Parents just don’t understand

Ever since starting to operate and maintain a learning management system, more and more I have in my own mind’s eye an understanding of the “typical user” as one less and less able to use a computer effectively. This isn’t defeatism, though, it’s being exposed to more and more users who simply have no idea how to do anything on a computer.

We just finished off a workshop for parents, who were using Pages for the first time. It was really fun, watching them draw lines and change fonts and be absolutely thrilled that it actually worked.

What’s interesting though, is to think that websites are different beasts compared to applications like Pages. I mean, it’s sort of obvious when you think about it, because a native application feels more responsive, and since a website is essentially shared, there’s always the idea that you might affect someone else. If I mess up a Pages document, that’s just my document I messed up, but if I mess up a website, that’s everyone’s website….

In other words, asking complete noobs at computers to suddenly use a learning management system is much bigger step perhaps than previously realized.

By reflecting on parents not understanding, there is understanding at a higher plane.

1 Comment

  1. Just today I showed a 80 year old man how to watch music videos on the internet. He acted like he had just been shown the most remarkable thing ever.

    We “older” folks where there when the first credit card machine came on-board. It was clumsy, noisy and bothersome. At the time, we could imagine anything better.

    Now look at what can be done.