Further steps in the right direction
code for all portal pages
- give all block titles the link of the first p a:href within the block or first with a titleLink class
Posted by PeterT on 12 Jul 2012
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!).
Things I think we agree on:
There needs to be a broad and balanced curriculum spanning KS1 to KS3, which will be called ICT (the statutory subject) and will include Digeracy (a placeholder label) and elements of Computer Science.
Digeracy includes all those elements of ICT which are not part of Computer Science, such as understanding the impacts of new technologies on society, being able to use new technologies safely, being able to find, evaluate, interpret and re-present information in a range of formats (multiple media). We probably need a better label than Digeracy, but it needs to be something that doesn’t carry any baggage with it.
The Royal Society report on Computing in Schools defines IT as “the assembly, deployment, and configuration of digital systems to meet user needs for particular purposes” (p.17). You might think of this as systems analysis. Simon and I agreed that this should NOT be taught in schools and should NOT be part of ICT (the statutory subject).
The DfE state that ICT (the statutory subject) will span KS4 as well as KS1 to KS3. This would provide an entitlement for all pupils, even if they were not taking a GCSE in ICT, Computer Science or some other related subject. It would require a change in how schools plan their timetables at KS4 as all pupils would need to take ICT, with some taking it as a GCSE and others as a non-examined statutory subject. This is likely to be challenging for schools and there is a real danger that it would lead to further criticism of KS4 ICT by Ofsted (of the kind that ended up with ICT across all Key Stages being unfairly rubbished).
One of the sticking points within the discussions between Naace, CAS and ITTE seemed to have been about how to define Digital Literacy, which is why it was totally ignored within the joint statement itself. On probing it seems that CAS don’t mind how it is defined – but are keen that ICT (the statutory subject) is presented as consisting of two elements: Computer Science and what I have (temporarily) called Digeracy. Digital Literacy would be an important (some might say the most important) component of Digeracy.
I suspect that folk in Naace and ITTE could reach agreement around a definition of Digeracy that looked something like:
Digeracy covers the following areas:
- Understanding the impact of new technologies on society
- Understanding the nature of digital identities and being able to manage your digital identities appropriately
- Being able to interact safely in a digital world (encompassing e-safety, cyber-bullying, data security, etc)
- Being able to locate, organize, understand, evaluate, analyse and (re)present information using multiple media
Figure 1 provides a summary of where I think we have got to in our shared understanding of what the future curriculum relating to ICT (the statutory subject) and related specialisms at KS4 and KS5 ought to look like.
Figure 1 Organisation of the Curriculum
Things which remain to be resolved:
That leaves us with a few things to resolve, including:
- Whether we need a label such as Digeracy to refer to those elements of ICT (the statutory subject) which are not part of Computer Science, and if so what that label should be.
- The balance between Digeracy and Computer Science within ICT (the statutory subject).
- The specifics of what the Programme of Study for ICT (the statutory subject) should include, bearing in mind that the PoS for ICT will be very high level (one side of A4 in total).
- What additional (non-statutory) information should be provided to support teachers in implementing the PoS for ICT?
I’m beginning to feel like we are making real progress here ... maybe I was wrong, maybe Naace, CAS and ITTE between them can come up with a solution which is optimal for the pupils …