Wednesday, March 25, 2009

UK Primary Pupils to be Switched On?

They say that education should prepare you for the outside world and UK draft education curriculum plans drawn up by Sir Jim Rose, the former Ofsted chief, appointed to overhaul the primary school curriculum, certainly will shake the tree. The plans due to be published next month were leaked by the Guardian and include plans that require children to master Twitter and Wikipedia. They emphasise traditional learning such as phonics, the chronology of history and mental arithmetic, but now include modern media and web-based skills as well as a greater focus on environmental education.

The Guardian claim that the proposals would require, ‘Children to leave primary school familiar with blogging, podcasts, Wikipedia and Twitter as sources of information and forms of communication. They must gain "fluency" in handwriting and keyboard skills, and learn how to use a spellchecker alongside how to spell.’

Irrespective of what the final paper says and what gets implemented, there is a clear shift towards new media and communications skills and the obvious questions will be raised about basics and dumbing-down.

Its amazing that technologies that are under ten years old are accepted as basic building blocks for children who themselves may only be a little older than the tools they are grappling with and whose parents may not be conversant with.

The other certainty is that we will be educating a generation to express themselves creatively very differently from those before them. This is not just a shift in how people read and consume media but how they create and express themselves and this will certainly change what we know as content moving forward.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I accept the point about needing to improve "digital literacy" from a young age... but someone needs to tell Ofsted and/or DCSF that the Twitter terms of service prevent use by Primary-age children!