TheManWhoWas
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Re: Getting Teachers Interested in RasPi

Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:54 pm

morphy_richards said:

I'm against doing away with teaching essential IT for business and office but I don't see why it all has to be done the Microsoft way.
Sure thing, I totally agree. It is outrageous that M$ has been allowed to hijack the entire ICT teaching program to, indeed, "train" people to use its products.

I really hadn't twigged this was the case until my son started secondary school last autumn, which is part of the reason I've been so interested in the Pi since I first heard about it before Xmas.

I still think one of the most interesting things about the Pi is its portability. If the kids all get one of their own (and we parents are forced to buy plenty of things that cost more than the Pi for our kids education already) then they can take them back and forth between home and school.

That surely opens some interesting possibilities for teaching / homework.

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scep
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Re: Getting Teachers Interested in RasPi

Thu Mar 08, 2012 8:31 pm

The Royal Society report was, perhaps, just the final piece of the, umm, Pi. CAS (and the BCS)  has been banging away for years at this, supported by the likes of Google and MS (i.e. companies that Governments listen to). Then recently there was stuff like the NESTA 'Next Gen' report about the game and visual effect industries; then there was Google's CEO saying "WTF?!"; then there was the RS' "Shut Down or Restart" (which of course was informed by the likes of CAS etc...).

It's been a long, hard slog involving grass roots organisations like CAS and teachers and interested individuals and industry etc. Just because no one has noticed it until recently is beside the point. It certaintly has nothing to do with Murdoch. Thankfully.

kevrandle
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Re: Getting Teachers Interested in RasPi

Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:26 am

As a retired head of ICT at a Comp I have to say that most of the posts paint a negative picture of computing in schools.  We taught the AQA GCSE course which is rigorous and demanding.  It includes SOME programming, knowledge of HTML and another programming language.

A free program 'Alice' allows some OOP at a reasonable level, teaches properties and methods etc.

The modeling project can be made challenging including using Microsoft Excel at a comparitively high level, absolute referencing, nested loops, if statements etc.  Data handling involved designing and building a relational database, althought the spec did not demand this.

The AQA A level Computing spec is very rigorous.  The students have to be able to program at a non-trivial level.  The project must demonstrate full understanding of a programming language.  Furthermore, it cannot be 'spaghetti programming'.  The algorithms and pseudocode must be clearly documented in the design stage before implementation.

So all is not doom and gloom, the talent is out there, just waiting for the opportunity to be used and valued.  The main issue facing the use of R-pi in classrooms is that it will take some time for the exam boards to catch up and most schools need the GCSE qualification in ICT.  GCSE computing may offer an opportunity and the A level computing specifications could certainly use Raspberry Pi.

I think, in the short term, the answer in most schools is to use A level computing courses to introduce programming on the R-Pi, it is a perfect vehicle.  Many schools could also make more use of the technical support departments in this respect although whether or not they should be expected to work as teachers is another issue.  A forward looking management team would get round this.  In my experience the IT technicians often know much more about computing at this level than the teachers, although this is not always the case.  I was never to proud to ask our ICT technical manager to deliver some computing lessons, which he did to great effect, but he was an ex A level maths teacher.

andyl
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Re: Getting Teachers Interested in RasPi

Fri Mar 09, 2012 10:20 am

kevrandle said:


As a retired head of ICT at a Comp I have to say that most of the posts paint a negative picture of computing in schools.  We taught the AQA GCSE course which is rigorous and demanding.  It includes SOME programming, knowledge of HTML and another programming language.


I would give most people a pass, but as you are someone who is a retired head of ICT I cannot let that pass. "knowledge of HTML and another programming language" - is nonsensical.  HTML is not a programming language.

So do you mean knowledge of HTML and a programming language?  Or do you mean knowledge of HTML and two programming languages (one from the SOME programming and one from the another programming language)?


The AQA A level Computing spec is very rigorous.  The students have to be able to program at a non-trivial level.  The project must demonstrate full understanding of a programming language.  Furthermore, it cannot be 'spaghetti programming'.  The algorithms and pseudocode must be clearly documented in the design stage before implementation.


