Thursday, March 17, 2011

Computer Literacy and the Facebook Age

Earlier this morning we presented Moodle to a school administration committee. We're part of a slew of new MIS offerings which includes grade submissions, student evaluation, and faculty ranking. We had started out as an online syllabus system, but really, why stop there when you can go whole hog with a complete learning environment?

The presentation went quite well, the committee suitably impressed with Moodle's capabilities. Then comes Q&A, and someone posts the question:

"What skill level does a teacher need in order to use Moodle?"

Sigh. For a long time, this question has always been a showstopper. The undercurrent of the thought process is that computers are difficult to learn and difficult to manage in the classroom. Ironically, it's always the teachers who are most resistant to change, the most unwilling to adopt anything new. A couple of years ago, a question like this would have spelled doom for the project.

Not anymore.

"What skill level does a teacher need in order to use Moodle?"

"Do you know how to use Facebook?" I said with a smirk.

"Ah. Yes."

And that's that.

So thank you, Facebook. You haven't really made computers that much easier to use, and I still think you're a dog of a web site. But you've at least made determined ignorance of the Internet an excuse of the past.