28-Faye Macheke from ICDL spoke on what it means to be Techno-savvy

Faye Macheke from ICDL explains what it means to be techno-savvy. This is a copy of her speech from the Techno-savvy colloquium held in March 2014.


ICDL now known worldwide

  1. in more than 150 countries
  2. translated into 41 languages
  3. with over 13 million participants
  4. 24000 Accredited Test centres

Known as ECDL in Europe

Core values for techno-savvy accreditaion

  1. Certifying basic computer skills
  2. Raising level of digital literacy
  3. Quality Assurance
  4. Meeting International Standards

What does computer literate mean?

I am applying for a job…

What does it mean to be techno-savvy?

The proficient ability to navigate and use typical computer programs for a given task or project.

Urban Dictionary

John has a great resumé, but I heard someone else got the job ‘cause he can’t seem to get the hang of Excel or PowerPoint—smart guy, but not techsavvy.’

Techno-savvy Essentials

  • Base Modules
  • Standard Modules
  • Advanced Modules
  • New Modules
  • Standard and Advanced depends on choice or profession

Steps to become techno-savvy

  1. Acquire relevant training to a recognised standard. (An ICDL test is written every 5 minutes somehwere in the world.)
  2. Use technology to make your life easier.

Techno-Savvy Teachers

Technology and education are very much first cousins lately and every teacher should have a few favourite tech tools that make his or her job and connecting with students a little bit easier and more fun for all involved.

Because technology is dynamic, new tools are hitting the market constantly and older ones rising to prominence, broadening their scope, or just adding new features that make them better matches for education, which can make it hard to keep up with the newest and most useful tools even for the most tech-savvy teachers.

Useful Tools for teachers—Social learning

  • Edmodo: Teachers and students can take advantage of this great tech tool, as it offers a Facebook-like environment where classes can connect online.
  • Skype: Skype can be a great tool for keeping in touch with other educators or even attending meetings online. Even cooler, it can help teachers to connect with other classrooms, even those in other countries.
  • Wikispaces: Share lessons, media, and other materials online with your students, or let them collaborate to build their own educational wiki on Wikispaces. See Student Wiki UNISA.
  • Pinterest: You can pin just about any image you find interesting on this site, but many teachers are using it as a place to collect great lesson plans, projects, and inspirational materials.
  • ePals One of the coolest benefits of the Web is being able to connect with anyone, anywhere. ePals does just that, but focuses on students, helping them to learn languages and understand cultures different from their own.
  • Khan Academy: Many teachers use this excellent collection of math, science, and finance lectures and quizzes to supplement their classroom materials.
  • MangaHigh: MangaHigh offers teachers a wealth of resources for game-based learning in mathematics.
  • FunBrain: If you’re looking for a great collection of educational games, look no further than FunBrain. On it, teachers can take advantage of fun tools for math and reading.
  • Educreations: Educreations is an amazing online tool for the iPad that lets teachers (or students) create videos that teach a given topic. Perfect for studying or getting students to show off their knowledge.
  • Animoto: Animoto makes it simple to create video-based lessons or presentations for the classroom and to share them with students or anyone else.
  • Socrative: Available for computers, mobile devices, and tablets, this student response system engages students through games and exercises on any device they have on hand. Even better, teachers can easily assess student progress and track grades.
  • YouTube: Not all schools allow YouTube, but they are missing out as the site contains a wealth of great learning materials for the classroom. There’s even a special education-focused channel just for teachers and students.
  • Ted-Ed: TED isn’t just a great place to find inspiration anymore, the site also contains numerous videos that are organized by subject and can help you to teach everything from how pain relievers work to Shakespearean insults.
  • Creaza: Want to bring your student projects into the 21st century? Creaza can make that possible, offering tools to brainstorm, create cartoons, and edit audio and video.
  • Mentor Mob: On Mentor Mob, you or your students can create a learning playlist, which is essentially a collection of high-quality materials that can be used to study a specific concept.

How can students be involved in creating a techno-savvy environment

  • Provide student access to raining, hardware, and software as needed.
  • Encourage a student-led culture with real responsibility that increasingly challenges students to step up and prove themselves. Reward proven responsibility with increased trust.
  • It’s never too early for authentic learning for younger students. At Rustenburg school in Cape Town, learners get maths homework on IXL at Grade 1 level.
  • Look for ways to encourage long-term student involvement. Make student involvement part of a credit-bearing class.
  • Ensure proof of retention with a certification to a recognised standard. Using skills learnt for project work.
  • Include use of technology as a tool for disciplined learning.

Organisations and being techno-savvy but

  • 75% believe that they have good IT skills and
  • Only 12% of staff received formal IT training and
  • 41% have had no IT training at all.

Strategic questions in the board room

  • What IT questions or tests do you carry out when interviewing?
  • What I.T benchmark do you have in your organisation? E.g. Sturrock Shipping and Grindod
  • What proof do you have that your existing IT training is working?
  • Are you investing in systems and not digital literacy?

A tech-savy organisation

  • IT Benchmark or competency for all employees
  • Provides evidence to clients of an organisation’s ability to deliver effectively and efficiently
  • Proven to reduce IT support costs
  • Motivates staff and improves the productivity of staff

A tech-savvy individual

ICDL Profile—Jennifer van Niekerk

  • Computer Essentials
  • Online Essentials
  • Word Processing
  • Spreadsheets
  • Advanced Spreadsheets
  • Project Planning
  • Advanced Word Processing


Faye.macheke Skype