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Put in the disc, and close the door

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 14 Sept 2010, 14:49

Twenty five years ago or so my wife was given this instruction when using a computer for the first time. Like most of the students in the Computer Lab at UCL, London they duly put in the disc, and made sure the door to the lab was closed.

My son had a piece of homework last night that said 'explain what the words in italics mean.'

So he explained what it meant to put words in italics.

I learnt from the an interview on BBC Radio 4 yesterday that the way to 'happiness' and in the context of H808 'The e-Learning Professional' too perhaps, could be to follow the advice you find on the back of a juice carton.

'Stand up in a cool place.'

On rumaging through the fridge all I found was:

'Best before sell by date' and 'Shake Well before pouring.'

We expect instructions to be literal.

We even assume a pattern. No wonder we are so often tripped up when using new software that has its quirks or strange attributes.

Meanwhile, whilst in H807 I was overwhelmed by the amount of reading, in H808 I feel overwhelmed by the desire and need to try out and use regularly a plethora of e-portfolios, and other content sharing and storing software. At the same time, having not used an upgraded version of Word in six years, or Microsoft Outlook ever I am having to tackle rather a lot.

For how long can you afford not to upgrade if eventually when you do so the software looks and behaves in such a foreign way that you feel like a beginner?

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