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 and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application Developer

    £30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...

    Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive

    £18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

    Ashdown Group: C# Developer

    £30000 - £36000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: C# Developer A highly s...

    Ashdown Group: Senior Test Engineer

    £45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A market leading software...

    Day In a Page

    Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

    The secret CIA Starbucks

    The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
    Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

    How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

    The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
    One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

    One million Britons using food banks

    Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
    Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

    2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

    Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
    The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

    The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

    The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
    Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

    Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

    A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
    Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

    Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

    They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
    Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

    Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

    The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
    The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

    The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

    Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
    How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

    How to run a restaurant

    As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
    Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

    Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

    For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
    Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

    Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

    The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
    10 best tote bags

    Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

    We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
    Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

    Paul Scholes column

    I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
    Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

    Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

    The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...