“There are Some Problems with Teaching Informatics”
07.09.2017
11:30
During the last week, textbooks on "Informatics" taught in secondary schools have become the subject of discussions in the social media. Social media users have made critical comments on the program of the subject, textbook content and the way of teaching it.

Media Center held a discussion on this topic with the participation of Ruzanna Stepanyan, Head of Informatics and Information Technologies Department of the National Institute of Education, Samvel Martirosyan, Information security expert, Hasmik Ayvazyan, Methodologist of educational programs at “Instigate Training Center” and Seyran Avetisyan, Author of “Informatics” Textbook.

According to Samvel Martirosyan, problems with Informatics have several layers. First of all, the problem is the way of teaching which is a global issue because computer skills are perhaps the only subject in which children have more skills than teachers. We need to understand how to teach in order teacher's reputation is preserved. You should pay attention to this problem. The other problem is that no matter how good a textbook is written, it will become outdated while writing it.

“A person is not physically able to keep the textbook in a way that is up-to-date. And this is a problem when a student deals with something that does not exist anymore. Someone had discovered that KDWIN has a way of learning, you can activate the Armenian language via it but it's not a problem today because Armenian is already embedded in Windows. The textbook was written in 2016 but Internet Explorer is covering the cover, and in 2015, Microsoft announced that it would stop developing it, that is, the child comes across an outdated phenomenon.”

The other issue, which Martirosyan points out, monopoly is promoted on state level in Armenia. “If you look at programs, textbooks, you'll see that they are fully focused on Microsoft products. The child learns from the youngster that there is no alternative. The child needs to know that there is an alternative that the same Windows is not the end of the world, there are thousands of other things.”

Hasmik Ayvazyan agrees that children should not only learn the Windows operating system but know what the operating system is in general. The methodologist suggests that every year there should be a guidebook that will help informatics teachers.

Seyran Avetisyan says that informatics program was approved 12 years ago, competition on textbooks of 6-7th years was held 7-8 years ago, with only 6-7 months for the competition. The author adds that there were public discussions during which all the comments and suggestions were taken into consideration.

According to him, the textbook should be periodically reviewed, and the book is dated to 2016 because it has been republished and that right belongs only to the publishing house.

The author of the textbook expresses concern that people are criticizing but nobody makes proposals in the textbook preparation phase, according to him, it is important that a great public discussion is held.

Ruzanna Stepanyan referring to concerns and observations, noted that a new educational methodology was developed and the draft was put under discussion, most probably at the end of the year it would be accepted. “Big changes are made in the textbook and the subject of Informatics. Now it is called “Informatics and Information Technology”. We have included cloud computing technologies, web applications, smart apps. The curriculum includes how children can spend little time and get great results.”

Stepanyan mentions that there is already a teacher's manual that they can use the tablets and without being afraid of them. The manual will be in an electronic form, it is the first attempt in the republic.

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