Techno Life Skills

There is much debate about the teaching of ICT in secondary schools at the moment.  Some think that mastering specific software applications would be the way to go, others think that learning about programming is critical then there is a third that talk about ICT ‘capability’.

Naturally there are extremists for one point or another but the biggest debate is in the grey area in the middle of the 3 points of view but it’s the term ‘ICT Capability’ that often causes the most misunderstanding.

This article from The Technium recently caught my eye and provided a concise perspective to this debate, it has useful thoughts about understanding modern technology.  To give you a flavour here are a few thoughts:

  • Anything you buy, you must maintain.
  • You will be newbie forever.
  • Often learning a new tool requires unlearning the old one.
  • Take sabbaticals. Once a week let go of your tools.
  • For every expert opinion you find online seek an equal but opposite expert opinion somewhere else. Your decisions must be made with the full set of opinions.
  • Understanding how a technology works is not necessary to use it well.
  • What do you give up? (to make space for the new technology)
  • Every new technology will bite back. The more powerful its gifts, the more powerfully it can be abused.
  • Be suspicious of any technology that requires walls to prevent access. If you can fix it, modify it or hack it yourself, that is a good sign.
  • The proper response to a stupid technology is to make a better one yourself, just as the proper response to a stupid idea is not to outlaw it but to replace it with a better idea.
  • Find the minimum amount of technology that will maximize your options.

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