The "I've got this friend..." example was a teacher trying to use of a software package that was a necessary part of the subject's curriculum. The teacher got stuck and refused help from the pupils in the class. Instead a pupil was sent to fetch the student teacher so she could sort out the problem. Red-face for teacher and frustration for the pupils in the class.
Do these two examples help explain why there is a split in students response to this question? In the first example, the student's subject knowledge was not being challenged, she was already a fairly competent ICT user and she was happy to learn something new from the pupil. It sounds like the scenario Ewan described in his comment on my earlier post - teachers and pupils working together to develop skills and understanding. In the second example, perhaps the teacher felt this was an area in which she was expected to have expertise and therefore felt vulnerable because her subject expertise might be challenged by a more knowledgeable pupil? Ewan (yes him again!) describes how German teachers feel a bit vulnerable due to reforms of German grammar and spelling in Jah, aber neh, aber jah..., but are German teachers likely to meet a pupil with more knowledge? I think not. It may be that pupils are not that ICT savvy either, but the fear that they might be is very prevalent.
The last time I looked at this question (about three years ago) I suspected that older teachers and those with lower personal ICT skills would tend to be more worried about this issue. Certainly the students I have talked to so far, think that is the case. They are not worried because:
- they are young;
- they are ICT competent.
I would still be interested in any specific examples where pupils knew more about ICT than the teacher and how you or a colleague reacted.
Tags: research | elearning | teacher training | ICT
P.S. I should point out that the "I've got this friend..." bit was introduced in a futile attempt at injecting some humour into this post. It is only fair to say that I have no reason to doubt the student that told me the story. I believe she is not worried herself and that she really was describing what someone else did.