Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Technophobia

Often times, we look at people in two categories when it comes to technophobia--either "technophobic" or "not technophobic". It's a label that we attach to others and, yes, even to ourselves. In fact, technophobia is quite common and something that virtually all of us experience at some point in our lives.

Webster's defines technophobia as a fear or a dislike of advanced technologies. Bad or negative experiences with technology helps to increase the degree of technophobia one feels, while good or positive experiences helps to decrease the fear. Makes sense, right? Then, of course, we can be technophobic in some areas while not at all in other areas. One might be perfectly fine using a PC or Smart phone while being totally fearful of using a Mac or operating the DVR on their TV. Taking small "baby steps" toward the fear is a great way to begin to reduce technophobia. An example might be to use a PC and projector together in a classroom before fully delving into using a Smart Board and videoconferencing in that same rooom.

In education, technophobia may be related to our status as "teachers" or "professors". We think we're expected to be "all knowing" or "the sage on the stage". We certainly don't want to look like we don't know what we're doing in front of our students. That's perfectly understandable.

Here at North Shore, we have lots of way to help you be confident using technology. Training is available for Smart Classrooms, Videoconference Rooms, Smart Boards, and other classroom technologies. Phones are in all of the classrooms with technology help numbers posted. For online teaching and learning, there are training sessions available for our learning management system, ANGEL. In addition, there's an ANGEL Helpline to give you support and added confidence.

The Academic Technology staff is a very friendly group of folks. We're always here to help. We want you to be able to use all of the tools needed to make your class successful.  It only makes sense that people feel less technophobic when they know that they are being supported, when they know that they're not in it alone.
Contact us anytime. You might start with the ANGEL Help Desk (angel@northshore.edu) or extension 5400 (Media Help Line) We're all in this together!

  • What strategies have worked for you when dealing with technophobia?

  • What advice would you have for others who have anxiety about using technology?

  • How has teaching and learning been enhanced by using technology with your class?