Saturday, March 14, 2009

Saturday 14th March 2009

I have been subscribing to a whole host of 'alerts' to do with ICT in schools and student related themes. Some have been very informative and others a complete farce! The following is an article from the following link:

I couldn't help but agree with this story - "too much emphasis on particular software packages and not enough time helping the students aquire transferable skills". Read on and see what you think!

Good signs for schools IT spendingFriday, March 13, 2009

An Ofsted report has found that despite schools investing heavily in ICT, there is still no consideration towards its impact on improving learning. The report has noted many gains in schools' IT and has credited the commitment of schools leaders for it. Yet, it found that only half of the schools that Ofsted inspectors visited were actually evaluating the impact of ICT resources on improving learning. Other findings in 'The importance of ICT: information and communication technology in primary and secondary schools 2005-08' included a weakness in assessment, low standards in database usage by pupils and a general restriction on pupils using different software and learning transferable skills. Assessment was the weakest aspect of teaching in IT, the report said, with one in five schools being "inadequate". "The schools visited rarely tracked the progress of individuals in ICT, established their attainment on entry to secondary school or took into account their achievement outside school. Although the use of ICT in other subjects was increasing in secondary schools, the skills were rarely assessed. As a result, ICT teachers rarely knew how well students applied their ICT skills elsewhere," the report said. Although students used ICT well to present their work, communicate their ideas and, increasingly, to manipulate and use a variety of digital media, the report also found that standards in using spreadsheets, databases and programming remained low. Teachers also gave too much emphasis to particular software applications, "rather than helping them to acquire genuinely transferable skills". Higher attaining children in both primaries and secondaries were insufficiently challenged by ICT teaching, the report also found. In Key Stage 4, for example, pupils studying some vocational courses often spent time demonstrating what they could already do rather than acquiring new skills.Christine Gilbert, the chief inspector, said: "Around 77 per cent of the workforce now uses information technology in their job and the demand for these skills is likely to continue to increase. Schools must equip young people with the tools to ensure their employability. ICT needs to be given high status, both by the government and in individual schools, in line with its importance to young people's future economic well being."

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