Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Opening the Door

In, We are the “Corps of Discovery” from Tech Thoughts By Jen by JenW, she talks about a friend who is new to technology.
“The biggest obstacle, I continue to see, is the willingness to open the door, to take the first step, to be bold and courageous. And this past Wednesday — I saw just that. She is taking the step to NOT using tech — but to using an opportunity to make her life a bit more simple and a bit more successful. All because of those who had gone on before.”

I am working on a presentation to encourage a group of people to use Skype and wikis in communicating and collaborating with others. Having an internet connection is an iffy possibility so I’m not counting on it but if we get one, it will definitely help. I feel like the first thing I have to do is to get people to “open the door” or I’m wasting everyone’s time. It is no use to bring a bunch of people to a house and tell them that there are great tools for them to use inside and then no one is willing to open the door. How do I get them to want to open the door?

I am going to do in three ways:
1. Show examples of wikis and how I use them
2. Show screenshots of my Skype and the process of making a call
3. Offer support for new learners

I think an important way of getting them to “open the door” to wikis would be to show them examples of how I personally use them to connect with others. By showing how it enables me to interact with others, they may feel this is something that they can use. I will show some examples of wikis that I have created and explain how easy it is to create one and by personalizing this, it will inspire them. I need to get them to understand the benefits of using a wiki and how it can benefit everyone who uses it.

I also will show screen shots of Skype and some of its capabilities. If we can get a decent internet connection, I’m hoping to be able to Skype with someone for a couple of minutes so people can see how easy it is to use. I will show what my windows look like and what I do in order to use this tool. Hopefully, this may help people so they don’t go through all the same things I did when I was trying to figure out how to use this. Many times, when a new tool overwhelms the learner, it is much easier to give up then to persevere to success.

If and when people decide to give it a try, I will offer to let them contact me so they can practice using it. That was one of the hardest things for me was trying something new but not having anyone to interact with so I could learn how to use it. I was lucky enough to have people in my personal learning network (even though I didn’t know them face to face) who I could ask for help but many others do not have this. Sometimes it is easier to call someone you know, rather than a stranger, so you could ask questions.

Do you think this will work? Do you have any other suggestions? I really believe that these are great tools to use in order to communicate and collaborate with others and I hope my enthusiasm in using these will also encourage others to give it try. If they just “open the door” and use this opportunity, it will make a difference.

Original image: 'Puerta al cielo' http://www.flickr.com/photos/11599314@N00/2088202973 by: Luz A. Villa


Mitch Weisburgh said...

Is there a way you can have different people from the audience "do" the things you describe as part of the presentation. Call on someone who has never used skype to make a skype call, call on someone who has never used plurk to post a question on plurk.

loonyhiker said...

Mitch: This was a great idea! Thanks so much for the suggestion.