Codeboom’s unsung heroes of ICT and CS education 2012

As a teacher, I always receive a lot of promotional flyers through the post and I also encounter a lot of advertising on Twitter, some of which is for education conferences. However, despite the topic of the conference being “education”, there is sometimes a glaring omission – where are the teachers?! How is it even possible to have a conference on primary and secondary education without featuring at the very least one currently practising teacher in the speaker lineup? Imagine a conference in any other field where none of the speakers was currently doing the work which was the topic of the conference – how ridiculous does that sound?

Someone from the USA clearly agrees with me on this, as can be seen in the article “Who’s missing from the picture” which Neil Brown shared with me last week. It was CS Ed week, which is predominantly in the US but there is also some involvement across the world. The blog’s author comments:

Yesterday there was a Twitter Conversation led by a “national panel of thought leaders in the field….There are zero K-12 teachers on the list. None, not one. None of us current teachers are worthy “thought leaders?”

(K-12 is primary and secondary education put together, in the US)

I have to agree with this! If the people who are doing this job on a daily basis are not inspiring and forward thinking enough to be listened to, why is it we are we happy to inflict them on children day after day and expect the children to listen? This doesn’t send out a good message. Another similar list, again from the USA, is the Forbes 30 under 30 list for education. Once again there are many startup founders, academics, and even a few students but…no current teachers. What’s even more ironic is that the full title of the article is “30 Under 30: The Millennials Overhauling Education And Leaving No Child (Or Teacher) Behind”. Except…they left all the teachers behind. *facepalm*

I’ve also been looking with interest at Chris Leach’s #RethinkingICTAward where he has been encouraging people to nominate “an individual on Twitter who has really influenced the way you teach ICT and your own vision for the subject”. Whilst there have been many very worthy nominees, I often find that when it comes to people being nominated for awards, asked to speak at conferences, interviewed in the press or asked to write articles, it always seems to be the same people. No disrespect to those people – they are good at what they do and that is why they are asked – but it would be nice to also hear about some other good people for a change. So, in the spirit of the award that our 1st XV rugby team always announces in assembly, I bring you my “Unsung Heroes of ICT and CS 2012” – the people who I think are pretty cool but don’t always get the recognition they deserve. Maybe someone will invite them to speak at a conference soon 😉

Unsung heroes of ICT and CS education 2012

@MrOCallaghanEdu [blog] – Stephen O’Callaghan, ICT and Computing teacher from Bristol and crazy running enthusiast. He didn’t train in Computer Science but has been tireless in working on creating interesting Computing lessons, pioneering the GCSE and spreading enthusiasm for the subject.

@vikkiville – Vikki Dodd, ICT and Computing teacher from somewhere up north. I’ve never met Vikki or even spoken to her as far as I know, but I was impressed with some resources she posted on the CAS community (need to be logged in to click here) and she sounds like she really knows what she’s on about.

@twistedsq [site] – Neil Brown, academic at the University of Kent (yes OK, not a teacher) and CAS web admin. His blog(s) are really good and I have no idea why he doesn’t have more followers on Twitter because he always talks a lot of sense. Hugely helpful to CAS and to me personally and has also endured me moaning on a variety of topics 😀

@Mr_G_ICT [blog] – Ben Gristwood, ICT teacher from oop North. Has a small baby and is still managing to juggle this with creating awesome lessons and wrangling a pack of Digital Leaders. Willing to share, listen and discuss all sorts of cool stuff and a great enthusiast for the subject.

Rebecca Franks [CAS profile] [blog]- ICT teacher from Birmingham. An enthusiastic member of the #include team who has put in a lot of effort to help with the various campaigns. I have not known her for very long but she always seems happy to help, thoughtful and diplomatic 🙂

@loobey41 [blog] – Lucy Bunce, Head of ICT from Wales. I get the impression she’s been rather busy recently 😉 but she writes spot on blog posts and I was pleased to finally actually meet her at #YRS2012. I still can’t get the image of her as ‘Lady Sugar’ (from my “Which type of Computing teacher are you?” post) out of my head. I also loved the Y-Pant Thriller video!!

Who are your unsung heroes, and why?

7 thoughts on “Codeboom’s unsung heroes of ICT and CS education 2012

  1. You have made me think about #RethinkingICT 2013 – this year we had several speakers talking for 10 minutes(ish) some were well known names and others weren’t. I think I will deliberately try to encourage first-time speakers alongside some well-established names. Hope you will be one of the first to put your name down for a 10-minute slot once the date is confirmed 😉

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