ICT & Computing

What is ICT?

“ICT” refers to forms of technology that are used to transmit, store, create, display, share or exchange information by electronic means. This broad definition of ICT currently includes such technologies as media, telecommunications, and computer hardware and software; it also includes equipment and services associated with these technologies, such as videoconferencing, email and blogs.

Being skilled in using ICT is essential if children and young people are to be effective contributors able to communicate and interact on a global scale. Across the curriculum, skills in ICT will be developed in the context of the learning and teaching as appropriate to the child or young person’s maturity. All teachers, in all sectors, in all departments and in all settings, have opportunities to apply, reinforce and extend ICT skills within and across curriculum areas to equip children and young people with the learning and employability skills required for the 21st century.

What is Computing?

ICT brings together different forms of technologies and applies them to communication and learning, whereas computing, as an area of specialised study, provides deeper theoretical and practical understanding of how hardware and software can be developed and applied in a range of contexts. This area of specialist study has particular relevance in preparing children and young people for the challenges of rapidly changing digital technologies. It will enable learners to prepare for more advanced specialised study and careers within computing science.


Table from “ICT and Computer Science in UK schools“, Naace, ITTE, and the Computing at School Working Group, June 2012

Information and Communications Technology Computer Science
The study of computer systems and how they are used The study of how computer systems are built and work
Human need is central to the subject Computation is central to the subject
Concerned with the design, development and evaluation of systems, with particular emphasis on the data, functional and usability requirements of end users Concerned with algorithmic thinking, and the ways in which a real-world problem can be decomposed in order to construct a working solution
Focuses on building or programming a solution by using a combination of currently available devices and software. Solves problems and develops new systems by writing new software and developing innovative computational approaches.
Emphasis on selecting, evaluating, designing and configuring appropriate software and devices. Programming is one method of creating desired outcomes. Emphasis on principles and techniques for building new software and designing new hardware. Programming and coding is a central technique to create outcomes.
ICT supports, enhances and empowers human activity and informs future developments. Computation is a “lens” through which we can understand the natural world, and the nature of thought itself, in a new way.
Tending towards the higher level study and application of ICT in a range of contexts, from academic to vocational. Tending towards higher level academic study of Computing and Computer Science