Friday, February 22, 2013

Taking the bull by the horns: The proposed computing curriculum

Quick link to the computing doc for those who don't want to read this post!

We were very fortunate at Roydon Primary to have a forward-thinking head who embraced ICT innovations. Although some may have described him as a bit of a maverick, he took risks that paid off and encouraged us to do the same. Because of this we managed to keep abreast of ICT developments and indeed were innovative in things such as our use of class blogging in 2007. His commitment to developments meant regular in-house training and lots of trips to Bett and other conferences to see how we could apply new ideas to our curriculum.
Although our new headteacher confesses to be a technophobe, she has embraced our passion for technology by saying yes to my iPad request and fully supporting outreach and digital leader work. For that I am most grateful.

This post is not just a thank you to our school leaders, it is setting a context for the environment I work in. Our teachers embrace change. They take the bull by the horns because they feel supported and are not patronised.

That said, when I first looked at the computing document I was concerned that even the teachers at Roydon may be a little 'freaked out' by the language. ICT is very well embedded in our school (and I truly believe that if we had devoted time to it we would have gained the ICT mark a long while ago), but I know that words like 'algorithm' would cause concern, so I decided to put together a document to show what we are already doing in school to cover it.

When I started adding ideas I thought how they could be helpful to others. I then considered how a lot of people in my twitter PLN could contribute and if I made this an open document that could potentially help many teachers. So that's what I did: added it to the digital leader network blog, tweeted it out, asked specific people with expertise ( e,g. @MBerry and @eslweb) to contribute ideas and Bob's your uncle - a document with crowd sourced ideas to help you deliver the new computing curriculum started growing. As always I am inspired by my PLN and their commitment to helping others.

 This new curriculum really isn't scary! It's a positive thing for ICT. We can keep using technology as we always have done - as another learning tool - whilst making sure that the area that many teachers avoid (in my experience from outreach work) is covered. Clever! Although the creative element of ICT isn't specified at KS1/2, it may be because it is taken for granted that it happens throughout the curriculum. Now what I aim to do is to get schools to employ digital leaders to support computing in schools. Why is it important? Maybe this video will explain.

If you find the computing document useful, please let me know. If you have an idea that is not already there-please add it! Huge thanks to everyone who has contributed already! 

Related reading

 Please do check out Ant's fantastic blog post 'Coding, computer science and ipads' not only because he shares most of my opinions, but because he writes them so much more eloquently (and in more detail too!) Don't be put off if you don't have ipads -the post is much more than that and shows some great PC resources too.

Pete Yeomens (@ethinking) and Mile Berry (@mberry) have both written posts about the 'National Curriculum Consultation' and 'The New Computing Curriculum'. Pete as always has muddied my thinking (in a good way) and has made me take more time over the wording in my response to the computing curriculum.

You can read about some of my favourite free ICT resources in previous posts.

Apologies for my poor grammar.

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