I'm not totally sure what "full understanding" of a programming language is? I'm not sure that trying to demonstrate it in a project is a worthwhile endeavour. I'm pretty sure that someone doesn't sit down with a C++03 spec (if the language was C++) and makes sure every bit of the language is exercised in each student's work. Also "pseudocode" yuck - never known anyone to work that way. I never have myself.

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Mike Lake
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Re: Getting Teachers Interested in RasPi

Fri Mar 09, 2012 10:40 am

The AQA AS and A Level Computing specification may be downloaded from:

http://web.aqa.org.uk/qual/gce.....0-W-SP.PDF
Life's single regret: not patenting dongles when we invented and named them to protect the Wordcraft word processor on the Commodore PET!

You can buy 31 RPi3s for the £639 price of one Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge smart phone - who buys this stuff?

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Re: Getting Teachers Interested in RasPi

Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:30 pm

Mike Lake said:


The AQA AS and A Level Computing specification may be downloaded from:

http://web.aqa.org.uk/qual/gce.....0-W-SP.PDF



Ta, it isn't as bad as I feared.

I think the grounding in data structures and algorithms is good in the spec.

However overall I do think it is somewhat anchored a bit too much in the past, and misses out a few things I would have included (at a high level) and overly stresses a few things I wouldn't stress.  Not really much mention of agile methods, test-first programming etc.

However I do appreciate it has to be done for the real world, where schools and marking centres have strengths in different languages, and the coursework does have to be assessed in a timely manner.

lorrylemming
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Re: Getting Teachers Interested in RasPi

Fri Mar 09, 2012 4:56 pm

I think that you may be approaching this from the wrong angle. I know that teachers (and schools) are the ones in control of the money but I think it is just as important to get the students interested. If the students want Raspi's then they will talk to there teachers about it. I also think that for GCSE and A level it isn't unreasonable to expect students to buy their own raspi's for the course. My college does this technology subjects to pay for materials and components.

Current IT subjects aren't just easy for schools, they are also easy for students, many people think that programming/code/language is all far to complicated and is for A level/Uni students. It would be good if the foundation sold themselves (and computing) to a slightly younger audience to get more students interested and wanting to be challenged rather than being challenged by there teachers.

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Re: Getting Teachers Interested in RasPi

Fri Mar 09, 2012 5:24 pm

lorrylemming said:


[...] I think it is just as important to get the students interested. If the students want Raspi's then they will talk to there teachers about it. I also think that for GCSE and A level it isn't unreasonable to expect students to buy their own raspi's for the course. My college does this technology subjects to pay for materials and components.

[...]

It would be good if the foundation sold themselves (and computing) to a slightly younger audience to get more students interested and wanting to be challenged rather than being challenged by there teachers.


Actually I think it's my responsibility to try to introduce this sort of thing. I think your average secondary student hasn't heard of it yet, or only vaguely. A couple of parents mentioned it to me at a parents evening last night but out of 130 odd that's not a lot. No kids have.

Dont forget as well that your average kid already has a small computer - most of them have a Blackberry (apparently the smartphone of choice for today's discerning teenager), and probably wouldn't see any need for another one.

jiero
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Re: Getting Teachers Interested in RasPi

Sun Mar 11, 2012 3:23 am

I don't think this will be approved. It do too much damage to IT industry, serious, a linux box? How to earn much money from it? no large money then no business -> no schooling

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morphy_richards
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Re: Getting Teachers Interested in RasPi

Sun Mar 11, 2012 10:43 am

Android manages to make money from Linux doesn"t it? (just one example)

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Mike Lake
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Re: Getting Teachers Interested in RasPi

Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:59 am

Is there anything that could NOT to taught without major investment in branded operating systems and branding office-based products?  Linux and LibreOffice are free and they are well supported.  GUIs, IDEs, interpreters and compilers are free.

At the moment the major brands have huge power because of the size of their wallets and the lobbying they can do at the highest level.  The big brands pay a fortune to get those who don't know better (from MPs downwards) to invest public money in ways that will serve their long-term purposes.

