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Key Messages

Web literacy has become essential.

  • The web is the fourth 'R.' Reading, writing, arithmetic -- and the web. In the 21st century, all four are now essential skills. Without digital literacy, we can't fully participate in 21st century life, work and learning.
  • We live in a networked world. If we don't equip youth with the skills to actively speak, learn, create and succeed in a digital world, they'll fall behind.
  • Web literacy is no longer optional. We can't afford to let technological and digital skills fall behind. They're vital to the UK's social and economic future.

There's a web literacy gap.

  • And around the world. Schools are struggling with outdated curriculum, resources and learning models.
  • The Royal Society says:
  • The Ministry of Education says:
  • Youth say:
  • Thought leader / Mozilla says:

Educators, youth and tech leaders are getting together to fix it.

  • Mozilla Webmaker.
  • Work together to teach, empower a new generation of digital creators, whiz kids and inspired technologists. Teaching "webmaking" in a broad, reannaisance-style way that encpompasses a broad range of disciplines.
  • In the same way "English" includes grammar, literator, etc. "Webmaking" is something that Computer science, math, design, remix and storytelling.
  • Empowering people with the skills they need to not only consume technology and the web -- but to create it.

The goal: build the next generation of digital creators, geniuses and "webmakers."

  • It's not just about training them to be professional developers or hard-core geeks. In the same way we don't teach math just to turn people into professional writers or mathematicians, we now need to teach the web as a broad literacy. Not just vocational training.

You can get involved.

  • Take part in the Mozilla Festival.
  • Join the Thought Leadership event.
  • Get access to digital literacy and webmaking tools, kits, projects and other teaching and learning resources at Webmaker.org
  • Get in touch.
  • Learn more:
    • Op/ed:
    • Royal Society Report



Recommendations from the Royal Society

From their report

Stop using the term "ICT"

  • The term ICT as a brand should be reviewed and the possibility considered of disaggregating this

into clearly defined areas such as digital literacy, Information Technology and Computer Science.

  • There is an analogy here with how English is structured at school, with reading and writing

(basic literacy), English Language (how the language works) and English Literature (how it is used).

  • The term ‘ICT’ should no longer be used as it has attracted too many negative connotations.

Seek industry support

  • Government departments with responsibility for Education in the UK should seek industry support to extend existing funding in this area, and should ensure that there is coordination of CPD provision for Computer Science and Information Technology

teachers that deepens subject knowledge and subject-specific pedagogy.

Make better resources available to schools

  • Suitable technical resources should be available in all schools to support the teaching of Computer

Science and Information technology.

  • These could include pupil-friendly programming environments such as Scratch, educational microcontroller kits

such as PICAXE and Arduino, and robot kits such as Lego Mindstorms.

Reform and re-brand the curriculum

  • The Department for Education should remedy the current situation, where good schools

are dis-incentivised from teaching Computer Science, by reforming and rebranding the current ICT curriculum in England.

  • Schemes of work should be established for ages 5 – 14 across the range of Computing aspects, e.g. digital literacy

(the analogue to being able to read and write), Information Technology, and Computer Science.

  • These should be constructed to be implementable in a variety of ways, including a cross-curricular approach for digital literacy at primary and early secondary school.
  • Schools may prefer not to impose a timetable or separately staff these elements at this age, but the existence of separately-defined learning experiences will ensure that each strand is always properly developed – unlike at present.

Review and update qualifications

  • In order to redress the imbalance between academic and vocational qualifications in this area – and to ensure that all qualifications are of value to those who take them – the departments for education across the UK should encourage Awarding Organisations to review their current provision and develop Key Stage 4 (KS4) qualifications in Computer Science in consultation with the UK Forum (see recommendation 11), universities and employers.
  • Awarding Organisations across the UK should review and revise the titles and content of all new and existing qualifications in this area to match the disaggregation described above (e.g. Computer Science, Information Technology and

digital literacy).

Support informal learning and after-school programs

  • The UK Forum (see recommendation 11) should put in place a framework to support non-formal learning in Computer Science and to support teachers.
  • Considerations include after-school clubs, school speakers and mentoring for teachers in developing their subject knowledge.

Bodies such as STEMNET will have a role to play in implementing this.

  • To inform the focus of investment in non-formal learning in Computing, the UK Forum should also look at establishing a rigorous evidence base for the effectiveness and value of various Computer Science E&E activities.

Establish a lasting forum

  • The Computing community should establish a lasting UK Forum for joint working and coordination between the many Computing bodies, in order to progress the recommendations within this report. The Forum should provide regular progress reports on the implementation of the recommendations.