#digiscots14 Digital & ICT Skills in Scottish Education: The Skills Investment Plan & Tackling the Digital & ICT Skills Gap


post2

This conference aimed to bring together professionals and key stakeholders from education, industry and Government to discuss how Scotland creates the right foundations on which to develop ICT and digital skills. The growth of the digital and ICT industry has been realised for decades and is not set to slow down.  It is argued that schools and colleges need to nurture and evolve the skills to meet the current and future demands of industry. The conference looked at the skills investment plan which was launched to address this.

I heard from several speakers and I also had the opportunity to network with old friends and colleagues. Funny how the same faces turn out to these events…

A number of things occurred to me:

  • Schools tend to work in multi-disciplinary ways when we actually need interdisciplinary learning around education, technology and society. Primary schools approach technologies as project based learning opportunities and the skills developed by this process must begin in the early years. By the time a learner reaches the latter stages of the broad general education, it is too late to embed the lifelong digital skills needed to communicate, search and share online.
  • The transition between the broad general education and the senior phase is important. This is where the big decisions need to be made regarding career pathways and discipline specific digital and ICT skills.
  • We need to do more, to encourage widening access and participation into higher education so that we can articulate highly skilled graduates with workforce planning. This includes industry access and teachers entering the profession.
  • The systems level change required within education is two fold: a curriculum shift which places more emphasis onto computer science, digital and online skills and the responsibility of all teachers is just as inherent as literacy, numeracy and health and well-being. At present, it appears to be inconsistent, ad-hoc and bolt-on across Scotland. There is also a requirement to create a cultural shift which sees Scotland up-skilling and educating teachers (career long professional learning), though I recognise that this is challenging (see my previous post on digital skills).
  • We need to embed this new culture of computational thinking into initial teacher education, both at undergraduate primary and secondary levels and also at postgraduate level.
  • There are significant issues of technological equity within schools and their online environs – to include access to technology, the agency between teacher and student (which encourages and allows skills development and creativity) and policies on bring your own device, privacy, security and web-filtering.
  • Additional work is required to address the learning experience – those nodes of learning at home and within the community tend to be more rewarding, exciting and socially based than what we offer in schools. For example, where within schools, do we have room to educate our children and young people on the safe and appropriate use of social networking and online media?

This all said, I do believe that we have an excellent opportunity to address these issues through the national digital forums and local discussion groups which have been established throughout the country. I am due to attend an Education Scotland event on Friday to look at the Technologies curriculum area (and the Technologies Impact Review). I am sure that this will include an extension to the conversations seen as a result of this conference.

Advertisements
About

Academic Staff University of Glasgow and Author of Science Fiction

Posted in Conferences, Reflecting
Twitter Commentary
  • CA North America Magazine Launched
    This new monthly digital magazine is dedicated to the news and views of our members; a sizeable portion of our US and Canada members work in business and financial services, with many at management level, and we are focusing our…Read more ›
  • Technology Education: Do we have a PR crisis?
    It has been a long-standing commentary that resides with teachers around the country, that technology education suffers at the hands of science and mathematics. I have heard many jokes since I began my teaching career in 1997, as a student…Read more ›
  • Next speaking event: Learning Through Technology
    Learning Through Technology (6th June 2017) Technology Innovation Centre (University of Strathclyde) The Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy for Scotland was published in September 2016. The report outlines how important young people consider the use of digital technologies as a…Read more ›
  • #EduTechScot Conference 2017
    The Scottish Government’s STEM Education and Training strategy points to the important role STEM Education & Training has to play if we are to fully realise aspirations for all children and young people to have the skills and confidence needed…Read more ›
  • Annual Survey Of The Use Of Digital Technology / Glow
    Education Scotland carries out an annual survey of school staff and pupils to find out more about their use of digital technology in general and Glow in particular. This has been run most years in the last decade and it…Read more ›
  • Education needs to move beyond tablet devices – a perspective on mixed reality #NDLW17
    The education technology landscape has changed considerably over the last few years. Emerging devices and new approaches to learning are at the fore of new teaching pedagogy, with an increased focus on the use of digital technology in the classroom.…Read more ›
  • Social Media in Education #NDLW17 #DigitalDifference
    Originally published via Efficiency Exchange. Re-written for National Digital Learning Week 2017. As a lecturer, I have the opportunity to explore many new technologies and new pedagogies. Through my work, I’m able to visit primary and secondary schools throughout the…Read more ›
  • The Digital Everyday: Exploration or Alienation?
    I’m writing to you on behalf of the Centre for Digital Culture at King’s College London to invite you to attend an international event on Saturday, May 6 called “The Digital Everyday: Exploration or Alienation?” I’ve reached out to you…Read more ›
  • Speaking at #EduTech17 #EduTechScot @futurescot_news
    I will be presenting at EduTech 2017 this coming May, discussing the role of digital technologies in learning, with a specific focus on the Digital Schools Awards, accredited by Education Scotland and supported by HP, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Microsoft and…Read more ›
  • BBC Radio Scotland
    On Tuesday 21st March, 2017, I was invited to participate on The Kaye Adams Programme (BBC Radio Scotland) for an open discussion on online learning within our classrooms. The discussion was based around an innovative approach to distance learning from the…Read more ›
Blog Archive
%d bloggers like this: