Computer science in schools - advice and arguments needed.
Most people will agree that this is a good thing, since the basics of Office can be grasped in an hour or so, and hardly need the current years of study.
However, last year, whilst several thousand people qualified as ICT teachers, only 3 people qualified as Computer Science teachers. Many existing ICT teachers only ended up as ICT teachers by chance. That group includes me, but I am fairly sure that I will be asked to teach Computer Science next year.
So, here's the thing: I am not confident that those with a grasp on the purse-strings know enough to make an informed decision regarding the route to follow in September, investment-wise, and I know I'm not.
Possible routes that occur to me;
- The school teaches programming etc on PCs, using software to model the device being controlled by the programmes children write.
- The school invests in Arduino or Arduino clones, and forges closer links between the ICT and Technology departments to teach Computer Science through the medium of robotics.
- The school invests in Raspberry Pi, plus the required peripherals, and teaches programming of computers from the ground up.
- In all three cases, the existing ICT suits would remain as a resource for other departments to use.
- In 2 & 3, I would like to see the hardware being treated as a consumable, much like printer ink or wood.
- In all three cases, nobody currently employed has any skill in those areas and has no time to be formally trained in those areas, so would need to learn alongside the pupils.
What do you think?
Which of these routes should I encourage my school to go down? Why?
What other options are there?