Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tech Stoppers

Googling the above title returned interesting but unintended links like:
Adding a few more keywords got me no closer; finally I entered "technology setbacks user willingness computers blogs online education" and the fish started biting. Things like Wesley Fryer's Moving at the Speed of Creativity blog was really what I was looking for. Technology "stoppers" are failures that cause us to quit trying to get the damn thing to work.

We all have a breaking point, a level of tolerance, a 'click ceiling' above which we just say "enough! I have things to do and I didn't become an english teacher to learn how to program C++!" If you are taking an online course in educational technology, your tolerance is higher or you have committed yourself to tolerating it, so you're different than my friend, the english teacher.

I keep nudging her to blog, "it's writing, after all, and it increases your cool factor." She says she will, but just using Blackboard is difficult enough. When she tried to get the YC Plagiarism Tutorial into Blackboard, it worked the first time, then failed, and that was it. Over. Done deal. Stopper. Was it the machine or the human interface that failed? There's always some collusion, but does it matter? She hit her click ceiling and it was over. What's your level of tech tolerance, and how will you shape your's and your student's use of technology to stretch it?