This week I have the privilege of hosting #ukedchat on the topic of #digitalstudies. I will probably write another quick summary blog shortly before Thursday night giving those who are coming new to the topic a quick refresher and a full set of links. Today therefore I more want to follow on from my last post on our Secretary of Educations’s announcements on ICT by thinking forward to how this is going to impact #digitalstudies.
Firstly a quick recap of what has happened so far. Late last year I saw a blog post by @mwclarkson on possible strands for ICT and I asked him if I could use those as a basis for working on my new schemes of work. Shortly after that I began to think that these strands could be used as the possible basis for a ‘rebrand’ of the subject and after seeing a while ago some discussion about whether the name of ICT was a problem a thought that perhaps a new name could be found. I wrote a blog post setting out my thoughts for wanting to rename the subject to #digital and after some initial reservations both online and with some colleagues @largerama proposed the addition of studies to the name and #digitalstudies was born.
Since then I have come across @chrisleach78′sexcellent work on his version of a new curriculum which uses similar strands and have also made contact with @teachesict who has started producing some fantastic mind maps on topics for the subject. Chris has also launched the #rethinkingict conference which I think has reached its limits in terms of numbers. More details can be found here.
So after Michael Gove’s announcements last week on the 11th of January I was very chuffed to see that not only does much of #digitalstudies match what Gove is suggesting I think the subject we are working on will not only include all of what Gove wants to see but also goes further in providing a broad, exciting and balanced curriculum.
We are already in a sense ‘open source’, we will be including the heavy programming the government wants to see but will also be including topics and challenges which are relevant to pupils. What is also very important is the following point which I will make in its own paragraph as I think it is vital for ensuring this project gets taken seriously.
Digital Studies must be seen not as a collection of fun and cool teaching ideas but as a consistent, challenging, engaging and academically rigorous subject which is above and beyond what any other country has to offer.
I am setting a high benchmark for two reasons. Firstly it gives us something to aim for and the higher we aim the further we reach and secondly because I think there is a collective skill set amongst ICT teachers in the UK (and obviously further afield as well) which can help produce this.
So what needs to happen next? I was hoping to get to teachmeet BETT last Friday but for personal reasons was unable to do so. Fortunately I have very kindly been offered a slot by @chilledteaching to moderate a discussion on Thursday night on #digitalstudies. The conference which Chris is organising is a next logical step and I think will prove immensely valuable in giving some serious direction to the next stages for ICT whether it will be #digitalstudies or something else. Further action points:
1. For those attending the #rethinkingICT conference start preparing for it. For those not attending get as much contributions as you can to those who are attending.
2. Attend the #ukedchat session on twitter Thursday 19th January at 8:00pm.
3. From today http://digitalstudieswiki.pbworks.com is now open to start compiling ideas and developing content. It currently has very little and I will try and give it some structure during today. Request access and begin editing.
4. If you are buying into this then get exposure for #digitalstudies in your school, home, LA office, company, government department, newspaper office, blog posts, tweets etc. I like what Gove had to say but I think we can be better then he probably thinks we are.
Ps: need a logo – get tired of searching through flickrcc for decent images