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Plugging the digital skills gap in UK schools
We’ve all heard about the digital skills gap in UK schools.
But, do you know how bad it’s got? And, have you figured out what you’re going to do about it yet?
No? Then, you’re in luck – that’s exactly what we’ll explore here today!
A boffin’s take on the digital skills gap in UK schools
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has – rather unfairly – had a bad rap in recent years, and the subject will disappear from our exam rooms altogether from this summer.
But, technology moves fast, and the course was undoubtedly due a revamp. So, there’s no point in getting too nostalgic.
The bright young thing on the curriculum these days is Computer Science, which educators reckon will be more of a test for students… and teachers, too!
Even with this new course, things haven’t really improved in terms of the digital skills gap in UK schools just yet. That’s what some clever folks from the University of Roehampton found in their brand-new study.
According to their research, only a little over half of UK schools were offering Computer Science at GCSE or A-level exams in summer 2017. Smaller and independent schools are much less likely to offer the course.
Totting up all the numbers, just 12% of all students are taking the subject at GCSE-level today.
Of these, only 20% are girls. Wind the clock back to 2014 and you’ll see that 30,000 fewer girls have passed computing exams by age 16 than boys.
These stats – plus others from Ofqual – suggest there’s still work to be done to get students motoring with computing in schools. And, until the digital skills gap in UK schools gets plugged, students will find it tougher in the world of work, while employers will be left lacking in terms of computing credentials.
How can schools reboot their computing GCSEs and A-levels?
Sorting all this out means tweaking your approach so that students can’t resist choosing this handy subject at GCSE or A-level.
Not only should you be looking to add some spark to your Computer Science classes, you should be coming up with innovative ways to use computers in other classes, too.
Essentially, you’re trying to show students just how important computers are in the world today. And, that they’re so much more than just tools for games and social media.
- Take your students on virtual school trips using interactive screens
- Teach them how to use revision and productivity apps on iPads to prep for their exams
- Use iPads to teach kids how to code, then pair them up with a Raspberry Pi for some amateur robotics
- Create and improve new designs using 3D printers (using plastics – or, even food!)
- Or, use 3D printing to build famous landmarks or artefacts/explain complicated systems
Try a few of these ideas for yourselves to give your kids a new level of enthusiasm and skill in Computer Science and help plug the digital skills gap in UK schools.
Give your students the technical skills they need to get ahead in tomorrow’s world with a little help from Utility Rentals.