Dixie Darr

When the Technology Connection Fails

In Uncategorized on January 5, 2011 at 7:26 am

My learning curve flattened a little yesterday. I had signed up for a webinar on creating online courses for librarians. Last fall, my friend Pat contacted me to produce a writing course for a university she worked with. I was delighted that she asked me and agreed right away.

I’ve written several college-level courses in the past and found it a very satisfying endeavor. Barbara Sher lists instructional designer as a perfect job for scanners, those people who find it impossible to focus on one thing. It allows us to delve deeply into a topic for a limited period of time and then move on to something else. So this wasn’t something I was just willing to take on. It was something I was eager to do.

Unfortunately, a series of health problems kept me from starting the work for several months. I thought for sure Pat would have moved on and found someone else by then, but she hung in there and was ready to work with me when I was able.

I was looking forward to the webinar to learn more about the course development process and also to meet some of the other subject matter experts (SMEs). At noon, I clicked on the link and was directed “click here” to download the necessary software. I clicked and my computer promptly froze. Twenty minutes later I had rebooted my computer and I tried again. I got the software downloaded, but got stuck in some endless loop trying to connect. I gave up.

I emailed Pat what had happened and she sent me the slides from the class. The whole thing will be available for me to access soon. Still, I’m disappointed that I wasn’t able to participate.

This is why.

I’m a loner by nature. I like working at home alone with my computer. But every once in a while, I need to get out among people. It wasn’t just the information I was looking forward to from this webinar. I was anticipating feeling part of the group of SMEs, getting to know the others, and learning about their topics. I hope I get another chance.

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