As we have heard over and over again these past weeks, this is a time of great change. Read…upheaval, not safe and unsettling. Or, is this a generational thing, a generational perspective? Change can also be a time of great opportunity and possibility. The outlook may depend upon how tired or stressed a body is.
Change is here whether we are prepared or not. The economics of living in the Midwest have made this inevitable. So, at home, the unsettled (unemployed) atmosphere is forcing change. At work, technology forces change at an ever increasing pace.
I use technology. I’ve always thought that I kept up, at least. As a School Librarian, a large part of my job is to provide technology training for teachers and staff. I take the job seriously and try to model good technology practices in delivering curriculum. But, I’m rethinking my abilities , as well as my usefulness. I discovered this week how very uncomfortable I am practicing “technology on fly” in front of a roomful of people. I was running the technology for 3 presentations at a meeting. As the meeting began, I was asked to unhook, unplug and unhinge (me) and run a file from another computer. I literally got sick and left the presentation to others. Was I stressed? Was I exhibiting compulsive personality traits? Was I upset? All of the above and not professional behavior – I am not proud. What happened?
Now, I know that technology doesn’t always do what we want it to. Anyone presenting in front of a group should be prepared to laugh it off and try again. I always try to be prepared and have a plan B, C & D when technology doesn’t work. I did feel a heavy responsibility to assist the presenters. But, why did I have such a strong reaction and feel, not only
unappreciated for preparing but betrayed by colleagues? According to David Liddle’s three stages of technology adoption – 1. Enthusiast ; 2. Professional; and 3. Consumer – I may be stuck in Stage 2 and now working with teachers in Stage 3. From the book Designing Interactions:
David describes three phases for the adoption of a new technology. The first is the enthusiast stage, when the technology is first exploited. Second is the professional, when the technology is developed to help people work. Third is the consumer phase, when the technology is developed far enough for people to enjoy at an accessible price.
I realize that I use technology – I make it work for me to further my teaching, communicating and serving a Library population. I am in Stage 2. The younger teachers I am working with are the consumers. The technology is just an inherent part of their life, and so doesn’t need to be practiced, prepared or delivered ‘to death’- it is used daily for everything . The message will get across.
I need to change – more, quickly and with grace and humor. It’s a generational thing.