Last night I had the opportunity to lead a discussion on a new subject which is being proposed and worked on by a small group of teachers called #digitalstudies. The aim of the evening was to give people a chance to find out about it, discuss it's implications and come up with practical solutions. After Gove's announcements recently about the changes to the curriculum it was natural that a fair bit of the conversation would be about the fallout from his announcements. The conversation was fast and furious with multiple threads and therefore this summary is only touching on some of what the archive offers.
The conversation began with some scepticism about his announcements with people saying he hadn't gone far enough to expressing concern about whether the free choice element of the ICT curriculum would come about. Some were also concerned about the about the business and commercial influence this might bring into the subject. There was also some discussion about whether his message was 'we could do what we want' or 'there must be more computing' or whether it should be a bit of both with a couple of tweets about what we could 'do' when it came to september. Another concern was whether the new curriculum could be handled by non-specialist teachers.
During the session a regular point which people came back to quite repeatedly was the discussion of terms and their definitions as well as how strands of teaching based on those terms could be taught. A pertinent comment was made that any curriculum needs balance and should be flexible to meet the needs of pupils. A lot of positivity was expressed with people wanting to design a curriculum which augments what we do as teachers.
Another theme of the evening was practical ways of moving forward either #digitalstudies or something similar. A comment was made that a lot of the current ICT curriculum could be cut back. A #rethinkingict conference was also mentioned being led by @chrisleach78 during which people will have a chance to work on developing future plans. On the topic of assessment for ICT or any new subject a suggestion was made to have pupils do 'hack days' as a form of assessment instead of regular tests and exams. Some comments and links were also posted on including EYFS in any new curriculum which was very much recommended. Training was a regular point of discussion as something which was vital for pushing forward with a new curriculum.
A selection of tweets from the evening: