On 25th June 2012 I attended the Rethinking ICT Conference.  An opportunity to reflect, share ideas, challenge one another and consider future developments/opportunities.  I went with enthusiasm and high expectations and was not disappointed!  My sincere thanks to Chris Leach for organising and hosting the event.  My head has been buzzing with thoughts and ideas ever since . . .

It was truly inspiring and motivating to be in a room of about 100 people who are so committed to facilitating the very best for their students in relation to this.  Delegates were there from state secondary, primary and special schools and independent prep and senior schools, universities, consultants and people from the business world; a holistic/inclusive gathering reflecting the diversity of stakeholders in this area, we were just missing a government official!  The passion was genuinely tangible!  For me it was also great to meet in person many of the significant people I tweet with.  Looking at the attendees list many of the current ‘movers and shakers’ in ICT were there; in effect giving a seal of approval to the value and importance of the day.

Here are the key points from the day, from my observations:

  • There is excellence in ICT happening throughout the country.  However some, maybe much, is too limited in scope and opportunities for the children.  How wide, progressive and balanced is the curriculum we deliver?  What is exciting and so positive is that a number of individuals ‘leading the way’ are happy to share ideas and resources for the benefit of all.  (I salute and thank them!)
  • There was much debate about the best term to use in schools for covering ICT skills/the subject.  Some support ICT as an on-going umbrella to cover all strands, whilst others seek consideration of digital literacy, digital studies, computer science/studies etc
  • Assessment was another lively area of discussion.  What equates to different levels?  Should/could there be ‘badges’ awarded for competency at different levels across topics/areas of studies?  Would it be good to get Naace or another body to approve/validate standards so there are nationally recognised standards?
  • How do we deliver the best training opportunities to staff?  Through Training Schools?  An extension of the ‘TeachMeet’ concept or another route? Attending courses or inviting trainers in?

I have always been passionate about ICT.  It is core/central to education, it is skills for life generally and for the world of work.  Those who limit it, limit their students, both now and for the future.

Is there a revolution in ICT just now?  I guess that depends on you!  It is certainly an exciting time and I believe ICT has the greatest potential to impact and enhance the curriculum as a whole.

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