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article imageUK's 'dull' computer teaching to be revamped

By Milo Noblet     Jan 12, 2012 in Technology
The current information and communications technology curriculum in England's schools is a "mess" and must be radically revamped, education secretary Michael Gove has announced.
Speaking at the BETT show for educational technology in London, UK education secretary Michael Gove announced plans to radically change the way technology is taught in British classrooms, with ICT (Information Communication Technology) lessons to be replaced by a computer science programme, as the Independent writes.
From September this year the current technology curriculum will be replaced by a more flexible curriculum in computer science and programming, designed with the help of universities and those in the technology industry. The education secretary called the current ICT curriculum "demotivating and dull", and is to begin a consultation next week about the new computing curriculum.
Gove warned that while technology had advanced at a rapid pace, education had "barely changed", and said that the new curriculum would produce young people with the ability to "work at the forefront of technological change". He also said that the poor teaching of computing in the current curriculum is in danger of harming Britain's economic prospects. The education secretary stated that "Instead of children bored out of their minds being taught how to use Word or Excel by bored teachers, we could have 11-year-olds able to write simple 2D computer animations."
Gaming entrepreneur Ian Livingstone, an adviser to the education secretary, envisages an improved curriculum that could have 16-year-olds able to create smartphone apps and 18-year-olds creating their own simple programming languages.
However, experts have voiced concerns that there is a shortage of teachers qualified to deliver the new curriculum, Bill Mitchell, of the British Computing Society, said that "It is tremendous that Michael Gove is personally endorsing the importance of teaching computer science in schools," but that there are "significant challenges to overcome, specifically with the immediate shortage of computer science teachers."
Nick D'Aloisio, a 16-year-old from London who developed his own smartphone app to simplify internet searching while studying for his GCSEs, stated that lessons in web design in Year 9 helped spark his interest in computing.
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