It contains such gems as:
- Make sure you always give the children's work a mark out of 10, but never give 10/10 since the child would have no incentive to do better.
- Make sure that children know that they should get things right first time. Never allow them to amend what they have done.
- Never let children work together, or they will copy each other, and then you will never know who does, and who doesn't, know their 7 times table.
Ways To Discourage Children From Becoming Computing Scientists or How To Put Children Off ICT As A Learning Tool. Here are a few of my initial ideas:
- The first time you meet a new class at the beginning of the year, always cover the basics. You can never do, "This is a keyboard. This is a mouse." too often.
- Never believe children when they tell you how good they are using computers in fact never ask them what they can do in the first place because they will always exaggerate.
- In programming, always emphasise the syntax of new commands. Don't waste your time with problem solving; just get them to learn the keywords and all the variations of how they are used.
- Never play games on the computer. This will confuse children into thinking Computing is fun; it is important that they realise Computing is a very serious subject. (The one exception to this rule is games that involve repeatedly solving an endless supply of basic arithmetic questions.)
- Always make children write things out first before letting them on the computers to type it up and make it look pretty. But don't let them fiddle about too much with fonts, colours and graphics or they will waste valuable time that could be spent learning "This is a keyboard. This is a mouse."
- Let children use a computer only during specifically timetabled sessions. If they have a question they'd like to Google, make them wait until Friday afternoon when the whole class is in the computer lab. Children need to learn that computers are a scarce resource.
- The best way to introduce the FOR loop is to make the children write a program to display their name on the screen ten times. (All children have love to see their name on a computer screen.) An obvious extension exercise for children who finish early is to re-write the program to put the school's name on the screen 100 times. This will let them feel like real programmers and will show them the true power of programming.
- The ICT equipment in schools should be at least five years old. Modern computers are too fast and too easy to use. It is important that children struggle with technology so that they realise that Computing is a difficult subject.
- Never let children use their own equipment in schools. If you even see them looking at a mobile phone, send them straight to the headteacher. (If they are using a mobile phone, how will they ever learn "This is a keyboard. This is a mouse."?)
- Interactive Whiteboards are misnamed; the "Interactive" part of the name is redundant. Under no circumstances should a pupil be allowed to touch the whiteboard. Boards are expensive and pupils could break them or get them sticky and dirty.
P.S. It is said that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit but in my experience, some people fail to spot sarcasm. Can I therefore make it clear that although I have posted ten ways to put children off Computing, my hope is that this list will encourage people to do the exact opposite!