I was at a very interesting session at the AMES conference today on the new National Certificate in Media.
I had been interested in this from the Digital Media Computing perspective. I had been hoping that there would be more crossover with the two NCs but I have been disappointed. It is still an interesting course though.
As with all NCs, students need to do 12 units, six of which are core (compulsory) units.
My hope was that the optional units would include units also on the NC DMC list. My initial idea was that at my school students could do the NC DMC in S3-S5 then in S6 they could pick up the extra units that would be needed for the Media NC. Looking at the Media NC I now realise this would not be possible.
What is interesting is the amount of crossover, where with a bit of planning students could pick up two or more units for a project.
For example, imagine you're teaching video production by doing a project where students film and edit a short film. As long as copyright and file formats are studied and discussed then students could gain the Media: Basic Video Editing unit and the Computing: Video Editing unit. The performance criteria for both units are very similar. Chances are you could also award units in Working With Others and Problem Solving as well.
I think it will require more analysis (and I'm working from memory on the Computing units as I'm on the train home) but I think there is potential for picking up a lot of units in this fashion. They may not lead to a qualification or award in school but it may be that pupils can they go on to complete NCs at FE college.
Another interesting thought is that there is a huge potential for departments collaborating and working together to cover NC units in a shorter period of time. For example students in S5 could do the NC Media across three or four columns involving English, Art, Computing and Business Studies. Saying this, I think it would be more practical and sensible to send the pupils interested in this off to college where they have the skills, resources and equipment to teach TV or Radio to a higher standard.
So why would schools be interested in the NC in Media? It is a flexible course where the core units do not specify a particular industry so it can be adapted to fit skills and interests of the school. The sectors studied can be TV, radio, film, animation, computer games, interactive media, press, advertising, music and literature. The ownership, organisation, jobs roles and regulation within these industries are studied. The creative process is also studied and students then research and develop creative concepts for different platforms.
The course is highly practical. One of the core units is a Media Project (a double unit) and another is Working With Others. Do a big web design or computer game project and that's half of the core units completed already.
The crossovers with the NC in DMC seem to be in video production, radio production / sound recording and basic website development.
The major downside to the NC in Media is there are currently no National Progress Awards. I see this as being crutial to running NCs in schools. The SQA are at the stage of seeing if there is a demand for NPAs in Media. If you are at all interested in teaching this in the future I suggest you contact the SQA and express your NPA desires!
From personal experience I have found the SQA are open to suggestions for NPAs. Julie McLaren at Forrester suggested an NPA in Computer Games Development and now a few of us are planning the awards. We're at an early stage but it is very interesting.