Volume 1 Issue 1 - Summer 2001
Here we are at the end of another year for the association, but at the beginning of new and important changes. Much like the famous analogy of the swan, serene on the surface but paddling like blazes under the waves, ACITT executive have been putting in place a large number of significant changes which will extend and develop our association over the coming years.
Plus ca change…
Way back in 1989 when ACITT first started we were there at the very beginning of IT. Remember the time when ACITT was a correct acronym and stood for the Association for Computing and IT Teachers (ACITT)?
The association was started by a mixture of LEA and government advisors, to whom we owe a great debt of gratitude. The roll of honour includes - Bryan Weaver (Inspector for Educational Computing in ILEA), Howard Burton (Inspector in Cleveland) Hilary Pitts (inspector in Havering) and Gabriel Goldstein (HMI for Computer Education). Many other ACITT names were involved in those founding stages – Gill Lock was the conference organiser (no change there then…) and Sheyne Lucock was editor of the magazine.
When Computing disappeared and IT coordinator became the job we were all doing, ACITT changed its name to the Association for Teachers and Coordinators of IT, but kept ACITT as its logo. This was the period of cross curricular delivery when all developments in the pedagogy of teaching ICT stopped, whilst the world caught up with ACITT’s position on rigour in teaching ICT.
Then, when David Blunkett changed IT to ICT we suggested he was in error, but agreed to go with the change. We changed to our current (and final?) name of the Association for ICT in Education. We will retain ACITT as a logo for historical reasons, but will use our full title in conversation and writing.
If our name changed regularly, so did our magazine for members. Initially it was called the ACITT journal only to be replaced by InTegrate (with the capital letters being significant). Overall there were 31 issues of these two Journals, from November 88 until April 2001. Now that we make much greater use of the internet it became less necessary to have a magazine for news – a function now taken up by the email newsletter. Instead we have changed to having a slightly more formal, pedagogy based journal, Teaching ICT.
This first edition of Teaching ICT will become a collector’s item.
- It shows the direction we are heading in
- It is clearly a contributory journal and we are successful only if we raise best practice by collecting examples both formal and anecdotal of experiments in classroom practice in ICT.
- It is also clearly about pedagogy, rigour and debate, we have a long way to catch up with our other subject colleagues when we value our expertise in teaching and jealously guard with pedantic glee small but important points. Tell a scientist that mass and weight are the same and see what they say! Ask an ICT teacher whether it matters if we call a data handling program a database and you will raise a yawn.
Throughout the whole period from 1989 until 2001 we have steadfastly remained the association for ICT specialists.
Achievements and changes
Over this year a number of very significant achievements have been delivered by the executive. Together these changes begin the association’s move from being a small scale but important organisation into the fully representative and professional organisation we all want.
Firstly we appointed a professional Officer for the association. This means we can attend meetings on a regular basis which up until now proved extremely difficult. It also means that in future years it will be possible for any member to take any post on the executive as the professional officer can cover when elected officers are in their “day job”.
Secondly, we have started the process whereby the executive committee takes decisions and leads the organisations and paid officers carry out the main activities. Our professional officer, administrative officer, conference organiser, book-keeper, membership assistant and publications editor may be part time, but they allow the executive to stay clear of the bane of small organisations, not doing things because everyone’s too busy.
Thirdly, our website has become not only more extensive and useful, but it is almost self maintaining. We are grateful for sponsorship from an un-named benefactor in public media for the resources we use to develop the site. We are also eternally grateful to Simon Pittaway, whose skills and vision have delivered the website we never knew we wanted.
Next year will be another year of expansion. You will see the CPD scheme described later in this issue implemented and a major set of developments in terms of both the size of the association and the range of services provided to members (largely via online delivery methods).
ACITT Chair (2000/2001)
The Association’s Honorary President, Margaret Josephine Cox, Professor of Information Technology in Education, King's College London, has been rewarded for what we feel has been her outstanding and consistent contribution to education, in particular the development of IT. She has been awarded the O.B.E. in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
Congratulations Margaret, this may be a
cliché but it is undeniably true, it just couldn’t have happened to a
nicer person. We are all thrilled and delighted and look forward to seeing
the photo’s from the garden party. (digital of course!)
Volume 1 Issue 1 - Summer 2001