I was helping out a teacher today who had been excited because he had learned how to do something new on his computer and he got stuck. He thought all of his work had been lost, so he came to me and asked for some help. It turned out it wasn’t lost, he just didn’t know that a small triangle like this one circled below meant that you could click on it and see more information. He was pretty pleased that his problem had a simple solution but a little embarrassed he didn’t know the solution.

He shouldn’t be embarrassed. He is just in the midst of learning a new language.  Technology has a language. The language is represented by the icons we click to open and close windows, the underlined text that tells us something is a hypertext and thousands of other similar nuances. Without knowledge of that language it can be really hard to navigate the technology jungle out there.

This type of problem I’m sure happens all the time. People are embarrassed to ask for help, they think they should know it, they don’t understand why someone can do stuff with technology so easily and they struggle. So the moral of the story is, if you are helping someone out with technology, take the time to teach them the language they will need to work with it.