Although there is not a single definition for intelligence we all have a sense of it. We all know that intelligence is related to learning and it has been divided into categories and can be assessed by means of different tools.
Determining a person’s Intelligence Quotient – IQ is one of them. IQ is a score you can get from a standardized test. Although it sounds a very simple process creating that test is not a piece of cake. It is a very complicated process and there are many different psychological theories behind it. I’m not going to argue about if IQ tests are effective to measure a person’s intelligence or not. Recently I talked to some of my friends and they told me that they don’t know the theories behind this measurement but they expect a student with the highest IQ grade to be the most successful student (academically). They basically think that if your math is bad then so is your IQ level but this doesn’t mean that you are not intelligent.
There is another tool to measure intelligence; Emotional Quotient – EQ. This tool measures your emotional intelligence. It has complicated theories behind it of course and there are many arguments which support or rise up against the theory. High emotional intelligence means interpreting, understanding and acting upon emotions. Dealing with social or emotional conflicts, expressing feelings, and dealing with emotional situations are the key skills a person with high EQ can develop. As you see IQ and EQ are two very important concepts in our lives. We work hard to improve our kids’ and our students’ IQ and EQ scores.
But nowadays IQ and EQ are not enough to define a new type of intelligence; Information Technology Intelligence. So I say it is time to define a new term IT Quotient – ITQ. I am not a psychologist so I don’t have the necessary skills to create a new theory but I am a teacher and I can observation my students while they are on a task which requires use of technology. By the way I don’t know if this term has already been created and being used because I didn’t make any research about it. The only reason I decided to write this article is my class observations. When I assign a task, which requires using laptops, my students come up with some problems. These problems can be classified in two parts.
In the first part there are technical problems. Some of these problems happen due to lack of technical information, some of them are due to having high level of technical information. Some of them are related to bugs in specific softwares etc. Whenever a student lives a problem with his/her laptop another student runs for a help. I have realized that these helpful students are very eager to learn technology related stuff. Their interest in technology is not based on consuming. They enjoy fixing, manipulating, editing, creating, redefining… and moreover while they are doing that they learn very fast.
The academic and emotional background of these students is very different from each other. There are boys and girls, there are math students and art students etc. It is hard to find a common intelligence type among them. They don’t form a stereotype. This fact guided me to use a new term for these students.
In the second part of the problems there are behavioural issues towards technology. In different ways when I ask my students to grade how well do they feel using technology in the classroom I see interesting but common results. Approximately 20% is very negative. While all adults think that our kids can not live without technology the fact is there are kids who don’t like or let’s say who don’t use technology very often. Approximately 50% feel alright and the rest is highly satisfied and enjoy it. I again look at the profiles of the students in each group and it is very hard to find common points. So what type of intelligence drives students to these behaviours? IQ? EQ? or ITQ?
Some part of my observations are based on daily usage of technology. I don’t mean the amount of time students spend with their high tech devices. I mean how they use it to leverage their studies, organize their lives, be more creative and so on. I see that some students use WhatsApp to create a study group whereas some use it to chat about latest TV shows only. When I tell my students to open their laptops and check for a document I find some of them checking something else in internet. This is not a proper use of technology but the problem is they can’t stop themselves. Someone has to keep an eye on them and interestingly that’s what they ask for. When I talk to these students they say technology is a distraction for them. These students have problems in implementing technology in their lives wisely. Others need to be guided as well but they learn quickly. Some of them on the other hand are natural born technology users. They are aware of the effects of misusage of technology. They somehow know when and how they should use technology to entertain themselves or study for a lesson.
Now, would it be wrong to say that determining how to use technology is related to ITQ?