The UK, like many countries is struggling with how to teach ICT. They have been teaching a skills based program in isolation from the context. They like many people have taught “excel” or “powerpoint” rather than integrating these skills sets into every aspect of teaching and learning. (I know this is a broad and sweeping generalization, but it is supported by the articles attached and this podcast also from the BBC)
“Imagine the dramatic change which could be possible in just a few years, once we remove the roadblock of the existing ICT curriculum. ”Instead of children bored out of their minds being taught how to use Word or Excel by bored teachers, we could have 11-year-olds able to write simple 2D computer animations,” he said.”
What the royal society is proposing is changing ICT to computer science. teaching programming via robotics and web development from the early years of school. The implication is that the teaching of basic ICT skills like:
- File management and standard operating procedures,
- principles of graphical design,
- principles of data processing,
- principles of presentations,
- Digital citizenship,
“If we cannot address the problem of how to educate our young people in inspirational and appropriate ways, we risk a future workforce that is totally unskilled and unsuited to tomorrow’s job market,” he said.
The aspiration, said Prof Furber, was to allow all children with an interest in computing to gain experience of programming and robotics, from basic computer languages in primary schools to web-based systems for those in senior school.”
Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16515275 Royal society offers ways to overhaul ICT program.
Here is another related BBC article - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-16493929 School ICT to be replaced by computer science program.
The podcast - http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9675000/9675420.stm – “a nation of digital illiterates”