Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Old dog, same trick, new name...

This morning I handed a teacher her re-imaged & updated MacBook. She was running an old OS and having problems. I upgraded her, installed all her Smartboard software, Dropbox, etc, etc, etc...

When I gave it to her we had this exchange:
Teacher: "so all my old documents are erased, right?"
Me:  "no, they were in Dropbox, weren't they?."
Teacher: "No, I know you told me to do that but I didn't."
Me: "Why not?"
Teacher: "Because you can't teach an old dog new tricks and I only know how to use my Documents folder."

That exchange synthesized the core stumbling block most teachers encounter when it comes to technology and technology integration. They assume it's difficult and confusing, and they can't learn it, just because it is something new or different. Most often, new technology is exactly what they've always done, just called something different, or looked at from a different angle.

When we logged in to Dropbox and set up her folder I showed her how easy it was to navigate & save to it. She looked at me and said "so, it's just a folder that's everywhere?"


"And I should install it at home too, so I have everything I need?"


"Oh, that's easy"

What I left her with was the idea of "don't over think technology." She was wary of Dropbox because she didn't know what it was. She assumed it was a complex technological thing thrust upon her just to drive her batty. She realized all she needed to know was it was a folder. A folder like any other, but by a different name. A folder that now existed wherever she wanted it to be.

Dropbox, as with most new technology, isn't dramatically changing the way things are done, it just calling it something new and giving you greater access. If you can save to a Documents folder you can save to a Dropbox folder.

What was once just your computer became portable with your floppy disc. What was once your floppy disc became greater with your thumb/flash drive. What was once your thumb drive has now become your ubiquitous "cloud" storage...

Saving is saving is saving...

...Old dog, same tricks, new name...

No comments:

Post a Comment