Today I saw for the first time an ICAS (International Competitions & Assessment for Schools) Computer Skills 2008 test. Take a look here for yourself if you have not previously seen one:
Wow. Once again I am amazed by how different people’s perspective of the role of computers in teaching and learning is. This is a test of computer skill knowledge only, and very MS Office’ish at that. What purpose does it serve?
My biggest fear is that parents will see this test and think that the use of computers in schools consists of a skill based programme where children are taken through a prescribed list of skills to learn.
Can you imagine, “No sorry class, you don’t make podcasts until year 5. Today we are gong to look at how to change the font, size and style.” Eeeeek.
I hear you say, “But those children will need to know how to do that in order to get a job and…” Really? How can you be sure what technology will be around in 2020? That is when today’s year 6’s could be finishing a degree at university…
Technology is their for us to support learning. To engage and motivate students. To allow them to connect and collaborate. Find information, reorganise, compare, create, share. Not because someone has decided that it is a skill they need, but because it is helping them to learn.
We shouldn’t learn about computers, we should learn with them.