‘Are you on the beach?’ my partner asked me. ‘I don’t know,’ I replied, ‘it’s dark and I can’t see.’
I was newly landed in Mauritius, a tiny speck of an island off the east coast of Africa. The evening opening reception for the eLearning Africa 2017 conference was kicking off, where I’d present my workshop on Wrestling ICTs to serve community and learning while increasing ease and efficiency (see below where I share my free ICTs resources).
The next morning my jaw dropped as I could see what was cloaked in inky darkness the night before. I breathed in the salty air that wafted through the palm leaves and watched the waves break over the natural reef that surrounds Mauritius to keep out the sharks and make swimming safe. The conference was right beside the ocean on a startling white strip of beach.
Back to ICTs though. In our fast paced technology laden world, ICTs (information communication technology which includes social media), can often inundate and overwhelm us. Do you sometimes feel like it’s obvious to everyone but you? Can you relate to this adorable toddler?
There is no lack of technology tools, in fact the ever-increasing number of ICT tools can easily be overwhelming. If you’ve ever disappeared down the rabbit hole of time sucking tech, only to emerge bewildered, confused and/or frustrated then this is for you.
I get your ICT overwhelm. I get your ICT pain.
If you’ve read some of my recent blog posts you’ll know I’ve had some significant health issues. I’ve always been a fan of interesting ICTs but a silver lining from my health issues, as I wasn’t able to type or write for months this year, has been trying out adaptive technologies for the first time.
Example #1: Oh Dragon dictation app how I love thee (a free app that transcribes your voice so you can email etc. with ease).
Example #2: After some 3 decades of using my beloved daytimer, with not being able to write or type for months, I’m now firmly digital. Hello Google calendar.
Forging ahead, in my workshop we looked at wrestling back control for how to use ICTs to:
- Listen and engage
- Learn and teach
- Increase your ease and efficiency
But before we dive into some ICTs tools I invite you to follow 3 rules for preventing migraines and wrestling ICTs successfully:
1. Have faith in yourself, you got this!
Beware the voice in your head that tells you you’re not smart enough, that you can’t do this, that you’re dumb. If you hear that voice simply brandish an imaginary feather duster and dust away that uninvited guest.
2. Be in charge – take the reigns
Instead of ICTs controlling you, take charge. Put yourself in the drivers seat and take those reigns.
3. Make room for the curve (the learning curve that is; give yourself time to learn)
Anything kind of learning, especially learning about ICTs, requires a learning curve. Give yourself space, time and patience to learn. If you expect it to take a bit before you’re smooth sailing if/when you hit a bump in your learning you’ll get over it faster.
Once you have the rules under your belt identify one work-related pain points (areas that are causing frustration and/or lack of productivity) that technology can help relieve.
Not sure what I mean by pain? Here are some examples:
- You need to do research but have no time
- You need to get input for a project but you’re overwhelmed
- You’re confused about who on your team is where doing what and how to connect team members up
- You’re overwhelmed by data and need to do analysis quick so you can share (or you want to pick up on trends or start a discussion)
- You’re fearful of your data being boring and ignored
- You’re scared you might inadvertently use photos for a presentation, report or newsletter that you aren’t authorized to use
- You’re drooling over infographics but overwhelmed how to make them for your own use
- Ack! You need help with your blender brain (capturing, storing, sharing information and ideas)
Now for your ICTs goodies
Check out 3 example tools for each of the 3 tool types (tools for listening / learning / ease and efficiency) (that’s 9 tools for you math whizzes). Hint: there’s a tool for each of the pain points listed above. Sweet pain relief is on the way.
So instead of feeling pain when it comes to ICTs learn how to identify your pain point(s) and use technology as an effective, efficient balm, so you can get on with your work and your life.
Let me know which ICTs pain point you face most and which tool(s) you’ve tried. I’d absolutely love to hear.