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[ICTs in English] Weekly update - YOU are that nerd hero!

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  • From: Hamish Chalmers <hchalmers AT>
  • To: "ictenglish AT" <ictenglish AT>
  • Subject: [ICTs in English] Weekly update - YOU are that nerd hero!
  • Date: Fri, 22 Feb 2013 19:41:54 +1300

ICTs are frustrating sometimes. Actually, make that quite regularly. Perhaps, like me, you’re pig-headed to the point that high frustration levels comes with an absolute refusal to let the darn thing get the better of you. Short of a power-cut or total computer meltdown, nothing’s going to stop you from getting that data projector to talk to your laptop or figuring out exactly where to find those ridiculously buried privacy settings that stop google from sending your gps location to the CIA, FBI and NRA. Contrary to popular belief, nerds aren’t so smart that ICTs always work for them, it’s more that the ICT rage simply drives them to new heights of resiliency.

This isn’t really the norm however. We’ve probably seen (or on a bad day even been) the person who gives up on the fancy new ICT because the stupid thing just won’t work. Or because the jolly wireless has gone down. Again. According to the recent NZCER secondary schools survey, 52% of teachers “ say that student use of ICT in their classes is curtailed by slow or unreliable or unavailable equipment or Internet access.” Even if we’re so heroic in this respect that unreliable, or un-user friendly user interfaces never make us give up, I’m sure we’ve got some empathy for people who do find the challenge a bit too much. The annoyance of having planned a clean beginning to a class only to have it ruined by something that won’t work can easily lead to giving up on trying something teccy that’s potentially positive for our students.

Don’t panic though. Nerd heroes like yourselves are the answer! Even if you don’t consider yourself a nerd hero you can help by spreading the expertise and assistance. It might be a helping hand at an important moment or sharing relevant findings of any inquiry. Anything to share the good learning potential of an ICT with a colleague.

Despite the frustrations with the use of ICTs, teachers surveyed in the report also “think that ICT use makes learning more engaging for students (84 percent). It allows some students to show knowledge and skills that are not so evident when they use the traditional pen and paper (82 percent). Around two-thirds think ICT use in their classes helps students gain a deeper understanding of what they are learning, integrate knowledge from more than one curriculum area and secure more control over their own learning. Forty percent report that it speeds up students’ rate of progress, and 39 percent that it gives them insights into how they learn, supporting their greater control over their own learning.”

Pretty impressive really! So if we want to be a part in our colleagues getting something out of the nerd goodness, watch out for opportunities to offer a small helping hand, some advice or mentoring or just a passing suggestion. It may well be your input that helps someone else use the tech for good.

Hamish Chalmers
Facilitator: ICTs in English

  • [ICTs in English] Weekly update - YOU are that nerd hero!, Hamish Chalmers, 02/22/2013

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