Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Gove to reform ICT teaching?

Like a stroppy teenager, Mikey Gove put his feet up on the desk and
declared "Ere this is soooo boring!" as his considered opinion on the
teaching of ICT in all schools in England and Wales.

"Technology in schools will no longer be micro-managed by Whitehall.
By withdrawing the Programme of Study, we're giving teachers freedom
over what and how to teach, revolutionising ICT as we know it. "

Quite right. It won't be micro-managed. It will be Micro-soft. Gove is
proposing that schools should use teaching materials which promote
Microsoft and Google.

It is usually the case that when government ministers threaten to
"reform" something, they are going to reform it the same way the
iceberg "reformed" the Titanic. In this case the DFE mean they won't
run ICT on behalf of the corporations, they will let the corporations
like Microsoft and Google run ICT directly. For Microsoft education is
a chance to make a fast buck. For Google, everything is a chance to
acquire information on consumers so they can target advertising at

Microsoft Office is available at a special educational price of £99.99
per unit with additional costs for upgrades. Open source alternatives
like Open Office are available free.. The upgrades are free too.

And if Gove seriously wanted pupils to be involved in developing
software he would be promoting open source software where the code is
publicly available. This is far more educational than Microsoft which
protects its code as a "business secret".

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