The report « Shut down or restart?: The way forward for computing in UK schools » is the outcome of the project « Computing in schools » initiated by the Royal Society in August 2010. The project looked at the way that computing is taught in schools, with support from 24 organisations from across the computing community including learned societies, professional bodies, universities, and industry.
The main findings and recommendations of the project are:
1. The current delivery of Computing education in many UK schools is highly unsatisfactory
2. There is a need to improve understanding in schools of the nature and scope of Computing.
3. Every child should have the opportunity to learn Computing at school, including exposure to Computer Science as a rigorous academic discipline.
4. There is a need for qualifications in aspects of Computing that are accessible at school level but are not currently taught.
5. There is a need for augmentation and coordination of current Enhancement and Enrichment activities to support the study of Computing.
6. Uptake of Computing A-level is hindered by
lack of demand from higher education institutions.
- Employees in Europe do not have sufficient high level competences which are needed in future. Therefore, it is urgent to act immediately.
- SMEs ask for a high level of professional qualifications for their vacancies. It is difficult to find adequate candidates with proper soft skills.
- There is a large gap between the approaches of the stakeholders: Training organisations, companies (especially SMEs), intermediary organisations, students and jobseekers.
- Unify education, training and employment by intensifying collaboration between training institutions and prospective employers.
- Anticipate necessities, be open to talent and promote initiatives that facilitate “learning-from-each-other” processes.
- This type of measures should be facilitated by governments at local, national and European level.
The document can be assessed under the following link: http://www.fom.de/fileadmin/fom/downloads/forschungsberichte/arbeitspapiere/AP_22.pdf
The report, produced by the IS Unit at JRC-IPTS, is the result of a project to develop guidelines for supporting digital competence development in Europe which was launched on the request of DG Education and Culture. The report reviews needs for digital competence, different concepts used to describe and understand it, as well as related policy approaches and measurements. Based on these, it suggests a conceptual model encompassing:
- Instrumental knowledge and skills for tool and media usage;
- Advanced skills and knowledge for communication and collaboration, information management, learning and problem-solving, and meaningful participation;
- Attitudes to strategic skills usage in intercultural, critical, creative, responsible and autonomous ways.
Author: Kirsti Ala-Mutka
EUR Number: Technical Note: JRC 67075
Publication date: 10/2011
The report can be downloaded at http://ipts.jrc.ec.europa.eu/publications/pub.cfm?id=4699.
Researchers found that thousands of young people arrive at interviews without the « vital employability skills » required by employers such as having a suitable grasp of English, being punctual and having a general « can do » attitude.
Young Enterprise charity chairman Ian Smith said that the situation is getting worse because the Department for Education is adopting an alarmingly narrow focus on academic skills and exams.
The project addresses the collaboration and web 2.0 skills of teachers and trainers in both Vocational Education and Training (VET) and adult training institutions, with a special focus on personnel and organizational development. SVEA is composed by the following partner consortium: MFG Baden-Württemberg (Germany), CSP Innovazioni nelle ICT (Italy), EuroPACE ivzw ( Belgium), FUNDECYT (Spain), and Coleg sir Gâr (Wales).
The project will develop an online platform offering custom web 2.0 tools for trainers and teachers, combined with both an online and a face to face training program to help the target group master these web 2.0 applications. Guidelines and training material to guarantee successful implementation will also be designed.
EDULEARN11, the 3rd annual International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies will be held in Barcelona (Spain), on the 4th, 5th and 6th of July, 2011.
This conference will be held at international level. The attendance of more than 700 delegates from 70 different countries is expected.
EDULEARN11 is an International Forum for those who wish to present their projects and discuss the latest innovations and results in the field of New Technologies in Education, E-learning and methodologies applied to Education and Research.
In a thought provoking article by Kentaro Toyama published in ICT Works, the author argues that « technology in education has a poor historical record; that computers in schools typically fail to have positive impact (with the rare exceptions occurring only in the context of competent, well-funded schools); that information technology is almost never worth its opportunity cost; and that quality education doesn’t require information technology ».
Having put forward a point-by-point refutation of frequently heard sound bites extolling technology in schools, he concludes that « underperforming school systems should keep their focus on improving teaching and administration, and that even good schools may want to consider more cost-effective alternatives to technology when making supplementary educational investments ».