Halla Imam and Jose Guzman at Makerspace

The Zen Path to Learning New Technology

Have you ever wanted to use a new tech gadget, but were too afraid to try it? Or, you wanted to learn how to code, but thought you couldn’t do it? This happens more than you think, but don’t worry, it happens to everyone.  We will give you some tips about learning and teaching new technology that will ensure peace and tranquility.

Whether it is web development, learning to edit videos, or getting the hang of a new tool, patience and repetition are a must. Online tutorials and drop-in workshops are great support systems that can help calm your nerves. Figuring out your learning style will help you achieve success.

“Learning a new technology takes time; everybody learns differently and at a different pace. I need hands-on training and to use the software repeatedly” Rekha Morbia, Administrative Coordinator of KMDI-Semaphore. 

Also, learning to be patient has more to do with pacing yourself, not the software or gadget itself. By having patience with yourself you can learn to stop being intimidated by technology. It is about learning to be okay with making mistakes along the way, because eventually you will get it if you are diligent with your practice.  Think of it as failing forward.  Putting in effort and time leads to results, and that can especially be true when learning new technologies.

“The people here, Master’s, PhD, whatever, they aren’t here because they’re the smartest or brightest. They’re here because they keep trying and they stick around.” – Dr. Gabby Resch, PhD, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto.

In terms of teaching technology below are three helpful tips that emphasize time, effort and patience.

  1. Don’t skip steps and assume everyone knows the basics. Make sure nothing is missed.
  2. Focus on teaching concepts of the technology or program, not the results. That will come later.
  3. Understand people learn in different ways. Some people need hands-on training. While others learn better using theory. Use different teaching methods, and customize them to the student.

Most importantly, try to have fun!  You can create your own videos, marketing material, or even make digital artwork with some of these software tools

At the KMDI-Semaphore Makerspace we are aware of different learning needs and enjoy teaching students how to use different tools such as: 3-D printers, Arduinos, sewing and embroidery machines and more.  The KMDI-Semaphore Makerspace is a safe place where we give access and teach new technology to U of T students and faculty.  Come visit us!  Click HERE for current open hours.