A Double Click

I still remember a day in 1998 when I went with a friend of mine to a cybercafé settled at the first floor of a building in my home-town .It was the end of the school year and my friend wanted to see the results of the teachers movement. We were told it had just been published on the internet by the ministry of the national education and we could find all necessary information there .We sat in front of a computer , started it and started arguing about the following step .As the desktop displayed , I pointed at the internet explorer and shouted :" It's here ! This is the internet ! .My friend who was a computer geek as myself suspeciously looked at me and said : " Are you sure ?" " Absolutely !" I answered . " I came here with Ismail the other day and I am sure he started from there ! " . My friend's doubts decreased but I knew he was uncertain . He moved the mouse with difficulty to the internet explorer icon and started clicking sometimes on the icon , other times just near it while our eyes were fixed at the screen . The problem was that nothing happened apart from the icon being highlighted from time to time . I seized the mouse and tried to show him how to click correctly . I clicked and clicked ,sometimes on the icon and some other times not so far from the icon as my friend . The problem was that nothing happened neither . We took turns clicking on the icon and arguing whether it was the right icon to open the internet . After a while we decided to call upon the cyber assistant for help .He was a young boy at his early twenties while we were in our late thirties . He came after a while and asked : " What 's the problem ? " We both answered , the internet explorer doesn't respond . He skillfully moved the mouse , double clicked on the icon and the explorer opened . The key was the double click !"Are you teachers ? " He asked . "Yes ,we are . In this town you can't mistake a teacher" I answered smilingly. "Now" , he said " just type down the address at the search bar and you will get what you want" and he soon left to another customer who was waiting for his help . Address ? search bar ? We really felt embarrassed to ask the cyberman about the meaning of those words .We exchanged looks of helplessness and We became aware of our digital illiteracy ! We were not proud of ourselves at all .We left the cyber café with a desire to retaliate ! That day was the beginning of my stuggle against digital illiteracy and here I m still stuggling ...


Robert Elliott said...

Wonderful blog, ad wonderful post. It seems to me you be described as a "digital immigrant", while the worker at the cafe was a "digital native." I also remember being at the stage you describe. And I have worked with many people in computer literacy classes, people who have literally cried because they thought they would never learn how to work a computer. But once you start there is no turning back.

Mbarek said...

Many thanks , Robert , for your encouraging words . In fact , one feels frustrated and helpless in similar situations and may develop a hostile attitude to digital literacy . Currently in my school , the majority of my colleagues are "digital immigrants " and several of them don't hide their hostility to integrating ICT in education just because they think they would never learn how to use it.But their problem is
is getting more serious day after day especially with " the digital natives" who seize the least opportunity to show their digital skills !

A. Hameed said...

Dear Mbarek,
I completely agree with you. Most of the time I feel that I'm like a fish out of the water struggling with this amazing bewildering array of sophistication. Most of the time I am lost and just hope that blind grope will finally point to the light at the end of the tunnel. Yes, we are like crickets, its for us to jump, to fall and to keep jumping again and again.It's our humanity.


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