I’m looking for information about how schools deliver ICT skills. We have CfE outcomes in Computing Science and ICT to enhance learning to deliver in S1 and S2. Does anyone currently have:
A) A separate subject to look at ICT skills such as typing/spreadsheets/searching etc?
B) An integrated “skills course” with their S1-S2/3 content?
C) An ICT skills test early on to look at ability levels?
I have found that teachers across the school feel that pupils have limited skills in areas such as typing – wondering how other schools deal with this
We incorporate ICT skills into our S1 Computing Science and S1 Admin & ICT courses.
Our pupils choose their subjects in S2. Those who choose Computing, Business and/or Technical will continue to develop their ICT skills.
After all, it is the responsibility of all staff to use ICT in teaching and learning so they should, in theory, pick up the ‘slack’ with the remaining pupils.
We don’t do any formal testing of ICT skills but would question that it is the responsibility of Computing Science teachers to teach ‘typing’ skills. How many staff have ever been taught ‘typing’ skills? Using a keyboard well is the result of lots of practice, in my opinion. The kids who use computers a lot, type much faster than those who don’t.
Hope that helps.
Thanks for that.
How many periods is that over?
Thought ICT to enhance learning is a “whole school” set of Es and Os, they aren’t being delivered around the school, and I think basic ICT skills aren’t being delivered at all.
I did agree with your opinion on typing until I started talking to teachers around the school – pupils aren’t learning to type at all now, and don’t develop a reasonable typing speed because they don’t use keyboards. This is a problem because assessments might be carried out on a computer, as will most jobs they go into. I think there’s scope to bring back some ICT skills lessons to address issues like that.
We have one period of Admin & IT and one period of Computing Science throughout first year.
In S2-3 the pupils have 3 periods a week of Computing Science (if chosen). Pupils will not necessarily choose Computing, Business or Technical in S2-3 and so will miss out on regular exposure to ICT.
We also have IDL periods in S1-3 and some of those may involve using ICT but that all depends on which teacher/subject is taking the class.
As school ICT coordinator I am aware that most of our departments do make extensive use of ICT, e.g. English for typing up essays, Science for spreadsheets and reports, Modern languages/Music use sound editing and so on. I think the pupils are exposed to it quite a lot across the curriculum. Also, our library suite and ‘classes in a box’ are booked out constantly to all subject departments. However, the skills of the staff do vary considerably and I think this is something that needs to be addressed.
Some of our primary schools give the pupils a lot of exposure to ICT which means they come to us with good skills from S1. However, this is not uniform across the primaries and we are trying to address this.
I don’t know that ICT skills lessons are the answer.
Hope that helps.
we have one period of Bus Ed per week in S1, no computing and then one period of Computing in S2, no Bus. Ed. Pupils choose their subjects at end of s2. Therefore some will only be using ICT mainly in English for typing and research based tasks in other subjects. The lack of time with Bus. Ed. means that spreadsheets and databases are only touched on. No typing is taught in Bus. Ed.
We are finding that ICT skills are quite poor if you look in depth – ie how to use Master slide in POwerpoint or use Spreadsheets and Databases for research and presenting information.
However ICT skills were being taught to a small extent in our daily 25 minute no subject ‘enrichment’ period but this had to be abandoned due to lack of staff.
Not sure if it is the role of the Computing teacher to be teaching typing
I don’t know if they are either. I guess first thing I would need to know is what skill level they are at – but what are the basic measures of skills that make ICT accessible? I’m guessing they are typing (words per minute) and maybe information retrieval of some sort?
I am just envisaging a world where e-portfolios are demanded as a good solution to logging learning, but kids don’t have the skills to update this quickly on a computer.Any lengthy writing needs a keyboard. Then this is followed by SQA assessments, some of which may be computer-based..
I think we’d all agree with (and had good reason to advocate) the “Computing teachers don’t teach typing” thing. But I think there might be an impending issue caused by this: nobody has taken up the mantle, and basic skills are not delivered uniformly.
I guess more generally what I’m wondering is WHAT we think falls under “ICT to enhance learning” or even “ICT for effective learning” – I worry that it isn’t really looked at.
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