A few months ago I wrote about a high school computer teacher who worked mobile app development and testing into his curriculum. Well, it looks like he’s not alone. According to British news site The Register, Michael Gove, a member of the British Parliament who also serves as Education Secretary, is proposing a major revamp to the country’s computer education program. Here’s part of the Register article (emphasis added):
Education Secretary Michael Gove today proposed killing off Blighty’s ICT curriculum in September to give it a thorough reboot.
Launching a consultation into his plans, Gove suggested that from the start of the next academic year, schools should be able to teach what they want in computer classes. The Tory minister recommended MIT’s Scratch – a programming language for newbies – and the Microsoft and Google-approved Computing at School course for 11 to 13-year-olds.
The current ICT curriculum is “dull and demotivating”, he said in his speech to the BETT conference, and tweaks to qualifications and the curriculum in past have not led to “significant improvements”. …
Outlining the plan for 2012-14, Gove said:
Technology in schools will no longer be micro-managed by Whitehall. By withdrawing the Programme of Study, we’re giving teachers freedom over what and how to teach, revolutionising ICT as we know it. …
Imagine the dramatic change which could be possible in just a few years, once we remove the roadblock of the existing ICT curriculum. Instead of children bored out of their minds being taught how to use Word and Excel by bored teachers, we could have 11-year-olds able to write simple 2D computer animations using an MIT tool called Scratch. By 16, they could have an understanding of formal logic previously covered only in University courses and be writing their own apps for smartphones.