Thu, Mar 26th 2009 9:22am
It's quite common for schools to struggle with how and what to teach kids when it comes to technology, often trying to balance newfangled topics like computer skills with the tried-and-true classics like history. But a new version of England's primary-school curriculum would make the teaching of certain historical topics, like the Victorian period and World War II, non-compulsory, but dictate that kids should "leave primary school familiar with blogging, podcasts, Wikipedia and Twitter as sources of information and forms of communication." It's easy to see this story leading to knee-jerk reactions from people decrying how kids aren't learning what's important, and spending their time playing computer games, and so on. But the reactions in The Guardian's article seem, for the most part, pretty measured. While mentioning Twitter makes for a tasty headline, the real thrust of the new curriculum seems not to be to teach kids particular platforms like Twitter or blogs, but rather to build their technological understanding, and allows schools some flexibility in how they do so. That would follow some earlier UK government reports, which found the schools doing the best job of teaching IT skills were those that spread computer skills across multiple topics, rather than segregating them into specific IT courses. By integrating technology into the entire curriculum, just as technology is integrated across multiple aspects of modern life, it would seem that young students will be best prepared for future success.
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