow lines>



    can't do manual docking... throws computer out of window

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    I once looked into becoming an ICT teacher and was put off by the fact that all you did was teach office.

    Why do we teach them in In Science about space, the digestive system and bonding, In Geography we teach them about volcanoes, plate techtonics, maths some complex equations

    But in IT we only teach them Microsoft office

    It seems pathetic, they should be doing basic programming, learning about networks, databases the business and information side of it and the social economics of it all, electronics, its not just about the technoligy its about the impact of it as well and not just that different impact on business as well as domestic.

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    Map Geek marcush's Avatar
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    The hardest bit of ICT in Secondary school, was most probably not even in ICT, was creating a Thematic Map using GIS software, I didn't know that at the time however.

    Hardest thing I did in ICT was Databases.

    I remember doing a website and using a MS package.

    Rule 66. A map and compass offers no protection against getting horribly lost.

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    Senior Member martin1981's Avatar
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    when I was training to be a teacher, there was a very clear distinction between IT and computing. IT PGCE was commonly available but PGCE Computing was only offered by a couple of university, which tended to reflect the fact that the demand for that specialism was low. Computing offered the programming options where as ICT offered the practical use of a computer, and ultimately a qualification in the use of Microsoft Office which is a pre-requisite of many jobs.
    Martin Whelan

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    Senior Member Gooders's Avatar
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    My kid's school doesn't just teach MS Office. They have been doing some quite interesting programming stuff. In fact one of the exercises that my son has done in year 9 I didn't do until University.

    However, on a broader note, why should kids be taught:

    Quote Originally Posted by fmountford View Post
    They should be doing basic programming, learning about networks, databases the business and information side of it and the social economics of it all, electronics, its not just about the technology its about the impact of it as well and not just that different impact on business as well as domestic.
    ? For the majority of careers these skills will be irrelevant. (OK, so the same could be said of differential calculus but that's not the point.)

    Should the IT taught in schools be what I knew as Computer Science, which was all about programming (basic, pascal, C++ etc) or should it be about the practical use of IT. My thoughts on the curriculum at the moment is that it tries, and fails, to be both.

    Personally, I'd prefer to see a foundation course that teaches the use of IT well in years 7,8 and 9 and a more focussed IT/application development GCSE.

    Stephen

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    Quote Originally Posted by DonTregartha View Post
    At last old Govey has done something sensible.
    However its unfortunate he is destroying the rest of Education in the UK.


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    Senior Member cbKernow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fmountford View Post
    I once looked into becoming an ICT teacher and was put off by the fact that all you did was teach office.
    I've thought about it a couple of times too (theres a pretty good SCITT scheme in Cornwall which a few of my friends have done) but like you was overwhelmingly underwhelmed by the curriculum (and to be honest the fact that ICT is not one of te "primary" required subjects that attract 20k training bursary)

    Hell, I've got a Master's Degree in Computer Science and 10 years of experience as a Software and Web Developer all born from a fascination with BBC computers at school, how many kids are going to be inspired by using MS Office.

    without blowing our own trumpets, looking at the level of IT knowledge on forums like escouts, they should be biting the hands off of people like us - IT professionals who are Scouters (therefore demonstrable experience and interest in young people)

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