What does being Tech Savvy mean…

Being tech savvy is is seen as very important in education especially as we become more immersed in using technology, yet what does it really mean?

Do we all need to use the same technological tools and be fluent in their use?

What responsibility do we have to our students to skill ourselves up in this area?

How can teaching and learning change when we incorporate the many tools available on the net?

Should we give up if something doesn’t seem to work easily to begin with?

When I first introduced my class to Quest Atlantis I was certainly challenged. I faced about three weeks of technical issues that could have caused the students to tune out. Luckily, I had a wonderful bunch of students who were as excited about participating in this game as I was and could see the validity of this as a learning tool. I was also lucky enough to have a group of ICT tech staff who were prepared to support me and work with me even when I became just a little demanding, well maybe more than a little. And then finally I was totally supported by my Principal who, when things got to breaking point for me one day, made it very clear that I was 100% supported in this project. Beyond this I also had extremely good support from a teacher who I do not have direct face to face contact with and the convenor of the global Quest Atlantis Teacher Community who I have never personally met in a  face to face situation.

So what have I learnt regarding “what does being tech savvy mean…”

I think that being tech savvy is more than knowing a product or tool and its potential and limitations. I think that tech savvy people are willing to make themselves uncomfortable by being learners, they have an understanding that technology is continually changing and that there are many tools that can do a job. Finding the tool that best suits you and your style is the key, but not necessarily and easy task. Someone who is tech savvy has an attitude of exploration and a desire to know more and to share their understandings so that others can grow. I also think that someone who is tech savvy is aware of what they don’t know and is comfortable with not knowing, hence is able to seek out tools and have discussions to bring about growth in their knowledge. Finally I think that someone who is a tech savvy educator has learning and the learner at the centre of their search for tech tools that they use. The image, authored by Samantha Penney, below is worth considering in relation to tools and learning, by clicking on the image you will be taken to its origin that allows you to explore the tools that have been incorporated into it.

4 Comments

  1. KP says:

    Are we talking technologically savvy, or savvy about information and commmunication technology specifically?

    In my daily role, the most disadvantaged teachers we see are those who haven’t learned how to use help features and web-based help. I would suggest their image of their own Professional Learning is that THEY are vessels to be filled.

    Perhaps unexpecedly, this characteristic is independent of age.

    • dbatty1 says:

      I have focussed more on the latter, however, it does fit under the big banner of technology.

      I wonder if the situation that you have described goes beyond the educational workforce.

      In relation to the broader concept of tech savvy do people approach issues/problems with cameras, installing and using a surround sound system or using a new sander in the same manner? Is there something that makes ICT different?

      Your comment about age is an interesting one. From my recent adoption of twitter to build a PLN I am finding this to be true.

  2. Michael den Hartog says:

    Love the graphic!

  3. dbatty1 says:

    I wonder how well we consider the learning styles of adults when we are getting them up to speed with technology?

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