Monday, September 7, 2009

I am no good at computers

Well the semester started and I invariably got my first "I'm sorry, I'm just no good at computers" comment from someone at work. This reminded me of a post that I saw on Dangerously Irrelevant a few weeks back. I first started hearing this a couple of years back and ever got it.

This quote from Dangerously Irrelevant was really interesting:
What does this say about us as educators? As employees of supposed learning organizations who purportedly are all about 'life-long learning?'
Is saying "I'm not very good at computers" the modern counterpart to "I'm not good at math" (both typically accompanied by a chuckle and a c'est la vie hand wave as if it didn't matter)?

Personally I've never heard of "I'm just no good at math". Granted I am not the best at math, but I still do try, and I do get a correct answer eventually. I've never had a c'est la vie attitude about not being able to do math, and I've never known anyone who has (growing up in Greece anyway). It seems rather absurd to me since we do use math everyday!

It seems equally absurd that people have the same attitude about computers since we do use computers everyday! It's not the 1970s anymore where you needed to know how to punch a card and feed it into a machine to make it work. You just point and click and BAM you're tweeting or googling something. Not all math is calculus, and not all of computer usage is low-level assembly language programming.

This reminded me of this Medieval Helpdesk video. Sure you may chuckle at it and think it's silly, after all who doesn't know how to use books? Of course if we had the same attitude about books as we do about computers and math...well...then we would probably still be using scrolls ;-)

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