Throughout my daily life, this week, I experienced many people complaining that someone else is responsible for their lack of understanding or missed opportunites. The software manufacturer, the hardware manufacturer, the school administration, ... the list goes on and on.
Here is my feedback:
We are all personally responsible for assimilating the information provided to us in life. If we don't have answers there are millions of resources to tap before pointing fingers.
Searching the Web is much better than it was even five years ago. If I don't know the meaning of something, or I just don't understand a concept, I don't expect my professors to spoon knowledge into my head. I have to read the materials, do research and find my answers. Thank you University of Phoenix! I don't often say that because there are many more topics I wish my program detailed to make me better prepared for the technical world of adult learning. So, do I wallow in my own self-pity that this program doesn't meet my needs or do I find another way to get the information? The latter makes the most sense. This program was much like Law school. Here is how to think about education; here are some theories that the current thinking on education espouses; here are some models for planning education; now, go apply that knowledge.
That means I have to probably shell out more money and take more classes if I can't find a video or other resource to teach me what I need to know. I am looking forward to learning more with my newly acquired Master's degree this summer.
Is there an App?
I have always had a "brown thumb" when it came to gardening. I either over watered or neglected the plants until they were beyond saving. I decided I wanted to try container/vertical gardening this year and had no idea where to start. So, I found a class at the local nursery and while the teacher gave me some good ideas on what to plant and where she didn't teach me HOW to build or tend my garden. What did I do? I looked up in my App store and found a garden minder app that sends me emails as to when to plant seeds for germination, when to take them outside and what some of the other pesky weeds in my garden might be.
Did I blame the teacher at the nursery for my garden's success or failure? NO!!! This woman was nice enough to impart some wisdom with her successes and failures and help spark my interest in gardening.
Use your resources!
If I don't know how to do something in a new software package or App I poke around and see what I can figure out on my own. If that doesn't work, I ASK!
I am completely self-taught on SQL queries within Microsoft SQL Server. How did I do that? I saw someone writing queries and said, "that's cool! how did you do it?" I found YouTube videos on the basics of SQL queries and the logic of databases. This was new to me when I started working for my company eleven years ago; now, I am considered someone who can get useful information out of the database. I never read a book (have you seen technical manuals?!?), never took a class, and I learned how to query databases using SQL. I still stumble today and luckily I have resources who, as long as I at least tried to build it myself, are more than willing to check my work and point me in the direction of where I went wrong.
Does the software website have resources?
I am pretty proficient using Adobe Photoshop and Bridge but there are things that aren't super intuitive. Like, finding the darn Drop Shadow! Do I call Adobe (long distance) and complain to the support tech that their software is poorly designed? No. I go the the support portion of their Website and see what I might find. Low and behold! there is Adobe TV! There I can find all sorts of training videos on topics I want to know.
None of my rantings today mean you should "shut up and deal," or avoid reporting a glitch or bug to a software or hardware manufacturer. What it means is spend a little time trying to figure things out, use your resources and try and try and try before complaining you don't know how to do something. The answers are there for you, they just need to be found.
No one is perfect and I am guilty of every item I just ranted about here. But, I have learned from my mistakes and I try to apply that new knowledge into my own life and personal expectations. Hopefully you will too.
....Stepping off my soapbox....
Caryn Morgan, corporate trainer, obtained her Masters Degree in Adult Education and Training