If we are clear about what we want "computer education" (ICT/Computer Science) to achieve, we can clearly show that the money would be infinitely better spent on improving the skill level of those teaching the subject rather than on more PCs, more operating system and more branded software products/tools.

Of course there is nothing to stop commercial companies joining in and providing products (I fancy doing so!)  For example, someone has to produce add-on boards and things to make the whole process fun.  Yes, those who do this will want to at least cover their costs (as the RPi Foundation is doing) – but many of them will do it without needed the sort of profits that megacorps go for – and they will not be subsidising it just to build brand-awareness as many large commercial companies do at the moment – despite their denials.  Best advice: trust megacorps in the same way you trust banks.

This is a moment in history (it's rare to be inside one and aware of it), everything is up for grabs in our area, we should not lose the opportunity to move away from branded products and concentrate on what we want students to enjoy and learn.  Remember, we are here to educate, not train, so, define the learning required – then get the tools – not the other way round.
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Re: Getting Teachers Interested in RasPi

Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:23 pm

I agree with what you are saying but at the same time I think it"s a general human trait to be inspired by success. So while it"s a great idea to use linux and it may pan out well to introduce more advanced programming with Python instead of VB.net (which is the one language that I am still confident with and finding time to learn others to the same level scares me) .... But there are good reasons to hold Google, MS et al as examples of where computing could take you.

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Re: Getting Teachers Interested in RasPi

Sun Mar 11, 2012 1:49 pm

morphy-richards

I suppose it is because I have had to spend millions over the years finding ways round problems created by software and tools from the major brands.

I have always been a Google fan (from the day it first appeared) but the events of the last week have changed my mind.  They have become like other megacorps and are now gathering data in order to exploit me (and you) as consumers.  For example, yesterday I happened to go onto the German site of Conrad Electronics.  Since then every YouTube video I have watched (exciting things like robots!) has had a Conrad Electronics pop-up ad.

Of course, I am probably the only one who has never, ever, responded to this type of advertising and I am probably the only one who gets cross when this stuff pops up.

If we want role models for kids there are far better ones than megacorps.  Quite a few teachers I know used to work for large companies - they got out - for whatever reasons.

For anyone who does have faith in large companies (and after the banking screw-up they should know better) I recommend an ancient book (if you can find a copy): 'Up the organisation' by Robert Townsend.  For almost 40 years it has kept me on the straight and narrow and my businesses have never been shafted by a megacorp.

We are about teaching computing - not about teaching "greed is good" along with awe for companies that make their founders huge amounts of money - sometimes under dubious circumstances.

It is still possible to get copies of "Teaching as a subversive activity" by Postman and Weingartner and chapter 1 "Crap detecting" is to be recommended to any teacher.  It certainly guided me when I as a teacher - and ever since.
Life's single regret: not patenting dongles when we invented and named them to protect the Wordcraft word processor on the Commodore PET!

You can buy 31 RPi3s for the £639 price of one Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge smart phone - who buys this stuff?

kevrandle
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Re: Getting Teachers Interested in RasPi

Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:58 am

Mike Lake said:


The AQA AS and A Level Computing specification may be downloaded from:

http://web.aqa.org.uk/qual/gce.....0-W-SP.PDF


Oh Dear, I seem to have offended andyl by a semantic slip with respect to what is and is not a programming language.  As far as my understanding of the AQA spec goes, despite andyl's clear misgivings, I can only say that it is properlly assessed by the teacher and an external moderator with years of experience.  Pseudocode (quote 'yuck') is a requirement of the exam board and a great help to the students when designing a project.

I am disappointed that andyl's reply to my first post was so negative and, frankly, offensive when I was merely trying to contribute to the discussion.

My first post will probably be my last, I don't need this.

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Re: Getting Teachers Interested in RasPi

Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:20 am

kevrandle

I wouldn't take offence at what people say if I were you.

