IT is more difficult than you think

Sometimes my students seem very IT-savvy. At other times quite the opposite.


Firstly I am asked to complete an online survey with my IT classes. They don’t get it.

“What’s broadband?” Around half of my students seemed distinctly hazy on this one. Maybe the other half know, but most of them are listening in when I try to explain, so maybe they’re just bluffing. I don’t seem to be making things any clearer for them, so eventually I end up saying “Does the school network seem slow?”
“Then you’ve got broadband at home.”

“What’s a chat room?” I would have thought that every child over 11 would know the answer to that, but at least two didn’t. Another illusion shattered.

“What’s a social networking site?” Why didn’t we just ask them if they use Bebo? At least they know what that is.


Then I have a bizarre conversation with two students about my maths website.

“How much money do you make from your website Miss?”
“No really, how much?”
“Really, none. In fact it costs me money to run it.”
“Why? I thought you got money every time someone clicked on it.”

Concepts such as paying for bandwidth or buying a web address are clearly alien to them. Of course my decision to remain ad free just bewildered them.

“But Miss, you should get some of those adverts like Roy* did on his site. You could make money. He made £40”
“I’m not doing this to make money.”
Baffled faces stare at me.

Sometimes I’m left with the feeling that the generational gulf between myself and my students is unbridgably wide.

*Obviously not his real name

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