Tuesday, 12 April 2011

21st Century ICT Learning

I recently attended an East Cheshire ICT course called 'Developing an ICT curriculum for the 21st Century' superbly led by @jokprice. This was a course I had been eager to attend for a while so that I could find out how to develop our curriculum further.

The QCA scheme – and the Cheshire scheme of work that is based on it – is increasingly outdated and is not reflecting how ICT is used in everyday life and throughout the curriculum. This course would revamp how ICT is taught in the authority.

Here is a short summary of what I learned:

The National Curriculum programme of study can be usefully divided into 3 main themes. Each of these themes is sub-divided into strands to ensure that the full programme of study is covered. In the new curriculum elements of each strand need to be covered at least once a year and revisited later in the year.  This will allow opportunities for children to use and apply ICT capability in a range of contexts. ICT should be taught through the topics so that it is embedded in the whole curriculum. The new curriculum proposes that ICT is taught in major and minor units, where a major unit moves the learning on and teacher input is provided. In the minor unit, learning is revisited or prior knowledge is built upon to create the consolidation and a 'spiral' effect.

The three areas of the curriculum are

Sharing Information
  • Creating text
  • Creating pictures
  • Creating multimedia, animation and video
  • Creating music and sound
Collecting and sorting information
  • Finding information (internet and CD-ROMs - although surely people don't use CD-ROMs anymore!)
  • Handling data (graphing, databases and spreadsheets)
  • Data logging (sensors)
Controlling and exploring
  • Giving instructions
  • Modelling
My immediate thoughts were that our school does loads of sharing information, and elements of finding information. When working in Year Six I introduced handling data and giving instructions but I'm not convinced that my staff know enough about these areas. Data logging is something I am aware that is missing in the school and so our Tesco vouchers this year are being invested in this area.

Our ICT curriculum will be redeveloped in the new year and I can't wait!

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