Appropriating and making technologies work for you in teaching and learning: depth is of essence May 2, 2009

Qu’est-ce que s’approprier les TIC ?

Cell phones have been rapidly and creatively appropriated across Africa, in unexpected ways. The computer and internet are not nearly as widely used, especially by teachers. This is because of cost and complexity but also because of time. Teachers do not have opportunities and time to learn to integrate information and communication technologies (ICT) into their teaching, yet ICT use could help them deepen the learning experience. This chapter looks at use of ICT in education through the lens of appropriation. Appropriation is more than merely using or mastering a technology. Appropriation is a process of shaping technology to make it respond to specific needs, to the point where it becomes almost part and parcel of our being. It is similar to the way we learn and transform and even deform language to make it respond to our needs. The concept of appropriation is important in understanding ICT in education in Africa, where educational systems have been imported and computers are being parachuted in by multi-nationals more concerned with revenues and profits than ensuring the qualitative use of ICT. This chapter examines ICT use in learning situations in specific communities across the continent. The author and the reader then deconstruct and interpret these examples to get inside and understand what is happening. This provides insight into how ICT appropriation processes shape the way we teach and even how we relate to knowledge and to others and could ultimately help us transform educational systems to be more in sync with the needs, desires and aspirations of learners. The chapter includes invitations to engage in personal reflection and in short practical exercises, to make the read more subjective and interactive, similar to the appropriation process.

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Toure, K. (2009). Appropriating and making technologies work for you in teaching and learning: Depth is of essence [Qu’est-ce que s’approprier les TIC?]. In Karsenti, T. (Ed.), Intégration pédagogique des TIC : stratégies d’action et pistes de réflexion / Pedagogical use of ICT in Africa : Teaching and reflecting strategies. (pp. 94-110).

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