Go back to the IT basics

16th June 2006 at 01:00
I worked in IT before becoming a teacher and, while agreeing with Martin Ripley's analysis of the ICT students need to be taught (TES Teacher, June 2) I advise teachers not to forget the basics.

Private employment agencies will not even register you unless you can touch-type at 30 words a minute. How many schools follow my example and have half a lesson a week devoted to this skill?

Also, it's all very well teaching multimedia presentations, but many firms prefer to stick with traditional slides, backed by verbal presentation.

Therefore, students need to know the boring stuff, like how to insert graphics or create charts and spreadsheets.

This is why I back up my lessons with skills training using the European Computer Driving Licence which gives basic skills. I think this and typing should be done by all students in Years 7 and 8. Remember online Sats tests will go live in 2008. To prepare students for this, teachers must start giving lessons on email.

Teachers need to get away from the idea of ICT as a separate subject, as students will eventually carry wireless PCs and produce all written work on them, This, of course, means the end of the pencil as we know it, but that's been the way of the world of work for at least the past 15 years.

Shaun K Joynson

ICT teacher, College Park school, London W2

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