Learning New Technologies

I have been workin with faculty who are trying to learn to use a new web service recently. They have been growing frustrated as the interface is not intuitive (and it is poorly designed, but don’t tell anyone I said that). Many have said they would stop using the service if they could but they have been directed to use it. I have resurrected some advice I used to give faculty, and they are finding it helpful. Perhaps readers of this blog will too.

Factors that Affect Your Affect

 (that is change your attitude)

> Complicated technology gets in your way when learning… the more familiar you are with a system the less complicated it will seem. Learn new technology in multiple short sessions rather than a single long session.

> Technology changes quickly… be an ongoing learner.

> Using technology requires active learning… don’t wait for someone to show you everything. Ask and answer your own questions.

> We learn by building connections… how is a new technology like something you already know?

> Stress inhibits learning (not just with technology, but with anything) … avoid learning new technology when you are in the middle of a “bad day” or do something that puts you in a good mood (listening to the Brandenburg Concertos works well for me) before you try learning technology.