Junior Cycle Material Thoughts
CHANGES TO IRELAND'S Junior Cert should enhance the quality of student entering our Honours Degree in Creative Multimedia. After listening to attendees at this weekend's Coder Dojo Conference, I know there will be off-the-shelf curricular items that could plug directly into this new Junior Cert.
Some of those items might be breadboards like the Arduino kit in the photo.
I am biased towards the revised programme articulated by the Irish Minister for Education because it empowers lecturers on our software development, games development and creative multimedia programmes to share their expertise through the National Digital Learning Repository, Lero, and CESI. These established communities have syllabi, workshops and professional development assets that should reduce the time required to offer enriched Junior Cycle content.
The road ahead is not smooth, however, according to some in the Association of School Teachers in Ireland. Teachers seem to be worried that they will have no time to teach if they spend all their time assessing what students have learned.
I think several issues need to be laid out on the table about this new Junior Cycle. The first is money because teachers think they will be asked to do more and get nothing but a gold star for effort. Personally, I think teachers should be incentivised to upskill in specific areas, like coding for the web. Learning the requisite skills is part of Continuous Professional Development and should earn a teacher an increment of pay increase.
The second is connecting some of the curriculum items to off-the-shelf modules that could be offered by Ireland's third level institutions to interested second level teachers.
Bernie Goldbach saves things related to ictedu.