A quote from the latest Ofsted report into ICT in schools, published yesterday? No, in fact a short extract from 'Information technology from 5 to 16 (HMI Series: Curriculum Matters No. 15)', published in 1989! Illustrating that we've come some way in the language we use about ICT, but maybe not that very far in clichés and attitudes about its potential. The latest report obviously has a serious agenda in relation to secondary ICT, and the programming/computer science issue discussed in earlier posts, but it is interesting that the headline writers at the BBC and The Guardian (to name but two) have made a bee line for the negative stuff and reported some of the positive findings about primary ICT only in passing.
Primary ICT comes out of the report fairly well: 'The overall effectiveness of ICT was good or outstanding in over two thirds of the primary schools visited'. What is interesting and rather depressing is that we have the same three areas of weakness in terms of teaching and learning identified for (what seems) the umpteenth time in Ofsted reports: control, data handing and assessment. Although its clear that outstanding schools (11 of the 88 primary schools visited) are doing something about these issues, they seem to be stubbornly resistant to improvement and change. Once more Ofsted recommend that schools 'provide subject-specific support and professional development to improve teachers’ confidence and expertise', but where this is going to come from with the decline of expertise in local authorities, I don't know? CPD innovations like TeachMeets, may be a way forward, but I get the sense that such events are meetings of the savvy and converted not those who really need to be there? Am I wrong? I hope so.
Below is a Wordle based on the report (with 'schools', 'school', 'pupils' and 'students' removed). I suppose the prominent words are the ones you would expect, although words like 'creative' or 'creativity' are notable by their absence.