Vision Statement

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Posted by Tracey | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on November 20, 2013

 

 

The Governments vision for the changes from ICT to Computing is to make students aware of how programming contributes to the world around them. Although ICT has been part of the education system for many years it has  changed names on several occasions. The Government believes that the old ICT curriculum is out of date in relation to England trying to compete in the global economy. They have introduced      ‘computational thinking and practical programming skills in order for England to be seen as a competitive in the computer industry’, (DfE, 2013).
Sarah Byrne writes for the Guardian stating that, ‘ICT curriculum is changing. For a start, it has a new name: computing. The hope is that the new curriculum will equip students with the skills they need to   become active participants of this fast-paced digital world’. Useful links like this will help to develop the skills teachers need in order to teach this new area.
The changes indicate that schools now have the freedom to teach a form of ICT until September 2014, (DfE, 2013) after which they will need to teach computing as the new program of study. This in turn requires old and new teachers to be up to date in their knowledge.
Technology gives students the chance to solve problems independently and with others. As teachers, we need to be able to offer the students the chance to flourish in all areas of the curriculum. ICT or Computing needs to be integrated in all areas of study if possible. This will then give the best chance for most students to benefit from learning new skills to use in the future. This has then changed the way teachers maybe perceived from ‘teaching to facilitator’ (Britland, 2013).
With the new curriculum changing a variety of support is on offer. PyconUk offered the chance for students to speak to software developers about their careers. The students were then able to try different resources and write their own software. It was noted that, ‘It was a pleasure to see new young programmers discover the fun that can be had writing software, Python community’s outreach and diversity efforts are bearing fruit’. These types of opportunities will help students and teachers understand what computing entails and how it can be implemented within the planning.
Is there still room for ICT within the curriculum? Several researchers have suggested that both need to taught, Matt Britland mentions that, ‘It is safe to say that I think it will help ‘some’ who eventually enter a career in computer science, but will hinder many more when they realise they are being taught things that are of little relevance to them. It is important to get the balance right. It is important not to restrict our student’s digital education’. This is also highlighted by Joanna Poplawska, ‘the discipline of information technology should be given “equal emphasis to computer science”, something she feels the new curriculum’s ‘Computing Programme of Study’ does not do. To compete with other countries it suggests that the curriculum needs to cover both in order for the students to have broader knowledge. This can be achieved by teachers having the skills and confidence to teach both areas. Trying to deliver both of these will be an issue regarding funding and time for the teachers to actually be trained.
Both ICT and Computing require the students be taught about E-safety. This needs to be implemented on a continuous basis,  during class session and letters home. Parents’ need to be involved in the information surrounding E-safety and how they can support their children. There are several web sites that give guidance on E-safety, The Early Surfers’ Zone offers teachers’ lessons plans as well as resources. The lessons evolve around a penguin, an animal that students can respond to, and asking questions that help him to stay safe. The site mentions that, “Pupils will hear the story of Smartie the Penguin and answer associated questions throughout the story to help Smartie make the best decisions whilst on the internet. Pupils will learn a simple e-safety message in the form of a song, which will be repeated on several occasions.”
The Tes website also offer detailed medium term plans on how to teach E-safety. These are very informative and can be used across the school. I would use both of these sites and read about E-safety before planning any ICT/Computing lessons. I would also invite the parents to an E-safety night, showing them video clips, leaflets and general question and answers. To plan these meetings I would need to make sure that I was fully converse with E-safety and be able to answer any questions addressed to me.
Following all my sessions at University I feel that I am now able to plan and teach a computing lesson. I would definitely use all the functions available on the purplemash website. This site covers all areas of the curriculum and things can easily be adapted to match any topic. I would also encourage the class to make a blog and continue this when they are at home. I would use a blog to keep in contact with other schools especially when a geography topic arises based on another country. This will need lots of research but would be a brilliant tool for the students to participate in. Another site that I found, which looks very useful was ICT in Early Years, it has a list of websites detailing what they specialise in. This site is easy to navigate and gives a clear indication to what would be useful when planning. I will actively seek any further training especially on the new curriculum but at present I feel able to teach a computing lesson.

References

http://www.tes.co.uk/ResourceDetail.aspx?storyCode=6021779

http://ictearlyyears.e2bn.org/

http://www.123ict.co.uk/meet-smartie-the-penguin-eyfs-e-safety-resources/

http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/teacher-blog/2013/sep/19/coding-teaching-computing-curriculum

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/205921/ICT_to_computing_consultation_report.pdf

http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/teacher-blog/2013/feb/13/teaching-ict-computing-schools

http:/www.computing.co.uk/ctg/news/2280243/new-ict-curriculum-too-focused-on-development-side-of-computing-says-corporate-it-forum

http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/teacher-blog/2013/jun/18/technology-transform-teaching-students-schools

http://www.theguardian.com/info/developer-blog/2013/oct/03/teachers-students-pyconuk

http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/teachingandlearning/curriculum/primary/b00199028/ict

 

 

Comments (2)

I agree Tracey, the new curriculum needed to change. Children are experiencing a new lifestyle that the N.C has not kept up to date with. Technology has advanced so much since the 90’s when the original document was written. This can be viewed as a good thing, and we as training practitioners, would consider this a good thing as well, as it is adapting to children’s changing needs.
However, as you have pointed out yourself Britland, states that this may benefit “some” not all. When you consider this is the new Computing curriculum still sounding as good as it originally did, in his article he goes on to mention the fact that the values in ICT appear to have been dropped in favor of a focus on computer sciences. This may benefit some of the children, but if you have no interest in that aspect of computers this appears to be irrelevant to the government. Your part on E-Safety I agree with, it is important for children to understand what they can do if they feel threatened on the internet, it is important for every school policy to have an article relating to E-Safety. i hope you enjoyed ICT overall.

Hi Ben
Thanks for the comments. By the end of the ICT sessions I have become slightly more at ease! I hope I can use some of the skills I have learnt during my next placement. As you point out technology has moved on dramatically over the past 20yrs. Wonder what the next few decades will bring?

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