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Technological Migraine July 25, 2006

Posted by Michael McVey in Online Tools.
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migraine   While talking with a colleague in the heat next to a lane of cicadas buzzing loudly, probably the most securely soundproofed location on campus, I concluded that I actually know some things about technology. I had been experiencing a little self doubt and feeling that there was simply so much to know and so many aspects to it, from deciding on software, to wiring infrastructures, to wireless, to television, to electronic databases, to security, to safety, to maintenance and updating, to long range planning, to business solutions, to political infighting and managing employees. I realize now that there was a reason for the feeling of being overwhelmed in this business. It is overwhelming.

So, my strategy is to recognize that I do not know everything there is to know about educational technology at the university level and that every day I will strive to learn a little more. My strategy is also to keep firmly planted in my mind that I will learn from everyone and everything that I do around here. I have discovered my solutions, the ones I thought were unique and small potatoes since they dealt only with my small college, have turned out to be tremendously helpful for at least one of my colleagues in a much larger outfit on campus.

The funny thing about the world of educational technology is that if you have some arcane fact about an operating system at your fingertips it can truly save you hours of work if you can pull it up fast enough. So we, in this business, store a huge amount of minutiae about software, hardware issues, wiring tricks, anecdotes about issues, names of viruses, and keyboard shortcuts thinking we may need them. Often we do.

As a result, when I attend campus-wide technology meetings, I am astounded at what other people have to master and the issues with which they must cope. One solution certainly does not fit all around here and attempting to understand some of the larger issues can cause the equivalent of techno-migraines. To deal with those, I simply walked away from one committee I used to sit on. It didn’t help that they met in mid afternoon and I am at my worst at that time of day.

After a year off from them, I am ready to return to their world. I will just drink stronger coffee.

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