Food for Thought Friday: 5 Steps to Improving Discoverosity

In a previous post, I talked about the concept of discoverosity. I received several positive comments on the article; mostly, people wanted to know what they could do to foster discoverosity in themselves or in their students. Here are 5 steps to improving your discoverosity:

  1. Do not expect to be an expert in technology. Ever. Technology is changing too quickly for any one person to know everything. Do not be afraid to admit that there is an app, website, software or tool that you do not know. (You don’t have to worry about this one with kids.)
  2. Start with an app. In general, apps are easier to learn than entire software programs. Start by downloading a few free ones to your phone or to your tablet. Ask other people about their favorite apps for ideas. With your students, ask them to share any apps that they use at home for learning or have all the students look at a new app together in a group to see what they can learn.
  3. Give yourself plenty of time. When you’ve been presented with a new technology, don’t be afraid to invest a little bit of time “playing” with it. Expect that you’ll be looking through the help videos and/or visiting the support pages.  If your students ask how something works, don’t give them the answer right away…encourage them to spend some time problem-solving and testing.
  4. Look for tutorials. When I was first learning Schoology, our learning management system, I found many useful videos made by regular teachers on YouTube. In several instances, I found these videos to be more helpful than Schoology’s own videos.  See if  your students want to learn a tool and then create their own tutorials for their classmates!
  5. Abandon tools that don’t have good discoverability. Discoverability  (nope, I didn’t make up this one) is a term that means that the software’s functionality has been designed to be easily found out. After some time (see #2), if you think the tool is just too difficult to figure out, go find a better one. Sometimes you have to go through one or two competitors before you find a tool that works for you.

As always, let us know your thoughts @KristieLBurk #foodforthoughtfri or by commenting on the article!

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