The Royal Society made a convincing argument that ICT should be replaced by a combination of Computer Science and Digital Literacy. The current draft of the new ICT PoS does not live up to this vision.
In my post Scrapping “ICT” on January 18th, I attacked the term “ICT” on the grounds that it confused two concepts: the teaching of technology (which I proposed to call Computer Studies) and the use of technology to improve learning (which I proposed to call education technology).
I had not at that time read the Royal Society report, Shut down or restart?, which had been published five days earlier. This report argued along similar lines to my own, but suggested that the term “ICT” confused not two but five concepts:
- the National Curriculum Subject called “ICT” (itself a combination of many strands);
- the use of generic information technologies (e.g. the internet, VLEs, office software) to support teaching and learning;
- the use of specific technologies to support individual subjects (e.g. weather stations in Geography, MIDI instruments in Music);
- the use of technologies to support teachers’ administrative processes, and the school’s management information systems;
- the physical infrastructure of a school’s computer systems: the networks, printers and so on.
I can agree with the Royal Society that “ICT” confuses many different terms without necessarily agreeing that their five points represent the most helpful classification of the different concepts. Continue reading