At the ITTE Annual Conference last week I had interesting discussions with a range of folk, including Simon Peyton Jones from CAS, about the Naace/CAS/ITTE joint paper. I think we made significant progress in addressing some of the concerns that I have expressed about our joint statement (I say ‘our’ because I am a member of all three organisations!).
The subject associations for ICT (Naace) and Computer Science (CAS) and the Association for IT in Teacher Education (ITTE) recently published a joint statement about their view(s) on how ICT in schools should be reformed, and in particular the relationship between ICT and Computer Science.
Ok, so I am somewhat evangelical about thinking we need to define key terms related to ICT (see http://www.vital.ac.uk/blog/what-do-you-mean-ict). I genuinely believe that many of the problems we have had with ‘ICT’ in education come down to us talking at cross-purposes because we use terms sloppily.
I’m working on the assumption that the ICT PoS will reflect the view of the Royal Society Report on Computing in Schools, which recommended that all pupils should have a broadly based Computing curriculum - the Royal Society explicitly equates Computing with ICT, so they are recommending a broadly based ICT curriculum, which should include elements of IT, Computer Science and Digital Literacy. Pupils should then (at Key Stage 4) have the option to study Computer Science as a specialism.
There is much debate out there about blogging and its value within education; for educators and for children. The majority who express an opinion on blogging particularly via blogs are enthusiastic proponents and those who are more reserved tend not to blog or use social media so their voice is more difficult to track.
One of the major problems surrounding the use of ICT in education, and in particular the current debate about the role of new technologies in the revised National Curriculum, is that we talk at cross-purposes. This is because we use the same words to mean different things. Thus, for example, people criticize the teaching of ICT when what they really mean is the teaching of IT at Key Stage 4, or [more…] they talk about Computer Science in one breath and ‘knowledge age skills’ in the next as if they were the same (or even similar) things.
Progress has been made in clarifying the debate and moving towards agreement about how to address problems with the teaching of ICT in schools. However, there are still areas where effort is being wasted in arguing at cross purposes or about issues which are ‘academic’ and ignore the practical realities of the review of the National Curriculum (NC).
In this first post in our revitalized blog I thought I should update you on what is happening with Vital as we move into our third phase. Yes, we have funding from the DfE for another year (taking us to the 31st March 2013). Happily, we are no longer trying to become self-funding, which means we can go back to truly collaborating with other providers of support to schools. Here are the things we are focusing on as we move forward.