A necessary evil

In my previous blog, I conversed over the magical aspects of ICT. While the highly regarded Mitra illustrated the remarkable impacts of ICT including children’s engagement, I could not help but resonate with my fellow peer’s recent blog about some of the undesirable effects of ICT. Sharaya’s writing mirrors many of my own experiences with ICT, perhaps, above all, the somewhat enslaving nature of ICT.

My father was born in the 1930’s. He was never  interested in learning about ICT and when I was a kid, he often had to call the local ICT guy to fix our computer because us kids had stuffed it. Dad had no interest in learning to use computers, but did provide us with the newest gadgets of the time because he saw them as important for our generation.

Twenty odd years later, when I visit my parents, I feel that they are often missing out and are so disconnected. They don’t have access to gumtree or online discount stores for cheaper goods and thus pay full price at department stores. They don’t have quick up-to-date news as broadcasted on social media such as Wide Bay Local News Facebook. Dad was so displeased when he got an urgent call from the hospital asking where he was for his appointment which had been emailed to his non-existent email address. It’s like they are in a bubble… a bubble that disallows them to participate dynamically in society today. Though, sometimes that place feels like a nice, relaxed, safe place to be. Even for me, this never ending access to information is so overwhelming and crushing. It makes you feel that you can always find out more, do better, to analyse EVERYTHING.

Looking in from both sides there are evident positive and negative aspects of ICT use.  Bruniges illustrates how ICT can be used to “improve and increase the quality, accessibility and cost-efficiency of the delivery of education”. So, instead of centering ICT as the key learning method, we as teachers need to integrate into our classrooms as a tool to teach alongside, rather then the teacher itself.This is something to keep in mind when teaching young children. We must find balance. We must afford today’s children the same joy of reading a paper book, as well as allowing them the wonderful advantages of ICT. Much has changed and more will change, we must keep moving, but be informed by wisdom and understanding.

 

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