What is Beginner's Mind

Having 'Beginners mind' is to approach a subject enthusiastically, with openness and without preconceptions, even if you are an expert. It represents a willingness to ask questions and challenge assumptions; both essential to the scientific process.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

How to help people frightened by new technology

Here is an interesting article in Science Daily about people who are afraid of new technology. The study, performed by Economic and Social Research Council in the UK found that people afraid of new technology tended to be poorer and less educated. They are frightened by media reports of virus and the hazards of computer use and tend to be hampered by their ability to spell.

The study found that most computer courses that were available are concerned with work related subjects (how to use spreadsheets and wordprocessing) but did not address what people needed to do in their personal lives (email, shopping and finding information online).

I believe that this provides a huge opportunity for libraries to become more relevant to their communities. We could make an impact on computer technophobia by developing classes, courses and tutorials that specifically address these fears and needs. Wouldn't it be great if we could produce an online tutorial, perhaps using podcast or videocasting technology that would address these problems!!! Then, when folks drop in the library, we could hook them up to the tutorial and we could address their needs in real time instead of directing them to a class.

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