IT Key Skills

Last week saw a very interesting discussion at the Curriculum Managers meeting about the place of IT within the curriculum and what particular skills employers want from young people. Within the group of colleagues who discussed this there was a divergence of views, which could summarised in these three positions. Position One, we should specifiy a specific qualification which everyone should seek to attain before they leave college. Position Two, young people know more about IT than we do and in the future we won't need to teach them IT. Position Three, the best way to teach IT, just like any key other skillm is to integrate it within the student's main programme of study.

In having this discussion, one of the many unknows which we discussed was 'what IT skills do employers want new entrants to the workforce to have, and did this vary from one employer group to another. I think it would be fair to say there was a divergence of views on this one, and we may need to wait until the Employers Survey is published before we get any kind of answer on this one.

If you are interested in contributing to this debate, please contact either Fina Jones, Peter Bolam or myself.



Learning from colleagues

Over the last few weeks colleagues have been giving seminars as part to the Cert Ed programme. I had the privilege of being invited into two of the seminars, and although on quite separate topics, key skills and community building, there was a common a theme which bound them together, that it, sharing best practice.

Certainly, the message underpinning the key skills presentation was the need to colleagues to work together, as best practice tended to suggest that key skills were best delivered in an integrated fashion. Subject tutors and key skills working together to ensure that our students saw the relevance and need for acquire those literacy and numeracy skills. We already do this highly effectively in some parts of the college and we need to look on how we can build this.

Indeed, building on what already works is an integral of community building. Hopefully, the 2007-08 academic year we see a focus on community building through a number of processes which will focus on developing notions of best practice, and how that can be shared, implemented and its impact then assessed. This will be both exciting and significant as it will give us opportunities to learn from one another.

I certainly learnt much from those colleagues who presented his or her Cert Ed seminars, and I thank them for that.