#500ict – A vision of the future

This is my response to a request by @chrisleach for the #500ict campaign.  More details can be found on the #rethinkingICT blog

#500ict – A vision of the future

We shouldn’t ignore what was good about the ‘old curriculum’ as many of us have created excellent lessons that the pupils hugely enjoy and have gained wonderful learning experiences from – these lessons should stay, and more importantly be shared.  What we need to do, as has been suggested, is upgrade the curriculum, not abandon it!

An upgrade allows us to be even more creative and include elements that we haven’t delivered in the past, including more web 2.0 and the use of a variety of programming other than Scratch.  The content must not be restrictive and should cover a wide range of technology that pupils could actually use in the real world.  We should introduce pupils to new software / apps so that they can make informed decisions about what is most appropriate for them to use rather than it being prescribed for them.

Pupils should have the sense of a journey from how a computer is made, through to how software can be programmed and then on to using that software responsibly, as a daily tool and also more creatively.  The curriculum must engage pupils with real world examples to show that what they are doing isn’t just something for the classroom – they are learning life skills.  As Arthur Ashe said “Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.”

In planning and sharing ideas for a new curriculum, let us avoid delivering software in isolation; we must give careful consideration to project based learning as a method for allowing pupils to combine a range of skills to solve the same types of problems that they will face in the ‘real world’.   It is rare that we use one application on its own.

Assessment must not be rigid like the hoop-jumping that we see at GCSE and ‘A’ level; pupils should be encouraged to seek their own pathways to find a solution.  Do we always need to grade work, when surely it would be better to encourage pupils to evaluate their own and each others work?  Is there always a ‘right’ way of using technology to solve a problem?  By creating inflexible mark schemes we are stifling our pupils creativity.

#RethinkingICT is a fantastic way of getting like minded people together to share a vision; however, this vision must now become a reality.  A new, upgraded curriculum needs to be delivered in September and we all need to share ideas about lessons that we know have already been successful for us.  I have been creating mind maps of resources, articles, websites and lesson plans which I hope more people will add to so that colleagues have quick access to what is known to be effcetive in the classroom.  This type of sharing will stop us all trying to re-invent the great lessons and ideas that already exist.  I hope that some of you will be inspired to add to these resources before June 25th.