Lacking imagination ... Rant, Rant, Rant

In the pursuit of all things wonderful in the development of IT vocational qualifications, I am frequently reminded that the standard of IT education in the UK is dependent on the quality of the teachers delivering it.

Some are good, some are fantastic, but there are many (far too many in my opinion) who have neither the passion or the ability to deliver good, robust and commercially relevant IT skills to youngsters.

My rants fall into three domains

  1. Those who fear, fear itself and lack the drive to deliver
  2. The IT users who are abusing the minds of teenagers
  3. Unimaginative delivery and uninteresting assessment

So, are you one of those who fear, fear itself and lack the drive to deliver, the network manager wont let you, it may corrupt the minds of the students. You fear that they may become more technical than those managing the system, you fear that there may be a risk that they could do something irresponsible with the knowledge you have given them.

Do something about it ...

For F$$K’s sake, teach them something that has value, youth thrives on excitement, my son used to rave about the science teacher who would deliberately set fire to all manner of substances. It gave him a passion, why are there many teachers of IT that have no passion, its fun, there is so much you can do with the technology, don’t show them pie charts on a spreadsheet. Our younger generation are digital natives, they get it, don’t labour it and help them expand their minds.

The users, who are abusing the minds of our youth should be shot at dawn, if you think I am being offensive, then maybe I should share what I really feel should be done.

Fact : our youth are digital natives
Fact : they can use computers better than you and I
Fact : they may need guidance, but I bet they can show you a thing or ten.

Spreadsheets, PowerPoint's and pie charts have their place, for please for the love of a higher deity, don’t ram the stuff down their gullets. There is much more, so much more. There is technology, programming, networking, cyber security, gaming, mobile phone tools, web site technology and interaction technologies that is considerably more interesting than anything that can be done with a spreadsheet.

The irony is, I know many in Microsoft who agree, user skills are good, but get the youngsters to work with the technology.

Then a personal frustration, seeing unimaginative delivery and uninteresting assessment, it makes me weep. So called professionals with teaching qualifications who when it comes to the rub cannot assess or struggle to teach the subjects. There are many freedoms in many qualifications, this I know as I have explored them and more importantly included them into the design.

Think out of the box, ignore the bloody box, drop the box, do you get it?

Imagine it in the context of the youth you were.

There are many ways of assessing many units, the taxonomy does allow this. Written work is needed, but not in epic proportions, vocational = practical, vocational = technical, professional = skills and discipline.
You can reduce your marking load, by using in class assessment and observation .... Yes, think about it. In my field of BTEC you can link many units in their assessment and use one teaching programme for delivery.

That’s a scary proposition, creating a cohesive delivery programme.

I am sure some will dislike my views, I am sure you will get over this, enjoy.


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