Education secretary Michael Gove announced yesterday his plans to overhaul the teaching of computer science in UK schools. Plans include scrapping Microsoft suite and other basic computer skills to digital native learners who grasp these technologies intuitively. The curriculum rests on a wiki-style resource that will be quickly evolving and shared by teachers. The task of writing the initial curriculum will involve tech business and higher education with participation from IBM, Microsoft, and the British Computer Society and accolades from the European directors of Google and Facebook.
Gove stated in his speech that he was inspired by the US military’s use of wikis to communicate real time information and thought it would be an effective platform for a subject that changes as rapidly as IT. With the new model, teachers will be given more freedom to design learning around student interest. The Guardian ran a joke article about what student interest based teaching would mean, but it does raise some interesting questions about the borderline legality of real fun on the internet and notions of school appropriate social media learning. It’ll be interesting to see the outcome of this reinvention.