Reading some of the comments that have been made on twitter in the last few days regarding teaching of ICT in school, I jotted some of my thoughts here
Writing is not one of my strengths (one of the reasons I’ve never started a blog until recently), so please bear with me…
I don’t think now that anybody can reasonably argue that we should not TEACH COMPUTING to all pupils in school as a basic entitlement.
There are a number of organisations and individuals who have taken on a difficult challenge to persuade teachers, educators and government that ICT is in schools is no longer fit for purpose. (Nesta, Naace, Computing at School, Royal Society) Many practitioners have known for some time that this is true.
It is worth acknowledging also, that not all successful programmers went down the route of A levels, and university to get to where they are – although it does help to some degree (pun?)
Teachers who are interested in teaching computing can find a wealth of tried and tested resources online and networks of like-minded individuals who are happy to share their experiences.
My advice is not to wait for the curriculum to change, we already know that any curriculum review is at least (in terms of ICT) two years away. Even then, after it has been reviewed, redrafted, rewritten as with much in the field of information technology it is quickly outdated. Teachers should feel confident and encouraged to take some risks and see what works most effectively and then share it with colleagues.
There have been some clear hints already from the Department for Education that there will be a ‘minimum entitlement for all’ mainly in the fields of Maths, Science, English, PE.
If you TEACH COMPUTING, and teach it well – other teachers will beat a path to your door. It wont matter how much or how little of the national curriculum you are teaching. If as a result, your classes are full of highly motivated and engaged learners you must clearly be doing something right.