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Teams, Technocrats and Technophobes

We all want to use technology to its best advantage. We live in the 21st Century. We're technocrats. We practically invented the modern world. But there are people out there who are slowing us down. They're called technophobes. We need to do something.

1. Make them Care

Most technophobes have trouble relating to the inflated rhetoric of technocrats.

Technophobes are not won over by talk of multimedia or social networks. Technophobes want to identify genuine, measurable, advantages.

Technophobes don't want to be won over. They won't donate their time to learning our tools. We have to find them time - make it worth their while.

2. A Foreign Language

Most technocrats speak a language guaranteed to alienate the technophobes.

Technocrats use terms like "bandwidth" and "embedded tools".

Technocrats act as if everything from the past is bad; classrooms, books - that sort of stuff.

Technocrats seem to think that everything new and technology-rich is automatically good.

Technophobes view such language with great suspicion; they pride themselves on demanding serious, rigorous learning from students, steering clear of the latest educational innovations.

Technocrats rarely sympathize with technophobes or understand their issues. Technocrats have a different viewpoint. We are also far more tolerant of technical glitches and frustrations. We rarely understand technophobes or how they learn. We find it very difficult to help technophobes.

3. Make it a Team Game

Technophobes don't have time to "mess around." They do not enjoy surprises. They don't appreciate confusion. They don't like taking risks. They value their class time.

Technophobes need tools that plays to their strengths and support their teaching.

They want technology that works. First time. Every time. Technology that doesn't challenge their authority.

At heart they don't trust the technology. They see networks crashing and software stalling. If they are to throw themselves at the mercy of technology, they want someone at their side when everything goes wrong.

Actually, they don't want someone at their side. They want someone out in front. They don't want to walk into battle alone. They want to be part of a team.

And, as we all know, it's amazing what teams can do.

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This post draws heavily on an article by Jamie McKenzie from 1999 at http://fno.org/sum99/reluctant.html

Follow me on Twitter: @IanYorston