Education faces exciting and challenging times yet again with further curriculum changes to ICT. But hang on it’s not ICT any more is it? Coding is the new ICT according to Michael Gove and whether you agree with the change or disagree; going with the flow is of course an inevitable part of the job.
Either way, the fundamental benefits brought about by computers remain the same for many pupils and students; inclusion, a form of communication, assessment, real-time feedback, skills for the future, 1:1 learning, anytime anywhere learning – the list goes on.
One of the main reasons for the curriculum change is the forecasted labour gap of a million people in the UK tech sector in the next decade. Quite rightly so too – with increasing numbers of developing countries providing first class and competitively priced labour – such as coding – the UK needs to keep up and provide skills for a modern economy. In fact children as young as five will start coding in 2014 in the UK – this is good news but is your tech infrastructure up to scratch to support the shift?
Not only are education establishments unsure as to how they are going to teach this new computer science, but for many, there is uncertainty as to whether their existing ICT networks can support it.
Running an audit, working out what you need as a priority, and then calculating the cost is a frightening prospect, especially alongside all the other non ICT related items you need. So how do you plan to fund the skills teaching of the new breed of soon-to-be coding experts? Any ideas?
Leasing is one plan of action that many may have considered, deliberated and after much discussion with governors heralded a resounding ‘no’ to, due to bad press in recent years.
Yet leasing, if done correctly, is a viable route to paying for all the ICT kit you need, as well as a host of other items – even sports and kitchen equipment. There are realms of possibilities associated with leasing and by rejecting it in an instant you may be limiting learning outcomes for your students and pupils.
There is research to be done and you will need to consider a number of tick boxes before making your decision. For example: