ICT - a damaged brand?
Agree the terminology is an all encompassing term more suited to cope with the skill levels of the teachers in the particular institution where pupils interact with digital technology (ICT does include all forms including use of mobile forms). The use of basic Office packages is a core skill and therefore you could consider is ICT a subject or should the aspects of word processing, presentation and spreadsheets be taught in Maths, English or Art curricula. I am suggesting that ICT should have the status of core or common skills. It is cross curricular! With the investment in teacher training in ICT for the last 10 or so years should we still be teaching ICT as a separate subject!
The trick is to have the technology disappear into the background and not be the learning objective. Teach the skills when they are needed for a practical use in core subjects. "ICT" is as much an enabler as being able to read or write or add up. If we want to teach Computer Science do so and not confuse it with personal communication and core skills training for the 21st Century Work place! As former Head of Science and ICT very frustrating when staff do not match pupils ability to their subject curricular progression. (In brackets for a reason, especially when they are asking the pupils to do something they are often not able to do themselves.) Understandable why this story about unused http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-20348322 is no surprise.
I'm not sure I totally agree with you PSpalding. In principe I agree that it is most effective to learn skills in context, but
- There is a real danger of teachers focussing on the things they feel comfortable with, which may mean for some/many children that they are not taught effective ICT skills
- ICT is not just about skills see my earlier attempt at a definition
- The system, and in particular the assessment and accountability elements of it, mitigate against the use of digital technology much/most of the time. Combine this with the endemic and growing level of risk aversion in education and it is no wonder that most teachers don't experiment with the new pedagogical models that would fit best with the use of digital technology (but represent a transformation of practice according to the Education Innovation Framework (EdIF)).