People from different backgrounds will see things in different ways.  Someone who has been programming commercially for donkey's years will have a way of working that will almost certainly not be the way things are taught in schools and universities.  For example, how many people use flowcharts when they get to the programming stage?  (I still have the plastic template that Rolls Royce used to hand out 30 years ago!)  They are probably still used at systems level - perhaps someone could enlighten me.

The syllabus needs to cover everything because it provides a toolkit for people to select from when they start to solve real world problems.  There is no single "right" way (but there are lots of wrong ways <g>) - the best way is the one that get the job done well and economically.

I was a teacher, then in it commercially (still am when the mood takes) so I can see both sides of the fence.
Life's single regret: not patenting dongles when we invented and named them to protect the Wordcraft word processor on the Commodore PET!

You can buy 31 RPi3s for the £639 price of one Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge smart phone - who buys this stuff?

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Re: Getting Teachers Interested in RasPi

Mon Mar 12, 2012 3:52 pm

kevrandle

I agree with Mike above - I wish I had responded to Kevrandle, not in a 'flaming' respect but about "pseudocode".

I was going to say ... (are you sitting comfortably? then I'll begin

I'm "experimenting" with a high ability year 8 group at the moment who have (as far as I'm concerned) finished the ICT PoS for this year.

I'm introducing them to programming with none other than Logo. It was useful for me to stand at the front of the class and ask them to direct me how to go forward by n steps and turn left by n degrees and then how many times do I need to do that over and over (in a loop) to draw a square; now this time what would happen if I had a variable called 'distance' and that's how many steps I go forward; now every time I do an iteration of my square making loop I add an extra step to my distance?

It's a really good way to introduce loops and variables and they get it straight away.

And that's pseudocode!

(and to quote to my colleague who just turned up next to me and demanded to know why I'm not doing anything constructive while he has to look after his useless year 11's "... if you can't explain how it works in English then your not going to get it to work in any other language are you?")

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Re: Getting Teachers Interested in RasPi

Mon Mar 12, 2012 4:06 pm

Mike Lake said:


If we want role models for kids there are far better ones than megacorps.


I think it's still important to use them as examples because they are undeniably part of the world and we are about teaching computing but that doesnt mean denying reality.

Agree greed is bad - but it doesn't have to be about greed - people are driven by all kinds of things, some are reincarnations of Genghis Khan and are driven by an urge towards world domination Some people are motivated by other ideas ... I remember researching a company for my robot project when I was doing A level Technology in the 90's in Stoke on Trent. The company was called "Rehab Robotics" based at Keele University and they used robotics in all kinds of ways for assisting people with disabilities ... I wonder what happened to them ...

Anyway, this has given me an idea for some useful teaching material - in order to help teach computing in a wider context it would be really useful to have a range of case studies of various organisations (why they began, how it all started and what and how they do what they do now, that kind of thing) that are based on computing that work in as wide a range of fields as possible - and some that are in start-up, some that are well established and, I think some mega-corps as well.

I wonder if we could hack out some interview type questions that CEO's, Directors, Project Leaders, etc. could give answers to in front of a video camera and have them hosted on YouTube ..?

meatballs
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Re: Getting Teachers Interested in RasPi

Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:03 pm

So many posts that I can relate to!

Just before leaving teaching I had a job interview teaching 'Control' where I basically did Logo with the kids, without a computer (my PGCE mentor always recommended to at least have a non-PC backup lesson or just plan without the computer incase they go wrong). Which they reckoned was outstanding </trumpet>, (un?)fortunatly I went off to do other things.

Mike is spot on in many respects, industry might be saying they need people with C#.NET skills etc, but a lot of that is driven by poor IT recruitment. I see internal job specifications that require 5+ experience years in a programming language as a normal developer, or 6 years experience in some obscure technology. It takes a decent programmer a week to pickup the basics of a language and start producing code at a reasonable rate. A lot of programmers at the moment will have moved on from x+ years in C++ etc, and only have a couple of years experience of C#.NET or Java (or none at all). If they are worth their salt they will be productive even if you throw them in at the deep end.

