Another dot in the blogosphere?

Ignorance-fueled contempt

Posted on: August 20, 2021

I am not immune to revelations or striking memories when I am in the middle of showering or about to sleep. Neurologically, I know that my mind relaxes and starts to make connections. 

My mind wandered back to when I was first exposed to an Apple II computer in school. There were just two so we had to take turns to type and try our BASIC programs on them. 

I had to have one of my own, so I begged and harassed my parents into getting me one. After months of wearing them down, I finally got one and I taught myself with books that I bought or borrowed.  

It did not take long for my father to want to see returns on his investment. He brought home a large stack of papers, dumped them in front of me and my computers, and said: “Get the computer to mark this!”

This was in the 1980s. Now computers can recognise handwriting very well now, process quizzes quickly, and even judge essays. They still cannot pick up each essay, gauge nuance, and mark up the script with an old-school red pen. They do not need to all of that because we have gone past the need for paper and pen.

But back then, my father’s demand was as good as science fiction to me. It was also an example of contempt that was fuelled by a lack of interest and knowledge of what computers could and could not do.

Fast forward to today and we still have that human condition. It is not the domain of the old making ignorant judgements of the young. There are still teachers and parents who shun technology in the hands of learners. Though they are fewer in number than when I was teacher, they ignore the calls of those older and younger than them to focus on the learner and learning.

They romanticise the past. They are mired in comfortable habits. They are not models of learning because that requires discomfort and change. And if it is not enough that they wilfully remain ignorant of possibilities and opportunities, they also express contempt for those that try. To them I say:

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