Tuesday, August 9, 2011


New Technologies

A friend of mine works for the Department of Defense in Maryland (Aberdeen Proving Ground). He is archaic when it comes to technology. His job furnished him with a Blackberry so that he could receive company messages “on the go”. It was not to “talk” on as he thought. Oftentimes, he would get emails and respond with a phone call and his superiors would tell him to simply respond to the email. They said there was no need to make a phone call. He had a hard time understanding the concept. So, I told him that communication had changed to accommodate convenience and our digital societies. I suggested to him to start the transition on a much smaller scale and get rid of his old, old, Nokia (the one with a literal antenna protruding from it) and buy himself a Blackberry and start the electronic communication on a personal level. He absolutely said that he was not changing to a personal smart phone. But, lo and behold, I received a call with him asking for help in picking out a smart phone. He said he has to get used to the “new wave” of communicating because he was having a hard time adjusting to the digital communication required on his job. His job literally forced him to “get with the program”. I helped him pick out a simple Blackberry phone that utilized the same functions as the one he uses on the job.

My friend exhibited resistance to change because he was not familiar with the technology. He had a phobia based on lack of knowledge. He was forced into the realm. He did not enter willingly. However in relation to Keller’s ARCS Model (Driscoll, 2005), his attention was gained through conflict. The conflict forced him to come face to face with an awareness of lack of skill to do required tasks for his job (job security). Relevance (Driscoll, 2005) was directly connected to his present and future usefulness as it relates to his responsibilities. He wanted to appear competent and not technologically illiterate. As for confidence (Driscoll, 2005), he experienced small steps toward growth which built confidence in his ability to do his job in that area. Lastly, satisfaction (Driscoll, 2005) was experienced when he was able to respond to all communication from his employer in the prescribed manner by superior personnel.

Driscoll, M. P. (2005). Psychology of learning for instruction (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education


  1. Roxanne,
    That is true not taking a leap of faith because of not being familiar with technology. His job basically forced him out of his comfort zone and he learned how to communicate with a smart phone. Change is something that is a constant varaible that we have to accept, deal with or get left behind in the process.

  2. This is a good example of our discussion topic this week of going outside one's comfort zone. He was so used to using the phone to talk (verbally) that he didn't understand using the phone to talk (in text/email). He realized that it was necessary for his job to use it in a way that was not initially comfortable for him. I like how you encouraged him to get comfortable with the technology by using one in his personal life. I feel like when it comes to technology, learning by doing really is the best advice and that is exactly what your friend did.

  3. Roxanne,
    What a great story about overcoming our fears of the unknown and trying something new. Your support and confidence (the "C" in ARCS) in technology probably helped him (along with the needs of the job)to realize that it was time to accept that the "new wave of technology" is here and he better get current.
    Great example