on Sunday, 24 January 2010

I'm personally a very strong believer in using multimedia, the internet, or any form of electronic gadget in my classroom to enhance the learning process. To me, in the 21st century, any teacher who is not willing to introduce such teaching materials in the classroom is seriously, seriously lagging behind.

The idea of using such materials sometimes is not entirely to encourage students to have hands on activities using these electronic aids. Of course, having them use these aids would be fantastic, but the idea of using them during your teaching can be good enough. Let's face it, students are very intuitive when it comes to handling computers. The generation of IT might have started with mine, but the complete immersion of its usage is happening right now. We cannot stop it. We cannot ignore it. We cannot expect the students to continue being interested with what was interesting back in the day. They are just too fast, too equipped, and too impatient with unfamiliar grounds - paper.

It's not at all an exaggeration. They are on the fast lane. If we do not try to catch up with them, they'll just end up being too far ahead with no one mature enough to lead them. It is stupid to think that we've got them under a string and pull them according to our own fancies. There is nothing that we can offer to them if we are not above their perception and version of high-tech. We cannot expect them to keep up and continue to be interested with us if what we give them is the same ol' same ol'. We need to kick it up a gear, drive uphill, and wait for them to arrive. That's right, we have to be ahead of the game.

I must always remain as the one who is the most up to date - the most 'in' as how young blood would say. If the students are into something new and fresh, I must already know about what it is and have already experienced it longer than they have. If the students are into some new high-tech gadget and are all goo-gagging over it, I should already know about it and am savvy enough to explain and divulge information about it with the students. Simply put, students cannot catch me by saying,

"Huh? Sir, haven't you heard about it?"

Once the above line is thrown out, boy... there's nothing much to be done about it to cover up your dumb-ass backward brain. You're already most probably tagged as 'uncle' or 'pak cik' because you still live in the 1980s pondering about 'dial up connection' instead of just going 3-G. How will students, who want to advance in their lives seek me out for advice about how to live in the modern world when they assume I am a total techie-dingbat? Yes baby, you better gear up your tech gear if you wanna get respected by the peeps. It's a geek-eat-geek world out there. You don't go dot com, you're gonna have to get your noob (Google if you're not familiar with this term, trust me... it's a start) ass out.

No matter what it is for, I must always show to my students that I am tech savvy. Not only must I show to them that I am tech savvy, but I have to be tech savvy. I might not indulge in everything that the tech world has to offer but I am knowledgeable about what is available. I might not be using the latest touch screen iPhone in the market but I know of it's function and everything about it. I might not be playing the latest version of World of Warcraft but I must certainly know what it is all about.

Why? Why must I know about all these things? Why must their interest become that of mine? It's not going to be necessarily your hobby. I doubt if you're not into these things, you're soon going to put it in the list of My Favourite Things. It is all about connecting. That's right, connecting. What might seem like a techie jargon is actually very relevant when you're dealing with students. There isn't much you can do when the students are talking about something that you haven't the faintest. For example:

2 kids striking up a typical conversation.
"Hey, why did you poke me yesterday? I'll throw my cheetah print pillow tomorrow. You just wait,"

"You can't do anything to me. I'm already at a very high level. Besides, you're losing to me in the mafia war. I'm going to get a better weapon the next time. You better get more followers tomorrow."

"Wow! That's amazing! I won't lose, I'll get you the next time. By the way, how's your farm getting along?"

"I'm a bit slow on that one. Just managed to get a cow and a few crops are being stolen. I'm more interested in the mafia right now."

"I see. Hey, maybe I could teach you how to build a better farm, you could teach me how to get more cronies for my mafia group?"

"That's settled, see you later tonight,"

If you're not into it don't be shocked. Your students are not trying to decide whether or not to be farmers or join the latest Italian Mafia. They're just doing something almost every sane-living person with an internet connection does - Facebooking. See? It's so common that you could change the noun into a verb just like that. It has become a completely accepted term because everyone is just doing things on their Facebook, they just got lazy to say 'doing things on their Facebook'. Facebooking.... really.

Please. If you still have no idea what that conversation was all about...

Hit your nearest Google outlet and seek for help.
*hint, the nearest Google outlet is normally next to a 7-Eleven. Just in case you didn't know. NOOB!


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