Reboot for ICT Curriculum

As the news has been stating over the last week, there are reports about the new government approach to ICT within schools and i personally have mixed feelings. (but that may just be jealousy)

Being only 20, i understand that school wasn't all that long ago, but what i can remember from ICT at school, is that it was so mind numbingly boring, and i felt my knowledge of computers, and what we were teaching surpassed that of the teacher, who really was a Geography teacher who knew very little about ICT.

Microsoft Office

When i think back on what we did, it's almost laughable, we spent most of our time, sat around carrying out intellectual murder, by simply following step by step guides, that showed us to use some of the most basic functions that the Microsoft Office package had to offer, everything from Access, to Word, not forgetting Excel; don't get me wrong, all very useful packages, but these skills should be taught within the first week or so, and from there we should be building on these skills, not just relearning them week in, week out.

So now, after spending 5 years in Secondary School, and another 2 years studying at College, i can safely look back, and say that i learnt a lot more, a lot quicker from self-teaching, than i did in those seven years.
When my passion for computing took over, i would find myself learning the more important functions that our computers have to offer, programming, web design and development, computer architecture, useful skills that will be of genuine use to myself if i follow a career in Computing.

The Government have only just realised this now? They've only just seen that Secondary School pupils, don't want to be learning the basics anymore. We live in a world of huge technological growth, out dated functions and software are more commonly found with new software being released weekly. They want to know how to make, develop, maintain. Not make do with, and use. (When i was at school, spending an hour or two using Microsoft Office, wasn't an option, instead it was much more fun to see how far passed security we could get with just MS-DOS, creating batch files, and putting flash games into Excel so that they could be played despite all the Internet bans. The fun things)

As mentioned before, technology is advancing, and so is its rate of growth, and more than ever before there is technology available to schools that will allow ICT to finally have a priority. Computers in schools have always been moderate at best, the schools have always tried, but the capabilities, for what i imagine the costs to have been, where normally pretty poor. But with developments of such things as the Raspberry Pi, and the wide variety of tablets, and notebooks, it's starting to become cheaper and easier for students to get their hands on efficient yet affordable resources, this alone will increase the productivity of students and ICT.

But what about us?

This is where jealousy comes in. I went through school learning IT was of no real help, and if it wasn't for my personal interest and motivation,  a stack of books and the Internet. I probably wouldn't be studying Software Engineering at University right now. So, yes... I am a bit jealous that kids going through school today, may know more than i did after College. If the tools, and the teaching was of a better standard 5 years ago, i would have been in my element.

But surely, this will also affect my job chances? - I want the world of technology to grow, and i want this to be done fast, meaning a lot of people must be involved in the computing world, but at the same time i really can't help, but feel a bit threatened by a reform of IT. I'm worried that this will mean a lot more people will want to do ICT at college, and university, meaning a lot more graduates to compete with me for my positions, or more directly. If you can leave School and College with a much more developed, and advanced knowledge of IT, this will open up the job choices massively, but this may also lead to College leavers, undercutting those who are going on to study further at University.

What I'm trying to say, without saying it. Is, I'm happy this is happening, it's a massive step in the right direction, and will benefit the country greatly. I mean it's about time but why could it have not have come sooner, ie when i was at school.


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