Food for Thought Friday: Do you have discoverosity?

Discoverosity (1)by Kristie Burk

I’ve decided to make up a new word: discoverosity. Discoverosity is the curiosity within a person to discover how a program, application, website or other digital tool works on his or her own. In other words, it’s the measure of a person’s desire to learn a digital tool without training.

A conversation with a friend inspired this new word. A few months ago, the friend was at a software conference in San Francisco and he brought along a new camera tool. He told me that several people walked his booth and glanced at the tool, but  they did not use it. However, there were many attendees who not only picked up the tool, but also used it to create silly videos of the conference. Of course, they were not formally trained on the camera.  They not only tried to figure it out, but they also didn’t get frustrated with themselves for not knowing how to use it. These people definitely had more discoverosity.

In the next few years, we hope to foster discoverosity in the students and staff in the Downingtown Area School District. I strongly believe that discoverosity is a 21st century skill that will only become more necessary as technology increases. Truthfully, no one can learn everything there is to know out in the technology world, so everyone could benefit from improving his or her own discoverosity, including me!

I believe that the more discoverosity you have, the more successful you will be in this rapidly changing digital world. And by the way, discoverosity has nothing to do with age.

What is your current level of discoverosity? Here are a few things to think about:

  • How do you feel about new technology?
  • Do you get overwhelmed by new tools/apps or do they excite you to want to learn and use them?
  • How much time do you spend playing with a new technology just to see how it works before you get overwhelmed or frustrated?
  • Do you believe that formal training is always necessary when learning a new tool or app?
  • If you don’t know how a digital tool works, where would you start?
  • Do you feel uncomfortable not knowing how a function/icon works in a digital tool?

Next Friday, I’m going to give 5 steps to improve your (and your students’) discoverosity.  In the meantime, if you have any thoughts, suggestions or comments, please share them with us or tweet about them @KristieLBurk using #foodforthoughtfri.



  1. Most of my knowledge of technology (InDesign, Photoshop, etc.) that I use for my marketing/communications job has been self-taught. My approach is … I know this software can do what I need it to do, I just have dig in and figure it out. It’s fun to discover the solution on your own.


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