How to learn how to use our devices: if at first you don’t succeed, ask for help and try again.
My 92 year old father and I Skype almost every night. We tell each other about our days, and keep up with each other between our face-to-face visits. The other night, he wanted some help. He’s teaching himself and learning how to use his smartphone for more than just calling. He’d taken a number of pictures and wanted to email these pictures to friends and family. However, he hasn’t yet connected his email to his phone and so couldn’t send the pictures directly from his phone. He’s struggled with this before, but he doesn’t give up. He keeps trying.
Another time when he had pictures on his phone that he wanted to share, he realized he had to transfer them to his desktop computer. He asked a visitor for help, and this man, wrote out the series of steps Dad needed to take. Dad was successful then, and, remembering that, this time had pulled out the list of instructions and worked on his task. When he called that night, Dad had already connected the phone and desktop, but was unsure of what to do and what was meant by “DCIM folder”. Now I’m a little shaky in this area, but I have learned that letting myself try, discover that’s a mistake, and try something different is a good way to learn. So I began a series of suggestions, long-distance and without seeing his desktop. We tried a variety of moves, and after some time, Dad and I succeeded in getting his photos moved from his phone to his desktop, and he was able to email and share the pictures. Success!
I really admire his persistence and his ability to keep on trying and learning. I believe I have a similar learning style when I’m trying to learn web stuff. First I set myself a task, a project, then I struggle, ask for help, and then, if I have to, I look up how-tos on the web, and just keep on trying. Occasionally I get frustrated and stop, but often I circle back to my frustrating project, and try new approaches. It’s so satisfying to triumph, as Dad and I did that evening.