How To Tackle Technophobia In The Virtual Learning Space
Technophobia is a real thing. It isn’t something plaguing the person next door. It lives, in part, with all of us. The shift with changing technologies, using complex devices and new applications can be daunting and overwhelming. In fact, avoidance of technology becomes the go-to solution for many. Some refuse to use it. Others don’t bother to show up.
When we have a choice of when and how we engage with technology, that’s one thing. When we’re instantly shifted into a virtual world, powered by technology, that’s another thing. We’ve been forced to get comfy and cozy with unfamiliar systems, applications, new forms of communication and tech tools that leave us feeling awkward, like a total newbie on our first day in a brand new job.
We weren’t ready for it and yet here we are. The question is: How do we tackle the tech fear and engage with technology in a meaningful way?
To tackle fear, sometimes you have to just head for it straight on. Here is a strategy you can use to tackle fear, stress and anxiety before your virtual session begins.
The Setup | Preprogram communications
Nothing raises anxiety levels more than anticipation of the unknown. Providing your audience with a snapshot of what to expect inside their time with you in the virtual space is critical to reducing anxiety and perhaps, raising a bit of curiosity instead.
Here’s an example of what your preprogram communication should include:
- How to join the session | This goes beyond the meeting link. Is there an option to test their device with the virtual platform ahead of time?
- Best Practices | Encourage participants to use wireless/wired headsets with microphones. This cuts out background noise and amplifies their microphone. Closeout background applications to reduce strain on connection bandwidth.
- Expert Assistance | How participants will be supported in the tech space (when they arrive and during the program)? What if they are unable to connect and join the meeting? What form of backup communication should they use? Provide contact information/instruction.
- Participation | Let participants know how they will be expected to participate
- Will they need to review materials in advance and be ready to share?
- Will webcams and microphones be used?
- What tools inside of the virtual space will be used? Virtual hand raising, annotation, breakout rooms, etc. What is expected of me before the session?
Thoughtfully supporting your learners is key. Don’t take for granted or assume what they know or need inside the virtual space. The less they have to worry about or think about with technology the more they will focus on the purpose of the virtual session. While we can’t eliminate all fear, and associated anxiety and stress, we can mitigate it enough to create a meaningful virtual experience for our audience.
Curious to take a sneak peek of how EANE is supporting organizations and learners inside our virtual programs? Let us take you on a ‘virtual tour’ of the virtual learning tools and techniques we are using to create meaningful learning experiences. Contact Lenore Abare firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your tour.