A better way to teach ICT in schools
After I wrote an article disparaging the standard of tuition of ICT in schools (here: www.mikewilson.cc/2011/12/19/why-ict-in-schools-is-shit-a...), a local school, their Year 6 teachers and IT administrator threw the gauntlet down to me for the creation of an ICT day.
Michael Gove, the MP for Surrey Heath is the Secretary of State for Education and he recently said that ICT was taught to children who were "bored out of their minds being taught how to use Word and Excel by bored teachers".
So, sixty children and armed with little more than a little hardware and a couple of games that I had written in Scratch (a program for making other programs but aimed at children), I embarked to visit the school for the first time and delivered a series of classes designed to inspire the children and give them an appreciation of software and software development.
They loved it - and I was shattered and overjoyed. Apparently I might have a talent for teaching children, not something I've really ever considered before this day. It was hard work, harder even than training Royal Marines! (Any teachers listening? Respect!).
I have never worked with kids before but I believe passionately that we need to start instilling confidence in them that they can do some very exciting and interesting things with technology and giving them the resources, expertise and time to do it.
I'm an IT freelancer by trade and run a small software company providing bespoke software products, off the shelf products, systems integration and design and consultancy services. And what this country needs are highly motivated and inspired young people to take up apprenticeships (these don't yet exist - what a short-sighted government) in the IT sector.
If you are interested in hearing more, please check back to www.mikewilson.cc to read more about how the day went!