Many things in life are unreliable. I’ve been trying to have a think and have come up with a sizeable list including: the weather, buses, phone signal, people, appointments running on time, the economy, boilers, traffic, people. The list goes on and on. Many of these things are unreliable on a regular basis and we have to learn to adapt and change and deal with it. So why when it comes to technology do people get so worked up and upset when it doesn’t work? We are capable of adapting in many other situations so why not when it involves technology?
I’m writing this due to some unreliability issues we’ve had with our new network recently. More than that though, is the responses from members of staff over the issues, generally along the lines of ‘Technology is useless!’ and ‘It’s so much easier not to use it.’ Yes, it’s annoying. But so is it annoying when it rains on the one day you have off or when there’s a traffic jam on the one day you’re running late and really need to be somewhere. The problem is people don’t seem to want to think for themselves and solve problems.
The problem we had yesterday involved Google documents; the children were writing information about Mexico for their wiki website and a few of the laptops weren’t playing ball. A couple were not centralising the page and a couple of others had the cursor in the middle of the letters rather than after them which made editing rather difficult. At the time myself and the TA were in the room. My response was to find another medium for the children to continue working on, mainly by logging them directly into the wiki to edit (we weren’t all doing this as only one person can edit a wiki at a time or things go squiffy). My TA’s* response was to complain that nothing ever worked properly and that technology was a waste of time. In front of the kids. I really do wonder what it is that causes people to respond in this way rather than trying to find a solution.
The solution was found rather easily later on in the evening when I had time to google the issue and turns out that if GDocs is not at 100% then it can cause problems. Turns out that on the new laptops the trackpads are rather sensitive and have a pinch function, like ipods/ipads, and that was the issue. Simple and easy to fix, if you just look in the right place.
*I have used the example of my TA as it is something that happened most recently, but this seems to be something I come across on a regular basis. My TA is also very good, just not at problem solving with technology.