Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Leap of Faith: New ICT Curriculum

There's a scene in an old Indiana Jones Movie (many of you will be saying - Indiana Jones old?) called The Last Crusade when Indy comes to a chasm and is asked to step out and trust that he will be held up on faith alone. He figures out that there is an actual bridge there to step onto but still has to step out onto the appearance of nothing. I feel at that point currently at school.

I, like the vast majority of English National Curriculum ICT teachers around the world, have long known that the QCA based scheme of work and the derivatives there of, was outdated and  out of touch with today's technologies and innovations. Web 2.0 is a well worn phrase but has not not had more than a passing mention in the Cambridge GCSE syllabus. Netbooks and many different hand held devices from PSPs, Nintendos, tablets to smart phones and mp3 players.

Over the two and a half years I have used a variety of websites and blogs to learn about and update my own ICT knowledge. I started way back with the ground breaking Cool Tools for Schools. This alone was able to give structure to my explorations and directed me towards tools that were so useful and accessible. More recently I have become an avid twitterer and have followed and taken note of John Mclear, Claire Lotriet, Julie Skinner, Simfin, Dean Shareski, Phil Bagge, Simon Haughton and Ian Addison alongside many others. In particular Ian's curriculum at the end which made me recognise that I had put into place the majority of ingredients that I needed.

For the last four years I have been teaching ICT knowing that it was stale and not where I wanted to be but I also didn't have that clear picture. Now as the ingredients have come together and more importantly as the cloud ware has been made available free of charge or with a really reasonable minimal charge, my curriculum has started to take shape. I still will retain its core areas of data handling, finding out and collecting and presenting information, but I will add more digital media that will open up and invigorate the rest of the curriculum that it will connect with.

Here is the new curriculum overview.

Maybe this is not a leap of faith at all. In actual fact the bridge that will take the teachers to a better curriculum is there. Watch this space.