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ICT, Computer Science, Schools and Governors

ICT, Computer Science, Schools and Governors

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Baby surfing the internetOver the last few days there has been an avalanche of news and opinion about ICT in schools.

Schools are being overcharged in IT leasing agreements, signing agreements that overcharge them for the most basic IT equipment.

Ian Livingstone talks about a “nation of digital illiterates“, who spend a year learning how to use PowerPoint, and as a result are so bored by their lessons that they switch off from ICT.

Graham Brown-Martin wrote on TES about how technophobia doesn’t belong in education. Children are themselves switching from TV to internet, and today Michael Gove will announce that school ICT will be replaced by Computer Science.  This may be a challenge as, in 2010, of the 28000 teachers who qualified only 3 held a computing degree, but Mr Gove says he wants to concentrate on training teachers rather than buying hardware.   Another interesting blog here from Pat Parslow about Digital Literacy and how new ways of “teaching” may be necessary.

The Computer Science programme will be with “help from Microsoft and Google”.   We’re slightly biased on this one, as we believe that open source software should be the first choice because it’s cost-effective and flexible.

So, why am I highlighting all these stories? I sometimes get asked by Governors if I can send them paper versions of our e-learning modules or our online newsletter and post to their home address.  Unfortunately, it’s not something we can do for them, as they’ve all been designed for the screen.  I’ve also had a few Governors tell me that they refuse to use email for their school governing duties.

Simultaneously I’ve noticed that more local governors’ associations are using social media to reach their members and the wider school governance community, and there is a move by the wider public sector to make services “digital by default”.

Is an offline governor a barrier to an effective governing body in today’s world?  Should digital literacy be a pre-requisite to becoming a school governor?  Will a change to the curricula deter some people from volunteering to be a school governor, for fear that their offline status will rule them out?

Looking forward to reading your comments!


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