If you have learned that kind of mindset you can take apart most pieces of code and work out roughly whats going on without ever having seen the language before. After leaving teaching, and not having really done anything but scraps of programming I started as a developer in C# and it was 2 months before they got round to sending me on a training course which I didn't really need at that point (although it did help to focus my attention on some more advanced stuff I could start using).

Pseudocode is used in business, because writing out the code when you are explaining to the designer or whomever is too time consuming. It isn't used on a day to day basis but is a decent informal way to get across concepts. Plus its much better to write an algorithm from pseudocode than it is to copy and paste it for learning purposes. It doesn't need to be taught extensively but is a useful teaching tool especially at the early stages imo.

All the formal UML, flowchart stuff is a pile of unhelpful turd for the most part, and you get that feeling of distaste when you are a programmer when a diagram has to been produced for everything and that is almost always driven from the top down. Sure some high level concepts are good expressed as a diagram but really the code designs the system, not the pictures. The compiler does the building (http://martinfowler.com/articl.....nDead.html).

There is no restriction in what is taught at KS3 ICT the national curriculum is purposefully vague so that a wide breadth of study can be introduced (this was well reinforced to me by my great PGCE mentor!). I think the KS3 National Curriculum Program of Study  is generally really well written (vaguely) to cope with future developments:

Pupils should be able to:


select and use ICT tools and techniques appropriately, safely and efficiently
solve problems by developing, exploring and structuring information, and deriving new information for a particular purpose
test predictions and discover patterns and relationships, exploring, evaluating and developing models by changing their rules and values

Basically teach whatever programming you want from that. Want to do it on a smartphone? sure if its the right tool for the job

Unfortunately schools use KS3 to gear up for GCSE (see response in 1a: http://www.itte.org.uk/system/.....2%2012.pdf), and the GCSEs most schools study are not GCSE Computing, or ICT. They are DiDAs and OCR Nationals for easy league table grades. A level Computing is practically dead in mainstream schools, I generally only notice it at Grammar schools.

MS office might be the general application of choice, but tbh, if you can type, you can use a word processor. It doesn't take much more than that for the basics. That skill is infinitely transferable from free software to MS Office.  Like Mike says this is training not education and it isn't going to exercise any critical thinking in people's minds!

Spreadsheets in open office etc are almost identical to MS Excel up to what you'd teach in KS3, although I haven't looked at Macros etc. Most kids wont remember how to use the advanced spreadsheet functions they require in a job when they actually get there. Only a small percentage will probably be using very advanced spreadsheet stuff.

Most other subjects drag pupils into the computer rooms enough times to write stuff up it doesn't need to be taught discretely and often spreadsheets lend themselves to the sciences or maths. Presentation software should be done in English or Drama where the kids are actually forced to present using it. Presentations are better if they are basic anyway (often better without the computer!). Most kids get enough keyboard exposure to type well with a few pointers, and have enough technology around them that they dont need the same familiarisation some older generations still require.

I think most of the current ICT stuff that is done should be forced into other subjects which give it better context and ICT (or Computing) lessons should be far more technical. They'd still cover some things like online safety etc, but can incorporate that with some encryption, anonymity concepts and focus on how things work like science or D&T subjects.

meatballs
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Re: Getting Teachers Interested in RasPi

Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:10 pm

kevrandle said:



As a retired head of ICT at a Comp I have to say that most of the posts paint a negative picture of computing in schools.  We taught the AQA GCSE course which is rigorous and demanding.  It includes SOME programming, knowledge of HTML and another programming language.



Hi kev, you are completely right that the A level Computing spec is pretty decent, GCSE Computing/ICT has some good stuff in it too (I'm not overly familiar with the spec unfortunatly). But you were Head of ICT so got to choose these things, and you're obviously the right type of ICT teacher as you're on these forums I expect now, unless you were in an achieving academic school, there would have been  a lot of pressure to take up the OCR Nationals or DiDA to help hit the 5 GCSEs at C grade that we certainly were (I think that marker is dead thankfully?). And our school made ICT compulsary at GCSE because it was so easy to get kids those extra Cs when they couldn't get them in English Maths or Science (despite it being modular multi guess nowadays).

