Monday, June 14, 2010

“They can’t just hack it!”: Attitudes to technology – Session 1.2 12.15-13.00

Presenter: Gavin Dudeney
The presenter aimed at knocking down current myths related to technology playing the role of an ‘exorcist’ as he wittily phrased it. He started his talk by sharing a photo of a group of kids circling around a Mac solving a math problem away from their parents sitting at a restaurant table. As impressively expressed by the presenter, so long for the traditional stereotype of kids with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). Those kids seem to have ‘Low Boredom Intolerance (LBI)’. In his view, “swimming pools aren’t closed because people can drown.” Similarly, doors to modern technology cannot be closed for fear that the kids might go astray.
The presenter identified some notorious criticism of people working with technology. Some of these are that they are all somehow ‘nerds’ and ‘freaky’. Another is that they easily fall for the seduction of new technological tools along the lines of falling for the ‘precious’ ring (The Lord of the Rings analogy).
The presenter also shared some common concerns as well as sympathies with those who may have any. First, there is what is called ‘faffing’ or the fear of technological breakdowns and losing one’s ‘religion’ by changing ones teaching methodology. He asserts that creative teachers don’t have to ‘change’ their methodology with the use of new technologies.
The presenter concluded by the phrase that the ‘road ends ahead’. He also quotes Nik Peachey’s idea of best investments. Installing Wi-Fi in a school before anything else can do wonders. It is also more important to spend money on ‘wetware’, i. e. people, along side with hardware and software. Possible solutions to predominant myths, false positves, criticisms and worries could be solved by providing ample finances, support and training.

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