Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Techno Paralysis

hs_us_technology_pda_clinical_assistant_doctor_pda_sp5.jpgNow I'm not a doctor so I don't know if this is a real medical condition, but it has been my observation that many people suffer from "techno paralysis." This is the condition when people, often teachers, get so overwhelmed by the degree of change in the area of technology, that they seem unable to decide where to get started with trying out new tools. In other words, there is too much to learn, so they end up not learning any of it.

I don't have a cure for this disease, but one thing that seems to be helpful is starting small. Pick one thing to focus on and get started with that. For example, just focus on blogging. Don't worry about the myriad of other tools. You will never learn them all anyway, so why not just choose one to learn? What tends to happen is this removes the paralysis to some degree and builds some excitement. I hear things like, "Wow, I'm not as dumb as I thought!" or "Hey, I can do this!"

The other great part about this is that once you learn one tool, the second is often easier to learn because many of the processes are the same. For example, once you can upload a photo from a folder on your hard drive, you can repeat that process on other applications.

The key for me is to not get too carried away with all the bells and whistles right away. There will be time for all that later. First I need to start with one thing and build on it. So if you know anyone that suffers from techno paralysis, put on your white coat and prescribe them a healthy dose of "Start Small."

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