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Re: Getting Teachers Interested in RasPi

Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:35 pm

Hi,

I live in France at the moment.  In the local primary school there are some computers for children with special needs, but nothing else.  In the nursery school there is one computer for a class of ~30.  The method of attacking the problem would seem to be:

1. Write some good example programs and design some suitable projects.  (Thankfully, some beta testers are close at hand.)

2. Enthusiastically and reassuringly communicate with ones local teaching staff.

3. Hopefully, if 2. is successfully try to arrange some training days

4. Find some money via a fund raising event or two and buy the kit.

5. Arrange after school clubs for enthusiastic students.

If there is a significant sharing of project ideas, example programs and programmers, it should not be too hard to support those working in schools.


There have been a few comments about operating systems and applications on this thread.  As others have said, understanding ideas and concepts is far more powerful than learning to use a particular operating system or application.  LINUX provides a good learning environment, since it allows one to completely explore a computer.  If some bright spark wants to write a new kernel module they can.  Other than the operating system, explaining how a linker resolves dependencies is much easier with tools like nm.  Given an understanding of concepts one can then learn new operating systems or applications with relative ease.

Best regards,

Will

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Re: Getting Teachers Interested in RasPi

Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:41 am

meatballs said:



I think most of the current ICT stuff that is done should be forced into other subjects which give it better context and ICT (or Computing) lessons should be far more technical. They'd still cover some things like online safety etc, but can incorporate that with some encryption, anonymity concepts and focus on how things work like science or D&T subjects.


There have been numerous approaches to teaching the core ICT capabilities, and doing so in a cross curricular way by embedding it in other subjects is by no means a new idea and has been / is taught like this currently in many schools. In general, it's been found that students do less well developmentally in ICT when they don't get discrete ICT lessons but are taught within the other subjects instead. There are many factors here to consider. In some institutions this approach is used to great success. I suppose if it can be done correctly then this is an aspirational way to deliver ICT but it depends entirely on communication and cooperation between a large number of subjects, classes, carousels, individual teachers etc. and so is not always a workable solution and many important aspects of it are likely to be overlooked.

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Re: Getting Teachers Interested in RasPi

Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:40 pm

Mike Lake said:


The big brands pay a fortune to get those who don"t know better (from MPs downwards) to invest public money in ways that will serve their long-term purposes.

[...] the money would be infinitely better spent on improving the skill level of those teaching the subject rather than on more PCs, more operating system and more branded software products/tools.

This is a moment in history (it"s rare to be inside one and aware of it), everything is up for grabs in our area, we should not lose the opportunity to move away from branded products and concentrate on what we want students to enjoy and learn.


I totally agree with this - excellent points. And it's precisely because this is a revolutionary moment that we should resist the near-monopoly that Microsoft has in school ICT systems.

meatballs
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Re: Getting Teachers Interested in RasPi

Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:40 pm

morphy_richards said:


meatballs said:



I think most of the current ICT stuff that is done should be forced into other subjects which give it better context and ICT (or Computing) lessons should be far more technical. They'd still cover some things like online safety etc, but can incorporate that with some encryption, anonymity concepts and focus on how things work like science or D&T subjects.


There have been numerous approaches to teaching the core ICT capabilities, and doing so in a cross curricular way by embedding it in other subjects is by no means a new idea and has been / is taught like this currently in many schools. In general, it's been found that students do less well developmentally in ICT when they don't get discrete ICT lessons but are taught within the other subjects instead. There are many factors here to consider. In some institutions this approach is used to great success. I suppose if it can be done correctly then this is an aspirational way to deliver ICT but it depends entirely on communication and cooperation between a large number of subjects, classes, carousels, individual teachers etc. and so is not always a workable solution and many important aspects of it are likely to be overlooked.



