ICT Expert Review Panel

Dr Tom Crick is Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at CMU, he is also Leader of @CASWales and I am sure, has one or two other computer science veins of interest as well. What is really refreshing and most engaging, is that Dr Crick (can I go with Tom from here on in, or do I persist with formality) is curating conversation across education phases whilst working himself at the endstop of computer science education himself.

Having reported on the Expert panel report on the National Curriculum review we started a brief Twitter exchange which I intended to contribute to the dialogue only to be beaten to the punch by Nick Jackson (@largerama), an online colleague whom I hold in high esteem. Not only is her a ‘proper’ ICT teacher he is suscinct in his opinion, matter of fact even, he holds action over words. If you are an ICT teacher, NQT to AST, curriculum observer, please do contribute your thoughts, here is my two cents.

As we discussed Tom, and somewhat similar to Nicks points of a tick box ‘fudge job’ I am unsure how the panel review recommendations will mature into policy. Somewhat underwhelmed by tone, encouraged by the comment. ICT is outdated, technology enhanced learning is still, quite similar just good learning. ICT could be replaces with another term, when it should quietly simple be removed. ICT / technology enhanced learning IS learning, or tools for learning or part of the teaching methodologies at hand. Use ICT / technology where it enhances learning, this is not a curriculum audit or overview, its a teaching overview. Not forgetting that technology IS NOT a pre-requisitie for outstanding teaching and learning. In 2014 – ICT will be a skill not Subject – its barely a subject now. The best ICT teachers currently are those that teach young people, not content, seeking out inspiring learning opportunities (see Nick above) repackaged as ICT. In 2014 lets hope all teachers repackage ICT within their teaching. With that lofty aspiration, just that, an aspiration, there needs to be a digital outlet as well as computing, that is most certainly NOT ICT, and not ‘tick box fudged’ cross curricular audit exercise and at the forefront of digital learning. Digital learning that is rigorous, creative and challenging; animation, graphic design, audio engineering, video and after effective, modelling, CAD, that compliments programming. Now this might surprise you, but I also feel there is an employment benefit to being able to use Office software effectively. It is just that it is not part of a digital curriculum, but an employment curriculum. The commentary is encouraging, however this insistence with the term ICT is almost as annoying as educations insistence with the term 21st century learners. Both are 10 years out of date and offer little defintion.

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