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  • Print publication year: 2012
  • Online publication date: October 2012

Chapter 8 - Information and communication technologies in the classroom


Growing up, I moved around a lot. Soon after I was born the family moved from Tamworth to Western Sydney, to live with my extended family. We lived in Seven Hills, Mt Druitt and Colyton. My uncles, who were very close to me in age, treated me like their brother. They taught me how to be street smart. I did not really enjoy school, primarily because I changed schools regularly. Having attended four primary schools and three high schools, I left school in Year 10 and became a tradesman. I feel like I have never really settled in anywhere.

It was at home that my interest in technology developed. My father always had a fascination with electronics. Some of my earliest memories are of sitting at the kitchen table with my father, soldering something to a circuit board. His passion turned to citizen band radios and eventually computers. My father bought an ATARI games system, then the VZ2000 computer and a Commodore 64. The latter had a programming language that I was able to understand and my father and I would write short programs, usually very rudimentary games. Then, in 1981, my father purchased his first IBM-compatible computer. I have no idea how my parents could afford it, because at the time my mother did not have a paid job and my father was a tradesman on a very low wage. Working with my father on these projects was a very special time in my life; we shared a passion for computers.

That passion for computers remained with me into adulthood, and I completed both a Bachelor and Masters of Information Technology as a mature-aged student. Later, when I was the Deputy Chairperson of the ACT Indigenous Education Consultative Body, I ran a Certificate II in Information Technology for the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and was shocked at how few people had access to a computer at home. This led me to undertake my PhD, looking at the adoption of information and communication technology in Australian Indigenous households.

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