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Mainstreaming technologies

May 20th, 2008 by Graham Attwell

Like many readers of this blog, I guess, I will try out anything new. I have loads of accounts with different services – so many I forget them. Just occasionally, something sticks. I use Twitter, Diigo and Skype everyday. Slideshare and Flickr are pretty indispensable. The problem is that we get sucked into thinking everyone else does the same. And it isn’t so. Only yesterday one of my friends skyped me very happily. It was his first skype call. he was amazed at the video.

And it gets more difficult in projects with non techy researchers. Many are not just not used to using technology. Most do not feel confident. The big breakthough for me has been using the UK universities Flash meeting application. This is an excellent service, provided for free by the Open Content Learning Space project. I have used Flash meeting with three projects now. The learning curve is always similar. the first meetiong is always hard with people uncertain of how to use headphones, how to enter a meeting and all that. The second is easier with some ability to talk about issues and nowhere near so many dropping out with techncial problems. The third meeting they all get a webcam together and start performing. And the joy is not just the use of the application to allow for ‘virtual’ on-line meetings. It is that people begin to see the value of new technologies to help them in their work. And they become so much more confident in using the technologies. They lose their fear. And, at that point, they are prepared to go a little bit further into the unknown, trying out new applications and ideas.

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One Response to “Mainstreaming technologies”

  1. And then that is when true magic happens. Because these tools are only useful for those who perceive their potential. And for that to happen you do have try them and engage with them.

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