Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Where is my Overhead projector?

I engaged with a friend today and he was lamenting about the speed at which the technology is moving. I could see the agony in his face when he told me that he was scheduled to do a presentation in a hall, and the only thing in that lecture hall as a visual aid is a computer and a projector. The old-fashioned overhead projectors have been replaced by these new technologies. The pain of having to redo his presentation, and scanning his images so that they can be used on the computer was profound. I asked him whether he has considered attending any of training sessions:
Most of us have a phobia for technology and most of the jargon used in the training leaves us more confused than we were before training. I know of a number of professors in my department who have the same feelings about the technology and they cannot attend training.
I asked him, is this reasons that some lecturers never use the technology in the lecture theatres? He said:
Yes, and more to that there is a cultural bearing. They should have involved an anthropologist to study the culture of the prospective users of the technology so that they can advice them about what need to change first [in terms of culture] for the technology to be successfully used.
Here I see a problem where the technology is being provided but the constituency that should benefit from it is not. I am not sure of the best approach to dealing with technophobia, especially in situations where the individuals [with the phobia] have all the resources and support and training but they cannot still use the resources available. If you have a clue, feel free to let me know.

1 comment:

Neil J said...

I suppose, as you said training is the best way to deal with this. I am currently doing a university assignment into technophobia. I think we all have elements of technophobia:
- the anger we display when a computer crashes
- fearing that computers will replace our jobs
- fear that we are being watched!