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."
Life & Style blogs
Double chins could be 'cured' without surgery or dieting using new injection
Holocaust Memorial Day: 70 years since Auschwitz liberation, these are the stories of survivors
Does the path to true love really lie in these 36 questions?
Hershey's angers US chocolate purists by forcing company to stop importing 'yummy' Cadbury bars
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Louise Mensch says 'F**K YOU' in explosive tweets about David Cameron, Saudi Embassy and the Queen over King Abdullah tributes
- 1 Heavy metal producer's corpse to be mutilated by models as per his dying wish
- 2 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 4 Presidential optical illusion offers clues to how brain processes faces
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunity to join a...
£35000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: BI Developer (Business In...
£Negotiable (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Mac Operator / Artworker to ...
£Negotiable (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Digital Content Designer / W...