Who’s afraid of an iPad (a.k.a: don’t touch it! You’ll break it!)
So far I’ve been wrong about two things since I first conceived of this idea:
1. I never thought Cole would go for this – letting me sign out an iPad for the whole summer. He did (I wonder if he would come looking for me if I don’t come back?).
2. Everyone would be excited and want to interact with it especially young people who are more into technology……this is not always the case.
1st incident of fear:
Flying home to Windhoek (Namibia) from Johannesburg (South Africa) I sat next to two men traveling on business. They were talking to me about financial markets, derivatives, investments, playing the stock market etc. and trying to explain what they do. I asked – half jokingly – if they were the ones responsible for the financial crises…..they got a bit defensive.
They took a look at the iPad as I was reading a book and after apologizing for interrupting they asked if they could learn more about it since it is not available in South Africa yet. We had a discussion about how to use it and I showed them some of the apps I have loaded on it. They were genuinely interested and excited about the device, so I offered to have them interact with it and let me know what they thought…..NOPE. They didn’t want to touch it, in the event that they may break it. Adult learners from my experiences tend to be more nervous about breaking technology and fear looking like they don’t know what they are doing. I think this was one of those situations…..or maybe I just shouldn’t have mocked them for causing the financial meltdown.
2nd Incident of fear:
I was at the Namibian College of the Art watching a friend (Wabei Siyolwe) conduct a drama workshop for aspiring comedians. After the workshop I showed the iPad to two students (1male, 1, female). Both students were excited to look at the device but only the male student would hold the device. I asked the female student if she wanted to play with it and her response was “no, I’m not insured for it. Uh uh, if it breaks my parents don’t have that kind of money”.
While I am quite happy to be selfish and have the iPad all to myself, how will I learn anything if no one is willing to touch the device.
Date written: 20 May 2010
World count: 415