Taming and Training the Technophobe-Moving from one application to another
With the way people learn technology, it is difficult for some to move from the comfort of knowing one application to the unknown of another.
So what is the “best way” to teach technology to someone? Maybe if I rephrase the question it will not sound so intimidating… what is the “best way” to teach…? This may sound less intimidating, but not any easier to answer.
We could go into Bloom’s Taxonomy, Multiple Learning Styles, and even Behavioral Modification. Instead, I will point us to “transfer of knowledge.”
If you consider all of the computer applications you use, many have common items or locations of critical information. Pull down menus, scroll over menus, save as… the list goes on. Many times if you are comfortable with one application, it does not take you long to learn a new one. Why are you different from a technophobe?
Are you comfortable with transferring prior knowledge? Chances are you are not a technophobe.
Are you comfortable with exploring knowing you can’t “destroy” something? Chances are you are not a technophobe.
So is this really about learning something new or about being comfortable learning? I don’t have an answer…
Dealing with specifics for this discussion, let us look at moving from one application, Visual Ranking by Intel, to Seeing Reason by Intel. If you have not used these wonderful tools, take a few minutes and look at them. While you are looking at them, see what they have in common.
Signing up is the same. Feel comfortable.
Creating a new activity is the same. Feel comfortable.
Input of information is different. Don’t panic! After entering the information to start the activity, there is no place to put information for the students to answer the question! Take a deep breath.
Looking back at Visual Ranking, the teacher created the list either on their own or with student input and it was part of the digital activity. Seeing Reason does not give you the option of creating input information and placing it in the digital activity. So…. what can you do? Think of transfer of knowledge and how you could differentiate a lesson.
Consider Visual Ranking. How does the list get created for the students to sort? Do you provide the list? Do students create the list with you? Do the students create the list on their own? All three methods work. Now transfer that knowledge to Seeing Reason.
In Seeing Reason, you can use the same three methods to create information to input. This change in technique could be embraced as a method of differentiated instruction rather than “what do I do with this new technology”?
Since information is not put in prior to the activity in Seeing Reason, look at the icons available and you can see two icons not seen in Visual Ranking… one creates text and the other creates the connection between the text. Easy.
So the transfer from Visual Ranking to Seeing Reason is overcoming who puts in the information! It is not a technophobe issue, it is a transfer of knowledge issue.
What applications have you learned by seeing how similar it was to one you already knew? Does looking at technophobe issues as transfer of knowledge issues take some of the fear away?