Computing experts welcome ICT shake-up
Computing and videogame experts have welcomed the proposed shake-up in the way computing is taught in UK schools.
Education Secretary Michael Gove said lessons in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) are to be axed from the start of the new school year in September, subject to a consultation.
It will be replaced by computer science, which will be made compulsory for all pupils.
Dr Richard Wilson, CEO of videogame industry body TIGA, said the proposal was welcome but he said schools needed to be well-resourced in order to be capable of delivering Computer Science lessons.
He added: “The Government’s decision on ICT and Computer Science is very positive. Schools will now have greater opportunities to teach Computer Science, a subject of great importance to the video games sector.
"TIGA hopes that schools will take advantage of this opportunity. Some schools could specialise in teaching Computer Science and become centres of excellence in this discipline.”
Mr Gove said students wre "bored out of their minds" by the way computing is currently taught in UK schools.
Speaking to the BETT educational technology trade fair, he said "technology has changed the world, and the workplace" but he said education had barely changed and he pointed to Microsoft founder Bill Gates' warning that "the need for children to understand computer programming is much more acute now".
Under the plan, schools will use teaching resources that have been put together with help from companies such as Microsoft and Google.
Gove said another aim was to create a new Computer Science GCSE and that schools and teachers will be given freedom over what and how to teach.
He said: "Imagine the dramatic change which could be possible in just a few years, once we remove the roadblock of the existing ICT curriculum.
"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 smartphone
"From September, schools will be given the freedom to use cutting-edge teaching resources designed with input from leading employers and academics such as Microsoft, Google and Cambridge University."
Videogame developers including Cambridge-based indie game creator Sophie Houlden said the move was a positive one. "So happy to hear ICT is getting scrapped," she wrote on Twitter. "Those lessons were a total waste of time when I was in school. Glad I blew them off and made games."
The announcement follows the Livingstone-Hope Skills review that recommended the need for children to acquire computer science skills.
Ian Livingstone, who co-authored the Livingstone-Hope Skills review, reacted to the news on Twitter by posting: "Thank you Michael Gove. Bye bye ICT that was. It's been special. Hello Computer Science. Kids will rejoice."
He told the BBC: "The current lessons are essentially irrelevant to today's generation of children who can learn PowerPoint in a week.
"It's a travesty given our heritage as the most creative nation in the world.
"Children are being forced to learn how to use applications, rather than to make them. They are becoming slaves to the user interface and are totally bored by it."
New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning
Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy
New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain
Life & Style blogs
How to carve a pumpkin for Halloween with this step-by-step tutorial
Health: When masturbation can be fatal: The practice of auto-erotic asphyxia is often concealed by a coroner's verdict. Monique Roffey looks at a lethal taboo
Woman successfully sues Google for showing her with 'part of her breast exposed' on Street View
Top 10 horror video games for Halloween
Happy Halloween! Google celebrates All Hallows' Eve with Doodle
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Maureen Lipman says 'she can't vote Labour while Ed Miliband is leader'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything
- 1 Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
- 2 Topshop at centre of row over body image as 'shocking' skinny mannequin photo goes viral
- 3 Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson criticised for beer tweet
- 4 Woman blinded as a child can see again after hitting her head on a coffee table
- 5 The bubble bursts for Sodastream
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: SThree Group has been...
£18000 - £27000 per annum + Commission: SThree: The SThree group is a world le...
£35000 - £40000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...