Many people are afraid of new technology and, with the increasing presence of the Internet and computers; the term “technophobe” has appeared to refer to those of uswho might be cautious of these new developments. More recently, the term “digital native” has been coined to refer to someone who grows up using technology, and who thus feels comfortable andconfident with it – typically today’s children. On the other hand, their parents tend to be “digital immigrants”, who have come late to the world of technology. In many cases, teachers are the digitalimmigrants and our students are the digital natives.
Think about yourself. Where do you stand? How confident do you feel about using the Internet and computers? Although, there is a tendency to callcomputer users either technophobes or technogeeks (a term for a technology enthusiast), the truth is that most of us probably fall somewhere the two extremes.
A large part of the negativeattitudes teachers have towards technology is usually the result of a lack of confidence, a lack of facilities or a lack of training, resulting in an inability to see the benefit of using technologies inthe classroom. It is also often the case that teachers may not be fully in control of their work situations. A teacher may want to use more technology in their teaching, but the institution may not havethe facilities, or, on the other hand, a teacher may be instructed to start using technology for which they feel unprepared or untrained.
A few examples of the more negative comments we haveheard from teachers in educational establishments are:
a) “I can never get into the computer room in class time – it’s always being used”
b) “Using computers isn’t interactive. My studentscould do computer work at home”
c) “I don’t know anything about technology”
d) “My students know so much more about computers than I do”
e) “Why use computers anyway? We’ve got a perfectly...