Becoming User Friendly:
Support, Sharing, and Smiles
Annette Lamb
The print paper is stuck, the system crashed, and I lost everything... does this sound familiar? For many teachers, technology equals hassles. Turn frustration into fun! The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything. This is the message of user-friendly technology leaders. This session focuses on ways to recruit teachers and provide practical, classroom-based technical and curriculum support. Explore ways to plan for positive teacher learning experiences and expand projects beyond the scope of the classroom. Finally, learn user-friendly techniques for dealing with people without saying "no" or making anyone feel "dumb". Remember, a smile is a passport that will take you wherever you want to go.
Becoming User-Friendly
  • The printer paper is stuck.
  • My system crashed.
  • I lost everything.
  • Turn Frustration Into Fun!
Make the best
  • The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything.
  • They just make the best of everything.
Find Fun

User-Friendly Recruitment

  • How do you encourage people to ask for help?
People are Reluctant
  • How can I cover the curriculum when I use technology?
  • What if I look silly?
  • Howwill this fit my schedule?
  • What if it crashes in front of the class?
Five Barriers to Asking
  • Ignorance
  • Inaccurate Beliefs
  • Fear
  • Low Self-Esteem
  • Pride
  • Canfield & Hansen
  • What's available?
  • What do I need?
  • What do I ask?
  • Who do I ask?
    • Give them info & choices
Inaccurate Beliefs
  • Prior education
  • Prior experiences
  • "Horror stories"
    • Show them positive examples
KidPix for Comparing
  • Rejection
  • Looking stupid
  • Feeling powerless
  • Humiliation
  • Abandonment
  • Obligation
  • Meet in secret!/
Low Self-Esteem
  • Insecure
  • Unworthy
  • I don' want to make trouble
  • I'm not worth the time
  • My needs aren't important
    • Give them encouragement
  • Shouldn't I already know this?
  • Afraid to appear weak
  • Fear people will judge me
  • Won't take advice
  • Can do it alone
    • Get them in a small group
Facing Fears
  • What's the best thing that could happen?
  • What's the worst thing that could happen?
  • What's mostly likely to happen?
  • Barriers to Asking
How do you help these people?
  • Ignorance
  • Inaccurate Beliefs
  • Fear
  • Low Self-Esteem
  • Pride
Characteristics of Askers
  • They know what they want.
  • They believe they're worthy.
  • They believe they can do it.
  • They are passionate about it.
  • They take action in face of fear.
  • They learn from experience.
  • They are persistent.
Why will people ask?
  • Attitude - want to learn
  • Need - wants to do something
  • Stimulation - pressure
  • Affect - jealousy, concerns
  • Competence - need to work
  • Reinforcement - achievement
    • Wlodkowski
Ask to Get
  • You don't ask, you don't get
    • Ghandi

Dealing with Failure

  • You can never learn less, you can only learn more.
    • R. Buckminster Fuller

Fear as Enemy

  • A man's doubts and fears are his worst enemies.
    • William Wrigley, Jr.


  • There can be no happiness equal to the joy of finding a heart that understands.
    • Victor Robinsoll

User-Friendly Approaches

  • Hang out in their territory
  • Work with their equipment
  • Use examples with their content
  • Try planning periods, in-school subs


Planning-Period Projects
  • Keep it short and simple
  • Focus on 1 skill
  • Focus on 1 doable application
  • Provide a review
  • Follow-up
PPP: Computer Skill
  • Focus on an application of the skill
  • Not "Windows"… organizing files
  • Not the "Network"… making a class folder
PPP: Teacher Resources
  • Focus on one, online teacher resource
    • Teacher Resource
    • Lesson Planning
    • Online Ezine
    • Professional Organization Site
PPP: 42eXplore
  • Choose a topic
  • 4 good web sites
  • information
  • instructional
  • Evaluate, select, design activity
PPP: Specific Software Applications
  • Focus on a particular part of an application
  • Enhancing photos:
    • selecting elements of pictures
    • brightness & contrast
    • cropping

PPP: Management Issue

  • How do I use this software package in my classroom?
  • Focus on:
    • scheduling computers
    • making assignments
    • designing support materials

PPP Things to Avoid

  • Learning a whole package
  • Big lists of sites
  • Doing it for them
  • Saying "this is really easy"

Be Proactive

  • Happiness is not something you get, but something you do.

Baby Steps

  • A small project will hold as much happiness as a large one.


