Reclaiming ICT education - Why free software is a neccessity in schools
My formal education in computing ended at the age of 14, about six weeks into a GCSE (The UK equivalent of the US's High School Diploma) course in ICT. I've had a lifelong passion for computers, but despite this, I opted instead to study Design and Technology and never looked back.
For anyone who has studied computing or ICT in a UK school, this will probably come as little surprise. My classmates and I (like many others) were taught by a teacher with little specialist knowledge of the subject (she taught French the majority of the time), following a curriculum that predominantly consisted of instruction in the correct use of the Microsoft Office suite.
Ten years later, not much has changed. Glancing at the National Curriculum for ICT, a great deal of it still revolves around the correct use of packages such as MS Word and Excel, with the notable addition of modules on the internet and (mostly deprecated) networking technologies. It is a great shame indeed, that while computer technology has revolutionised society to such an extent in recent years, education is still struggling to keep up.