ICT in education on the rise?

At a time where ICT is everywhere and with the boom of the social network, I don’t think that there has been a greater emphasis needed for ICT in education.  Today in ICT I used a new tool called SMART notebook 11, which quite frankly is an amazing piece of software which allows ICT resources to be made for the computer on the computer incredibly easily!

With the use of this software, (which I hope I get to use in school and not a very old and difficult whiteboard), I thought it would be a good idea to blog about an article I found.  Ed Exec who look at the financial side of education have written an article about ICT funding within education and it is something which I found very interesting.

“A year on from schools stating their concern over the Government’s removal of ring-fenced funding for ICT, technology budgets across the UK are increasing, recent research has revealed.” This I thought was fantastic news as it would indicate that heads and the board of governors which decide where the money state schools receive goes, are seeing the need to invest in better ICT infrastructure.  This for any of you reading this is great news as it will allow us as educators to use and improve ICT within our classrooms.

ICT as I learnt today is such a versatile subject and can be used to benefit any subject within the national curriculum which I why I strongly believe it needs to be improved.  Ed Exec state “Looking ahead, the trend looks set to continue with 2013/4 ICT budgets forecast to rise by 3.3 per cent in primary and 2.8 per cent in secondary schools”  This is incredible as it would put the spending on ICT in schools at 254.6 Million.  With this amount of money so much can be done to improve ICT infrastructures within primary schools, however if I could have my way I would certainly increase this more due to the benefits to be had from a strong ICT structure within the primary school.

Education Detective

Whilst walking through university I came across a great bit of educational fate on Monday.  In a bid to appear clever and read up on the strange subject of world finance, (which actually interests me), I picked up a complimentary edition of the Financial Times from the Universities Cottesbrooke building.  It was only when I got home and started reading that I realised there was an educational article included.  This, due to Monday’s activities of starting my own blog, instantly gave me a brainwave which has now earned the article a place on here.

The article titled “Gove’s GCSE reforms diluted” – http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/b6c7774e-fffb-11e1-831d-00144feabdc0.html#axzz26ki9igKz  is something I found very interesting.  Throughout the article the main focus is upon the influence that the Liberal Democrats are having upon the newly proposed reforms of the GCSE’s.  This I know at the moment is something which is at the heart of debate within many educational practitioners’ hearts, and is eyed with both support and scrutiny.  I would like to highlight that this blog is educational and not political, however when talking about education it is sometimes hard not to incorporate the politics behind them.

It is with this therefore that I would like to express that the views people may seem to gather from this blog are entirely my own and not those of the University of Northampton’s nor anyone else’s.

With this disclaimer aside we can get back to the article.

Cook and Warrell report that there are further changes to be made to the GCSE’s and will allow for a monopoly bidding system to be carried out for one exam board to own all rights to the examinations for the subjects.  It was with this that I thought that monopolies, (with exception to the game), are not all that great and realised that ’Edexcel’, which is owned by the Pearson group would be bidding for this.  This is something that intrigued me because the Pearson group also own the Financial times which funnily enough wass where I was reading this article.  Then it struck me, I may be wrong and many may disagree, but when did education become about lining the pockets of the private sector, and not about the benefits to the children that will be facing these “single examboard dictatorships” for the five year periods that have been proposed.  As a prospective educator I feel that it needs to run more like a charity and less like a business, do what is best with the money available, rather than sell out to private companies who have little or no essential educational experience.

As a history graduate I have been drilled to ensure that when making a point, firstly I have some background knowledge of the subject, but secondly, I dig a little deeper to uncover anything which could be used to argue for or against my point to provide a stronger argument.  It is with this that I went exploring and found some information which may surprise a few.

Pearson’s managing director has this biography on their website – “Glen has more than three decades of experience in business and finance, and is currently deputy chairman of The Financial Reporting Council Limited in the UK and non-executive director of Fidelity International Limited. Previously, Glen was deputy chairman and senior independent director at Lloyds Banking Group plc, senior independent director of Man Group plc, and acting chairman of UK Financial Investments Limited, the company set up by HM Treasury to manage the government’s shareholdings in British banks.”  Again I am going to be a teacher not the chancellor of the exchequer, or even a journalist, but ‘Glen’ obviously didn’t too well at Lloyds as the Government now have a 43.4% stake in the Lloyds Banking Group due to the issues Mr Moreno both failed to address and fix.

I think what I am trying to say is that knowing his financial background and knowing that considering that this is his forte, and that he has kind of messed things up at Lloyds, Would you really trust this man with being the managing director over the educational monopoly if Edexcel were to gain it?

This therefore reverts to my very long winded (I apologise) point, that education should not be run as a monopoly system as it does not allow schools, who are run by educators, to choose what would be best for their students.  This therefore concludes that I believe that schools should be run by educators and not by people who are involved within business or politics.  Leave the banking to anyone, but leave the teaching to the teachers!!!

Fresh Start

So today I have started to write my own blog.  It was something I had sworn I would never do because I usually thought they were for musicians, artists and agony aunts.  After our lesson this morning with Gareth Honeyford, my opinion of this whole blogging idea has completely changed.  He informed us of the benefits of a blog and how professionally it can have huge perks.  Naturally, alongside the idea of being marked on our ‘Blog-Pholio’, here I am!!  This blog will be filled of educational ideas linking not only to ICT, which will be it’s main focus, but also other areas of the National Curriculum.  I will be talking about current educational affairs whilst throwing in resources I hope will benefit all of you reading this.  That is if anyone is actually reading this?…..  Anyway stay tuned for a number of blogs which you will hopefully find interesting mixing interesting and crucial information, written in a light and bubbly way.

SB