Feeds

That new 'Microsoft GCSE': We reveal what's in it

What the Windows 8 maker wants Brit kids to know

The essential guide to IT transformation

Exam board AQA's head of accreditation Mary Jane Newman has revealed a few more details about the so-called "Microsoft GCSE", which will be taught in Britain from September.

The Redmond-backed ICT GCSE with-real-actual-programming aims to redress the big fall in pupils taking the qualification, counter accusations that the current syllabus is boring, and reverse universities' concerns over "soft" tech lessons in schools.

Microsoft was brought in to discuss general concepts and "what skills were relevant to industry", input that appeared to have been successful as the 200 schools who trialled the new curriculum loved it, Newman told the Westminster Education Forum on ICT education yesterday.

Sixty per cent of the marks for the new qualification will be awarded in the Practical Programming module. It will consist of two tasks, which kids can pick from gaming, web, mobile or traditional development. It's all about teaching youngsters to control devices rather than just using them, Newman said. The board won't prescribe any programming languages, leaving the choice up to the schools.

Fact-digesting will account for the remaining 40 per cent of the marks: Computing Fundamentals is a theory test that will be assessed by exam.

Also speaking on the panel was Professor Steve Furber of Manchester University's Computer Science department: he reiterated the findings of the Royal Society's investigation into ICT education 'Shut Down or Restart' from January.

Crucially the report investigated how the term "ICT" was a confusing name that lumped together "digital literacy skills" – basic training on using computers – with Computer Science, which could and should be a proper academic qualification.

"The main message of the report is that we want to be a nation of technology creators, not just technology consumers," said Furber, who designed the first ARM processor architecture and was a key player in the Acorn BBC Micro team that fostered a generation of Brit programmers in the 1980s. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Time to move away from Windows 7 ... whoa, whoa, who said anything about Windows 8?
Start migrating now to avoid another XPocalypse – Gartner
You'll find Yoda at the back of every IT conference
The piss always taking is he. Bastard the.
HANA has SAP cuddling up to 'smaller partners'
Wanted: algorithm wranglers, not systems giants
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.