Thursday, April 27, 2006

Vocational Media Courses

Preparing for an event discussing vocational media course in schools and colleges, I'm becoming increasingly aware of the 'market pressure' for new courses and the way they are exploiting government policy towards 14-19 education. Last summer I was alerted to the threat of DiDA -- ICT courses at Level 2 that include digital media production. Is anybody in a position to say how these are working in schools and if media teachers are involved?

Now comes a suite of'iMedia' qualifications from OCR offering more digital media production qualifications at Levels 2 and 3 as part of ICT provision . Where Edexcel goes, OCR must follow, it seems. It was disturbing to see a reference to 'media education' in relation to these new qualifications. 'Media techniques' yes, but they do not cover any media education key concepts. iMedia website.

Finally, I've been reading about 'Vocational Advantage', an idea for supporting centres wanting to develop vocational courses in schools at KS4 coming from Edexcel in partnership with the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT). Media is one of the first areas to be supported. See flyer here.

Edexcel is owned by Pearson Education and seems to be getting ever more entrepreneurial. DiDA involves selling a lot of Macromedia packages at huge discount to schools. Par for the course I guess these days. It's time to look closely at what is going on.

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