Get out of the classroom and into the server room, teachers told

Get out of the classroom and into the server room, teachers told

Summary: IT teachers should complete placements in IT departments so they can tell their pupils how businesses use technology and inspire them to pursue a career in IT.


Teachers should do placements in IT departments in order to gain an understanding of the links between tech and business, according to a body representing the IT sector. 

The Corporate IT Forum Education and Skills Commission said in its The Early Years report, published on Monday, that sending teachers to do placements at IT companies will equip them with useful knowledge they can pass onto their pupils and use to demonstrate how important IT skills are for most careers.

"The commission thinks IT teachers are missing the understanding of how these latest technologies sit within the business context," Joanna Poplawska, performance director at The Corporate IT Forum, told ZDNet. "In the end, it's about being able to present it to young people and to make them aware that IT can have all different roles and support all types of businesses and that it's not just about working for Microsoft."

The report claims the placements will also be useful because it will enable teachers to develop their own personal careers by providing them with an insight into the current technologies that are being used across a wide range of businesses and organisations. 

However, there is a long way to go as it is almost unheard of for an IT teacher to do a work placement at present, according to Poplawska. She also argues that the changing nature of IT means that IT teachers should receive longer industry placements than teachers for other subjects.

In addition to opening IT departments to teachers, Poplawska thinks businesses should run computing clubs for pupils and aim to create IT role models to inspire children so they pursue a career in IT. 

"We'd like to see more of a collaboration between educational institutions and organisations because we have to recognise that within the IT departments of large corporations there is so much knowledge, while on the other hand school resources are very limited," said Poplawska.

The Early Years is one of four reports to be published by The Corporate IT Forum Education and Skills Commission addressing the IT skills crisis in the UK. 

Topics: Education, IT Employment, United Kingdom

Sam Shead

About Sam Shead

Sam is generally at his happiest with a new piece of technology in his hands or nailing down an exclusive story. In the past he's written for The Engineer and the Daily Mail. These days, Sam is particularly interested in emerging technology, datacentres, cloud, storage and web start-ups.

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  • Not with Union ran K12 schools and Out of Wedlock kids

    They can barely pass half the kids on a 8th grade level math test, fail 3 times and magically you pass wont happen in college for them.

    Calculus will send them running for a government check, not an IT job.
    • What government check?

      Welfare, or general relief is only available for 12 months to nondisabled people. What are they going to do for the rest of their lives? D'oh!
  • who says professors are meant to know anything practical?

    An old saying which still hold a lot of truth: those who can do, those who can't teach. Also, for those with some talent for real IT work, it pays a lot better than teaching. Perhaps some/many of the best IT teachers would give up teaching and go into IT full time.

    Use of 'pupil' rather than 'student' implies this is about secondary schools. If so, IT instructors with real world experience would be akin to wood shop or auto shop teachers having employment experience as carpenters or auto mechanics, respectively. Not likely to happen. General education secondary schools aren't the place for this sort of vocational advocacy. Leave it in post-secondary vocational schools where it belongs (and where it's far more economic for instructors to have real-world experience).
  • That sounds like a great idea

    Get more kids into the soul-sucking field of IT. Show them early how much life sucks ass.
  • It actualy works the other way

    If teachers move into IT they'll see they don't have to be in a low paid, high responsibility, high stress job with everyone blaming them for the ills of society.

    I taught for 15 years before I moved into my own IT business and the lowered stress and the higher pay meant I never went back again.
  • Interesting Idea

    This sound like an interesting idea to me!!
    Abby Smith
  • A positive change!

    The idea is very nice but as you said it requires time and patience and of course commitment from teachers...