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Puppies and software April 30, 2006

Posted by Michael McVey in Online Tools.

dalai   It has been an interesting week for us. Last week I put out a call to some friends who raised dogs and asked they had any puppies available. Without even replying to my e-mail, the breeder sent my message to somebody else who, it turned out, did have a puppy available.

After performing a series of searches on the Internet for a dog similar to the one who died last January, Peppy, we finally found just the right dog in need of a home. On Friday, we brought Dalai home for the first time. Since she is a Tibetan terrier, my daughter and wife decided to name her Dalai, like the Dalai Lama. However, in this country, we hear Dalai mistakenly pronounced as Dolly, so we have named this little dog Dalai and will pronounce it as Dolly.

For what I have heard from several of the readers of this blog, they often wonder how I am going to turn some insight into my life into something to do with educational technology, aside from finding the dog through Internet connections. To my way of thinking, adopting a technology or adopting a dog are sometimes very similar experiences. I have access to Dreamweaver and many other Web design tools, but I prefer to use FrontPage to all of the others. Right now, that software suits my lifestyle, my work habits, and my needs. Therefore, even though one software package might be wildly superior to another, I am prone to sticking with a tool I know and can use very easily.

When a professor sends a job my way that requires the development of a web site or a survey, it takes me almost no time to do the job. Well, it certainly takes time, but the amount of mental labor required to complete the task, is very small indeed.

Just like getting a new dog, one fits the existing dog door and fits our lifestyle already. It may be her size or her disposition but, like software, I stick with whatever it fits my lifestyle as well. This phenomenon may very well explain why some teachers do not use certain software, make web pages, or use labor and time saving programs. It may be because they are simply used to doing things one particular way and not another.

Could it be that simple?



1. Zs - April 30, 2006

Congratulations for Dolly :-)
Now, I think oyu are right in a certain way. We humans l;ike to do things as we know them fromprevious experiences. Why don’t you take new streets/ways of comming every morning to UA-COE? It might be because you have a script to do the trip to UA and back home. And it is much easier on your brain, information processing.

Likewise with dogs. You already have a bed, a doggy door, and are used to have a small size dog. Dog choice is a matter of preference and temperament. A couple of years ago (one or two) I read an article on a research conducted by a prof at U of San Diego (not sure if that was the university… but it was a psychology prof) on owner personality and dog breed. They could significantly predict the choosed dog’s personality/breed once they had the owner’s personality test, but only for pure breeds. For muts there was not statistically significant relationship between the owner’s personality and the dog personality. When I read that article I told myself “Yes!” since always I felt I have the JRT personality (just another ADHD kid).

But in what concerns using a certain style of technology I think it is about our schema and scripts. We like to put the least effort in what we do, and learning a new program and getting used to a new way of doing thing requires lots of intellectual and kinesthetic skills. It is easier to do it the old way… It seems to be much faster because we are faster in things we practiced a lot and got to be automatic.
Now the trick is to go bejond that “fear” of new and concern that learning new things takes way too much time. Once a new skills is overlearned and becomes automatic might be more effcient than the old way of doing things…

Conclusion: dogs and technology are not quite the same, one is about personality, the other one is about information processing.

Oh, I have a big Romanian sheperd dog now my parents take care of him, and love him very much. Vince is white as Taylor is, but Taylor is the size of Vince’s head:-)

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