Putting learning technology in the back seat – where it belongs

At its best learning technology should disappear into the background, allowing the learning to shine.

At its worst technology is so much in the foreground that nothing else is discernible (enter video conferences where participant faces look like something a Star Wars make-up artist dreamed up while on drugs).

Recently, while doing some training in Turkey, I discovered an example of putting technology in the backseat.   Check it out.

I was interviewing Sara Mitaru in a local recording studio for an upcoming newsletter.  She’s a United Nations designated Messenger of Truth, musician, mama to be and entrepreneur.  When it came time for our ride to pick us up the driver was no where to be found and what’s more our plans had changed: we all wanted to go out for dinner together and later the Africans wanted to get some groceries.

This posed a problem as the driver spoke no English and we spoke no Turkish.  How to communicate the changes?

Enter technology in the ever helpful background.  Above is a picture of a local Turkish speaking musician dictating the name of the place we wanted the driver to take us …. in Turkish…. into an IPhone app on Karun’s phone.  Karun later played the recording to the driver.  Below is a recording of what it sounded like.

Et voila!  Technology in the background, learning up front in the driver’s seat.  Where it belongs.


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