Apr 30 2008

Assessing technology competence and comfort

Our connected futures workshop is off to a good start, I think. The launch phone call went well. For some of us, having a telephone call is very comforting. You feel like there’s a real person on the other end of the line (or in that other corner of the telephone bridge cloud, perhaps?).

But for an “advanced” workshop on technology stewardship it is fiendishly difficult to assess exactly what competence and comfort people have with one, let alone the many, many, technologies that are now available for a community to use. In fact it’s difficult to self-assess, without some extended collaboration and meaning-making episodes with other people.

We’ve come up with one light-hearted attempt at getting an inkling of workshop participant’s “state of technology.” (Analogies with “state of mind” come flooding in.) We’ve asked people to make a little snapshot of their desktop, giving everyone else an indication of what software they have on their screens most of the time. Here’s mine:

John’s desktop

It may not go far enough… In many organizational settings the simplifying strategy has been to mandate a standard. A community setting thrives on diversity and raises the issue, “how do you know what others see, or what they feel comfortable with?”  I think one part of the answer is that it takes time.  Which is something that we try to compress, at our peril, in a project like a workshop.

One response so far

One Response to “Assessing technology competence and comfort”

  1. Barb McD says:

    And then the screen shot gets even more complicated when you use multiple monitors!!