10 HELLO “WORLD”
20 GOTO 10
I think the time is probably right to start blogging again!
For those who do not know the PhD is finished and is in the process of being published in various places (you can get a copy in the Nottingham Trent Library if you wish ;-).
But today sees a culmination of all sorts of pressures on the UK government to reform ICT (in England, Wales and Northern Ireland). Why this week? Well it is annual BETT show and that’s when these sort of announcements are made. The Guardian news paper/website marks the week by its own campaign for Digital Literacy and this page (scroll up from the start of the comments) makes a good summary of many of the ‘pressures’ alluded to above.
The headlines scream “Government to scrap boring ICT”. But is it really boring. My research didn’t find that. I’m sure you could find a sizeable proportion of students who find any subject boring (Latin anyone? Maths?) . ICT is only as boring as teachers allow it to be. But… and this is a big but… a lot of that boredom (in teachers) comes from the qualifications constraining what they teach.
This for me is the crucial thing. Gove’s emphasis on bored teachers teaching bored students is a tad more accurate that simply saying ICT is boring (which is what the headlines say). The use of digital technologies for is rich with potential for excitement and engagement but it falls on the altar of qualifications. The very same qualifications which provide metrics by which schools are measured. We don’t just need to reform the curriculum (actually the National Curriculum for ICT is pretty much ‘open box’ and you can teach a wide range of things in it already) but the the assessment system too. I fear this may be a much harder nut to crack given vested interests in exams and results.
Oh and the answer is not just to introduce programming. Don’t get me wrong, computing and maths are my subject passions – but it coding can be just as boring if the assessment doesn’t allow creativity.