The Curse of Knowledge Revisited

In a blog post many moons ago, I wrote about The Curse of Knowledge - the idea that the more we know about a particular subject, the more difficult it becomes to share that knowledge. This is due largely to the fact that we can't place ourselves in the mindset of those receiving the information and we make assumptions into what they know - simply because we know it already.

When I first became a math teacher- many, many years ago - the best advice I got about teaching was to break down every problem to the simplest step I could possibly think of - and then break it down one more step. That advice helped me succeed in the math class.

Now, as I try to help teachers integrate technology into the classroom, I need to keep that in mind. Don't get me wrong, I am not contending that teachers have the same mental capacity of a ninth grade Algebra student. It's just that I have to remember that the knowledge I have as a Technology Director puts me in a different mindset than that of the casual technology user.

As a math teacher, solving a system of equations seemed "natural" and easy to me. As a tech director, things I consider second-nature such as blog posts, and RSS feeds, and cloud storage, and HTML codes are not second nature to many. 

When training others, we have to be able to break things down to their simplest steps and break them down again. It is only when teachers feel comfortable and free from adverse consequences will they be open to learning more about technology.

I'm reminded of one of my favorite YouTube videos that illustrates this. Watch the video below and realize that if you're a computer geek like me, this what you can sound like to others!



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