This is what I intended to say…

“Good morning and welcome to Winchester House School and Rethinking ICT. I want to start by saying thank you to all of you for coming and I really hope you enjoy the day. I would also like to thank everyone here at Winchester House for supporting me and basically allowing me to take over the school for the day. In case you are wondering why there are no children around today – they are all at home recovering from Saturday’s Sports Day.

Earlier this week a colleague of mine asked me why I was organising this conference. I’m still not 100% sure of the answer but the simple reply is that it was a small idea that got a bit bigger than I expected. About two years ago I started to rethink our ICT planning – I read plenty of articles and blogs about what we should and shouldn’t be teaching in ICT and started pulling together ideas. Indeed the decorating of my baby boy’s nursery (@Isaacodactyl to those who follow him on Twitter) was delayed because of the number 0f Post-It notes that covered the walls.

I tried to find a balance between what the children need to know and what I wanted them to learn about and be inspired by. As a former Year 5 teacher in a primary school I used to teach the children Art and about artists such as Lowry, Pollock and Mondrian – so why not teach the children about computer pioneers such as Babbage and Turing – and as ICT is about more than computers why not include Morse, Tesla, Marconi – all inspirational figures.

Anyway, as the walls got covered in more and more Post-Its it became clear to me that ICT is both a tool to enhance learning in all subject areas and a fascinating, interesting subject in its own right. Part of the problem with ICT is that people seem to suggest it has to be one or the other.

As I began to organise the Post-It notes four strands began to emerge and these I now refer to as Digital Literacy, Digital Creativity, Digital Technology and Digital Society. As I was working on this I read about the work others such as Brian Sharland and Ian Addison were doing to rethink their curriculum and I began to think how great it would be to get half a dozen like minded people in a room together to share ideas and come up with something truly exciting. And so RethinkingICT was born.

Soon after that Google’s Eric Schmidt made his comments about the state of ICT in the UK and suddenly, according to the media, ICT was the most boring subject in school. The Mr Gove made his comments at BETT and seemed to say “Right chaps, it’s all over to you.” As a result RethinkingICT suddenly became even more relevant and that little idea grew into today.”

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