Aye its not new and I'd still propose discrete ICT would still go ahead up to KS3 (KS4+ computing optional!), but it'd be in a much more technical sense looking at how stuff works more often than how to work stuff. It just doesn't take that long to learn how to use a word processor, a spreadsheet to add some numbers up or make a graph or browse the internet. But it is repeated in ICT lessons nearly every year?  Still forget most of it when you come out of a-levels or uni anyway if you haven't used it on your course.

Plus it depends how you judge how well kids are doing in ICT. My argument is that the measurement of outcomes at KS4 is based on useless stuff anyway isn't it? At KS3 its just a finger in the air assessment. If no-one is actually teaching ICT as their main subject then they dont really care so much about the results and dont artificially inflate them as much as ICT teachers do! :p Whatever happened to that piece of junk QCA ICT KS3 Exam anyway?

As for making the communications across departments etc, just stick components into other subjects NCs. E.g. to get a level 5 at KS3 English you need to have produce an electronic printed letter of some description. History is all about the validity of sources/refining information (web research). PSHE (safety). Digital art should definitely be covered in art. Music sound editing. Maths and Sciences should be covering spreadsheets as they give it context

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Re: Getting Teachers Interested in RasPi

Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:21 pm

meatballs


I'm not sure that some of your comments are all that helpful - either that or I dont understand what you mean:

In what way are measurements of outcomes based on useless stuff?

How at KS3 is assessment just finger in the air?

You could argue that if no one cares about teaching ICT as their main subject then they wont care about teaching ICT.

You might say that if teachers dont care about the subject - therefore dont inflate their grades then every assessment they make if they care is artificially inflated

Your assumption that ICT just involves activities such as being able to word process a letter is ill informed at best.

I wont go into some of your other comments.

meatballs
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: Getting Teachers Interested in RasPi

Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:23 pm

Ok,

The outcomes at KS4 of the modules I had to teach (OCR Nationals Unit 1):

http://www.ocr.org.uk/download.....als_01.pdf

Examples:

create and name folders

use a search engine

receive and reply to messages (email)

Produce a presentation

Produce a business card

Produce a letter

Produce a memo

Produce a spreadsheet

Use (not create) a database

That would take you 2/3 of the way to a GCSE equivalent. Combine that with some video editing and it wasn't a very difficult qualification. Of course the skills aren't useless, but I'd expect someone in Primary school to be able to handle a large proportion of the above, especially the pass criteria further down.

KS3 assessments for English Maths and Science are exam based. You have a decent baseline to judge one kid against another.

KS3 for ICT? Teacher based. They tried to bring in an exam for this because teacher assessment of KS3 ICT was across the board so poor (hence finger in the air). That exam was terrible and didn't get past the starting posts.

http://www.effectiveict.co.uk/.....topic=1472

You are right about motivation for cross curricular ICT it could be poor in some cases, but from my experience most teachers are happy to take lessons into the computing lab to use ICT with their subject. The main issue is timetabling/booking it.


You might say that if teachers dont care about the subject – therefore dont inflate their grades then every assessment they make if they care is artificially inflated



Of course, if you are going to judge teachers performance, and therefore their pay (mostly entry into upper pay spine) on the performance of their kids, then there is going to be some bias (even unconcious) with teacher assessment to higher grades for the subjects teachers are being reviewed on. With exams you dont get this. Ever had to take over a class from someone and then judge every kid at least 1 level under where they were and get senior leadership to listen? You'd better hope that other teacher had left the school!

Then schools are judged a lot on their league tables and therfore take awful unchallenging qualifications in a bid to inflate their scores.

ICT involves a whole lot more than writing a letter. But the reason why ICT is in such a poor place is because that is almost what it has become. A lot thanks to poor KS4 quals (as above), a lot due to the not so great National Strategy (that some teachers/departments still cling to) and lack of technical teachers etc.

Obviously the above is based on my experience, but it what I saw during my training placements, and my jobs.

I did get to go on a weeks experience during training to a boys grammar school who were programming as part of the Computer A level in the sixth form, and visit another all boys public school were the 6th form ran the network, and a comp with lego mindstorms which the kids loved. All great examples but probably not representative which is why ICT is in the state it is in.

TBH it was doomed when they decided to add the C.

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