What would be one piece of advice you’d give yourself in the past about learning technology?

Group working
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Expanding on the ALT-C #LTHEChat

On Wednesday 30th August there was an #LTHEChat hosted by the ALT-C 2023 co-chairs, Santanu Vasant and Lawrie Phipps.

LTHEchat will host a summer special chat led by #altc23 Conference Chairs Santanu Vasant and Lawrie Phipps. Dual hashtags will be used #altc23 and #LTHEchat. This special summer special takes a look back at 30 years of educational technology as the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) celebrates 30 years, as do Jisc, and the Staff and Educational Developers Association (SEDA). Educational or Learning Technologies have shaped higher education, especially in recent years during the pandemic, but the history of educational technology goes way back. In this LTHEchat, we ask you to remember your first experiences of learning technology in a work setting, what learning technology might be, if we had unlimited financial resources, what new ‘next big things’ didn’t take off and what do you remember from previous ALT Conferences?

I had initially planned to participate, but in the end, I went to the cinema instead.

So the following morning I did some responses to the prompts from the chat. I thought though I would expand on some of my answers to the different questions in a blog post to go beyond the character limit on the Twitter.

As a result I have written six different blog posts.

Q5 What would be one piece of advice you’d give yourself in the past about learning technology?

It’s always about the people. Always.

With technology it is easy to focus sometimes on the hardware, the software, the shiny.

When discussing learning technology about their experiences with technology, I often found that whilst my peers were messing about with computers in the 1980s, I ignored the Commodore VIC-20 we got as a family Christmas present and was more interested in other stuff. Really didn’t see the point of computers, apart from playing the occasional game.

For me technology was a solution to a different problem.

Being able to create edit a document, rather than using a typewriter, well WordPerfect was perfect for that. The problem was that I wanted to create something, and WordPerfect allowed me to do that. Looking at cashflow forecasts, Lotus 1-2-3 meant that I could make quick changes to the forecast and the spreadsheet would automatically recalculate the cashflow forecast. If I wanted to add graphics and pictures to a document, something like PagePlus would allow me to do that so much more easily.

One thing I did discover as I started to use technology more and more, was that there were people who were interested in the technology and what it could do. However, there were a lot more people who were not interested in the technology, but were interested in something else, and once they recognised how technology could enhance what they were doing, or make it easier, or make it faster.

That really became my focus, working with people on their challenges, problems, and issues; then seeing if technology could make a difference.

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