In a stunning piece of genuine insight, the government has decided that the way IT is taught in schools simply doesn’t work. While David Cameron’s education chief might look like Black Adder, he seems to be reaching for genuine change with bold public statements like “Imagine the dramatic change which could be possible in just a few years, once we remove the roadblock of the existing ICT curriculum”. KitGuru picks up the chalk and heads for the biggest education show around.
Anyone that has children will know that they will happily discover hacks and cheats for their favourite games – even if that require learning how to use binary/hex converters. If you want to try and drag that child from their keyboard, then you better be prepared to fight.
Same child, same computer, but now you introduce fuddy-duddy-IT-101 and the same children will be reaching for razor blades, heroin and any half-decent malt whiskey that’s available.
Her majesty’s government is being quite clear. It’s all Microsoft’s fault.
The Secretary of State for Education is Michael Gove and he was born in 1967. He would have grown up in a world before Windows 3.11. It was a world where using a computer meant getting to grips with the fundamentals like DOS-prompts, assembler code and storage devices which measured data in kilobytes.
Gove’s speech for the assembled ranks of teachers at the BETT education show in central London includes plenty of insight – including this gem, “Instead of children bored out of their minds being taught how to use Word and Excel by bored teachers, we could have 11-year-olds able to write simple 2D computer animations using an MIT tool called Scratch. By 16, they could have an understanding of formal logic previously covered only in university courses and be writing their own apps for smartphones”.
He carries on in this rich vein of form, adding “Our school system has not prepared children for this new world. Millions have left school over the past decade without even the basics they need for a decent job. And the current curriculum cannot prepare British students to work at the very forefront of technological change”.
KitGuru says: If preparing kids for work in the 21st century means that they need to accept that manufacturing has gone East and it’s never coming back – while at the same time the phone market is aiming for a billion unit sales a year, then you had better get to grips with writing games like Angry Birds if we want to remain at all relevant.
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