Technophobe to technowhizz

10th November 2006 at 00:00
I don't know quite how I became the woman without an email address. My guess is that, as my then little sons were acquiring computing skills daily, I most definitely was not.

Then, on returning to work, every time I sat at the home computer to create a worksheet or write a memo, a small boy would shunt me off the chair, assuring me that he'd "do it for you".

I taught English and somehow technology did not seem that urgent an issue.

And after the boys had gone, there was always my long-suffering husband to bail me out.

But recently, everything was starting to become more threatening. The school's registration system was soon to rely on laptop competence, every classroom acquired its own multimedia ceiling projector and, worst of all, I was becoming the butt of colleagues' humour.

Which is when I discovered Techademic. The basic idea was that over a few days, nestled in the comfort of a choice of two luxurious Cotswold hotels, small groups of up to 10 people would acquire "Confidence with Computers"

through expert and patient tuition from two highly-trained educators.

So I enrolled, spurred on by a generous financial contribution from my headteacher from the school's training fund.

The course was militarily organised, well paced and tightly structured into three 90-minute lessons a day. Sessions started and finished punctually with starters and plenaries that any Ofsted inspector would swoon over. Our learning was constantly reinforced and queries or uncertainties were addressed patiently at the optional evening surgery sessions.

Some of the many skills that we covered as a group included writing and printing letters, email and surfing the internet, taking, editing and saving digital photos and making free phone calls. Naomi and Antony, our tutors, were prepared to tailor evening surgeries to our needs offering, for example, a session on PowerPoint or enlarging upon the thrills of blogging.

Within hours of my return home, I had ordered my own new pink laptop using the internet and emailed Naomi and Antony using my Techademic email address. I have continued gradually to incorporate the computer into my everyday personal and professional life.

Not yet in love with my pink laptop, I think it's fair to say that we are developing a meaningful and very close relationship Nicky Kemp is head of sixth form at Biddenham Upper school, Bedford

The details

A three-day Confidence with Computers course with luxury hotel accommodation costs pound;895.

More from Techademic at www.techademic.co.uk or call 0845 200 8238

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