My 5 Technology Blind Spots

Mistakes I make.

March 24, 2014

What are your technology blind spots?

Here is my top 5 list of shame:

Blind Spot #1: Letting Amazon Control My Reading Life

I think that I may have sold my reading soul to Jeff Bezos.  

In return for the ability to access (we never really buy) new books for lower prices in the digital formats that I want (e-book and audiobook), I’ve locked myself permanently into the Amazon ecosystem.  

Every e-book that I buy will only ever work on a Kindle or a Kindle app.

Every audiobook that I have purchased is unavailable for me to share with family and friends.

From Amazon I get instant book gratification at a reasonable price in a digital format that I want, and in return I give up the ability to keep, share, and move my books.    

Blind Spot #2: Being Really Bad at Social Media

Everyone I know seems to have mastered irony on Facebook and networking on Twitter.

I almost never go on Facebook or Twitter. These platforms appear to me as sinkholes of time, vortexes of distraction. I’d rather read a book. (See blind spot #1).

The problem is that everyone else is doing great things on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms that I just don’t understand. You are all sharing, connecting, and creating. You have left me behind.

Blind Spot #3: A Tendency to Play It Safe With Enterprise Technology

In my bones, I think that I’m really a pretty conservative guy.  Never gotten a speeding ticket (a couple of warnings). Never broken a bone. (Once sprained an ankle). 

This conservatism has come out in the past in my choice of e-learning platforms.   

I feel better going with a vendor that I know. A company that has been around for a while, and that I feel confident will be around in the future.

A platform that is currently being used by peer institutions. A company with a track record.

This bias has probably made me too slow to consider the products or services of edtech startups. Too cautious to support consumer tools over enterprise tools.  Too slow, too expensive, and too controlled.

Blind Spot #4: Not Finding A Way To Get Out of E-Mail Jail

How much of your job involves doing e-mail?

How much of your time and energy is spent in your e-mail box?

I’m sort of afraid to answer these questions for myself. It probably is not a pretty picture.

Why can’t we seem to move beyond the tyranny of e-mail?

I’ve been trying to get to inbox zero. Trying to join the “slow e-mail movement” in not feeling that I need to answer each message instantly. Trying to unsubscribe from lists.  Trying not to always reply to all.  

And I’m failing at everything I do when it comes to e-mail.

Blind Spot #5: Thinking That If Only Amazon, Apple, Google, or Microsoft Got Serious About Higher Ed That Things Would Be Great

I have this fantasy that one day the leadership from the big tech companies will put advancing postsecondary education at the top of their strategic agendas.

That Amazon, Apple, Google, or Microsoft will see higher education as the business of the 21st century, and decide to devote serious resources postsecondary learning.

That these giant wealthy companies will take education as seriously as gaming and music.

That we will find a way to partner, collaborate and share on a deep level to identify and solve education problems.

The truth is probably that Amazon, Apple, Google, or Microsoft will probably never make education, or higher education, a core part of their strategies

The truth is probably that even if Amazon, Apple, Google, or Microsoft did make education a core part of their strategies that we probably would not see the sort of change on access, costs, and quality (particularly in the emerging economies) that I dream about.

The truth is probably that what we do in education, at our colleges and universities, is so different from what Amazon, Apple, Google, or Microsoft does in their businesses that we should not look to any of these companies to become partners in driving real change.

What are your technology blind spots?


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