Sunday, October 4, 2009

Hands-Off Technology Instruction - A Revolutionary Idea

For months I’ve been envious of some of my colleagues who seem to have unlimited Microsoft Excel powers. Somehow I missed the boat on Excel skills though I see on a daily basis how useful it can be in the world of educational leadership. I decided to find an Excel training course so I, too, could be proficient with this useful application.

The day of the training finally arrived last week and, as it silly as it sounds, I looked forward to the class with much anticipation. I made my way downtown to the hotel conference center, made my way to the conference room, and signed in (of course I was the first one there). I walked into the conference room, greeted my instructor and surveyed the room. The first thing I noticed was the huge screen at the front of the room; so far so good. Next, however, I noticed the tables set up neatly throughout the room. The water glasses seemed awfully close together and the tables seemed to be conspicuously devoid of computer drops, power strips, charging stations or any other computer accessories.

I made my way to the end of a table nearest the outlet in the wall and turned to speak to my instructor. The conversation went something like this:

Me: “Will there be other places for us to charge our laptops?”
Instructor: “No. No one else will be using a computer.”
Me: “Seriously? We won’t be using computers?”
Editorial Note: Reminder - this is a Microsoft Excel training.
Instructor: “We’ll be working from a workbook. This is very hands-off.”

Stunned, I sat down to process the conversation. As I replayed the conversation in my head and came to the realization that the instructor indeed had said we’d be learning a computer application with hands-off, workbook training, I closed my gaping mouth and reached for my pen. I completed my course evaluation, dropped the form on the desk next to my instructor without saying a word, then walked out. I did take the workbook with me, by the way.

This whole episode got me thinking, though. We’ve spent a huge amount of money at school on cameras and software for our digital photography courses, and on computers and software for our technology courses. How short-sighted and fiscally irresponsible of us! Imagine the money we could have saved over the last few years; we could have spent just a fraction of those funds on workbooks for the students instead! Hands-off technology training, or technology training with no technology – now that’s out-of-the box thinking. What a revolutionary idea! Thank you, Fred Pryor Seminars, for this revolutionary paradigm shift in technology education.

1 comment:

yousuf siddiqui said...

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I am Yousuf Siddiqui and I provide coaching to leaders and organizations.
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