  • There can be no happiness if the things we believe in are different from the things we do.
    • Freya Stark

Be a Model

  • Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
    • Gandhi

User-Friendly Planning

Key Program Components
  • Diagnosing & prescribing
  • Presentation of skill/strategy
  • Modeling or demonstrating
  • Practice - simulated or real
  • Feedback & Reflection
  • Coaching for follow-through
Software Integration
  • Focus on:
    • A particular topic & outcome
    • Software skills for an activity
    • Attitudes & anxieties
    • Individual teacher differences
    • Classroom management


  • Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them.
    • Leo Tolstoy


  • It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy that makes happiness.
    • Charles Spurgeon

Children First

  • Happiness is a by product of an effect to make someone else happy.
    • Gretta Brooker Palmer

User-Friendly Project Expansion

  • Recruit
  • Replicate
  • Expand
  • Observation
  • Bird feeder
  • Share pictures
  • Travel buddy
Asking for Involvement
  • Ask people who are ready
  • Ask with a positive expectation
  • Ask with conviction
  • Assume "we" can
  • Be prepared

Ask for Involvement

  • Be specific & clear
  • Focus on benefits
  • Ask with passion
  • Ask politely with a kind voice
  • Ask with humor


  • Let's trade science data, photos, poetry experiences


  • Happiness is contagious.

Start Locally

  • Make happy those who are near, and those who are far will come.


  • Happiness is made to be shared.


  • A kind deed is never lost, although you may not see its results.

User-Friendly Follow-ups

  • Handouts
  • Lessons
  • Web pages
  • Support
  • Expansion Ideas
Expand a Project
  • Create an online lesson plan, a model project
  • Add a collaboration aspect, a software element
  • Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.

Help & Let Go

  • Happy people plan actions, they don't plan results.
    • Dennis Wholey

The Impossible

  • The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible.
    • Arthur C. Clarke

Think Process

  • If you cannot find happiness along the way, you cannot find it at the end of the road.

User-Friendly Skills: People Skills 101

  • How do people feel?
  • Make a list:
  • What makes people feel dumb?
  • What makes people feel comfortable and confident?
Project Strategies
  • Speak their language
  • Focus on student outcomes
  • Try existing resources
  • Eliminate risk
  • Offer support
  • Provide rewards

Address Individual Differences

  • Teaching Style
  • Learning Style
  • Attention Span
  • Concerns

Help Teachers Find Focus

  • Professional Resources
  • Management Software
  • Computer Applications
  • Desktop Presentations
  • Multimedia Projects
  • Email Collaboration
Individual differences
  • Happiness grows at our own firesides, and is not to be picked in strangers' gardens.
    • Douglas Jerold

User-friendly words

  • Pleasant words are as honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.
    • Proverbs 16:24

Just Do It

  • Not what we have, but what we use;
  • Nor what we see, but what we choose.


  • It is in the enjoyment and not in the mere possession that makes for happiness.
    • Michel De Montaigne


  • Joy is not in things, it is in us.
    • Benjamin Franklin

User-Friendly When Frustrated

  • Dealing with Awkward Situations
Dealing with Problems
  • Requests are:
    • unrealistic
    • outside realm of project
    • taking too much time

Video Production

  • Quicktime Pro
  • Imovie
  • Avid Cinema

Handling Rejection

  • Start with "safe people"
  • Be a learner
  • Don't take it personally

Saying No

  • Don't burn your bridges
  • Be gracious
  • Ask an authority
  • Say no with a yes
As You Work
  • Clarify expectations
  • Provide choices
  • Give complements or praise

Alternative Strategies

  • When one door of happiness closes; another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.
    • Helen Keller

Fail Forward

  • Enjoy today and don't waste it grieving over a bad yesterday &emdash; tomorrow may be even worse.

Avoid battles

  • Part of the happiness of life consists not in fighting battles but in avoiding them. A masterly retreat is in itself a victory.
    • Norman Vincent Peale

Bring Happiness

  • Worry doesn't help tomorrow's troubles, but it does ruin today's happiness.

Take Risks

  • If you're going to do something wrong, at least enjoy it.
    • Leo Rosten

Becoming User-Friendly: It's an Attitude!

  • A smile can...welcome
  • A smile is the universal welcome.… break the ice
  • A smile is a powerful weapon; you can even break ice with it.… bring joy
  • A cheerful look brings joy to the heart.… confuse a frown
  • A smile confuses an approaching frown… a passport
  • A smile is a passport that will take you anywhere you want to go.
Final Thought
  • Life is easier than you think,
  • All you have to do is;
  • Accept the impossible,
  • And be able to smile at anything.
Find free, online resources at
Lamb Learning Group
Vision to Action
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 Created by Annette Lamb, 7/00