Screen blindness Why seniors can’t follow instructions on the screen.

This is what happens when an adult or senior is so terrified about tech that they forget what words on the screen mean.

Me: Just fill out this form on the iPad.

Senior: I can’t … what do I put here.

Me: … your name.

Senior : I can’t I don’t know what to put here

Me: …. it says your first name.

Senior: My what ? Do you mean my name

Me. … Yes

Senior …. but what happens if I get it wrong

Me … Nothing

Senior …. are you sure?

Me… Yes because I programmed the form. if you get it wrong we will just update the information.

To be clear this person is far from stupid.

In fact they used to be a teacher. However their brain is playing tricks on them and the fear of tech is in total control. The same form printed out on paper with even smaller type they had no issues.

Nobody is immune to screen blindness.

Under stress our brain goes into fight or flight mode. This means that even obvious answer are ignored or even perceived as a threat.

Another example: Driving. Back in California I almost hit a dear. (Kind of like hitting a Roo but they have pointy bits on their head. I a swerved and ran unto a ditch. I was so flustered that I forgot how to drive manual transmission. It had to stop and calm down before I was able to drive again.,

How do you avoid screen blindness …. exposure.

In our computer basics for seniors class, I’ve intentionally crafted an environment where mistakes hold no weight. Each computer within our shop undergoes a complete reset after every use. This means that even if someone who feigns ignorance about computers attempts to disrupt our training machines, they’ll find everything back to its original state within an hour.

The core idea behind this setup is to foster an atmosphere where our senior learners can freely navigate without the fear of making errors. As the proprietor of these computers, I’ve relinquished concerns about what they click on or explore, provided they don’t physically harm the machines.

This strategy emulates the learning approach observed in children when they first engage with computers. The absence of fear acts as a catalyst, allowing students to delve into the learning process without inhibition. By eliminating the pressure associated with potential mishaps, our students can engage more deeply with the information presented to them.

This approach isn’t solely about creating a forgiving environment; it’s about facilitating a mindset shift. Instead of being apprehensive about every click or action taken on the computer, our seniors can embrace curiosity and experimentation, much like children do. It’s this freedom from the fear of consequences that allows for a more profound and lasting retention of the material being taught.

Moreover, this hands-on, trial-and-error approach enables a more comprehensive understanding of computer basics. It empowers our seniors to learn not just how to operate computers but also to grasp the underlying principles, empowering them to confidently navigate the digital landscape at their own pace.

Ultimately, by removing the barriers posed by fear, we’re enabling a more conducive and enjoyable learning experience, ensuring that our senior learners can absorb and retain essential computer skills effectively.

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