Even iPads aren’t always as intuitive as we think they are.

I just got my Mom an iPad with 4G, because she has access to her computer, wi-fi, DSL internet, or television.  (There is actually a TV in her room, but it’s welded to the wall, and is too far away for her to see.)

I thought to myself “What can be simpler than an iPad?  It’s completely intuitive.”

It turns out that it’s not completely intuitive, not when you’re an 89 year old lady who’s always been a slow learner when it comes to electronics.  “Point” and “swipe” seem to be elusive ideas for Mom.  I’m confident, though, that with several days (or weeks) of repetition, Mom will be able to read books, check her email, and watch news videos.

I’m counseling myself to patience, which is one of the many, many things I do not number among my virtues.

This is by way of an explanation for my continued diminution in blogging.  Right now, my family needs me.  Their needs trump my blogging.

Be Sociable, Share!
  • socratease

    socratease, the sketch took me way back to 1988. One morning when I came into work I saw this huge really huge computer on my desk. I didn’t know what it was and asked my employer about it. Every bit excited, he explained it was a “computer” and it would make my work so much easier. I explained to him that; a) I don’t dust on the job, b) it was entirely too large to serve as paper weight.

    Oh my, how times have changed.   

  • http://OgBlog.net Earl

    You’ve got your priorities in the correct order, BW…..
    Not always easy, but right nonetheless.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    They are intuitive to people who have a flexible mind, like a child. Your mother does not qualify for such a consideration.

  • michal

    “Point” and “swipe” and then throw across the room. I’m very good at learning new things but that one just doesn’t work for me. I am not so ham fisted that I can’t sew or embroider or glue on a sequin or play the guitar. but I cannot get those pages or whatever they are! to glide across the screen. Some one told me I need a stylus. 
    You mother has my sympathy.
    I also can’t get the elevator buttons, the flat touch kind to realize that I am there and alive.

  • Jose

    My father decided to learn to use a PC at the same age. I found the most productive way for him to learn to use the mouse was through playing solitaire. Good luck.

  • http://callanprimer.com kali

    I’ve helped several technophobes with computers and found the greatest success with asking them “what do you want to do?” then writing out a detailed, step-by-step process that they can look at later, in private, as often as they want.
    One of the necessary skills of tech support is recognizing when people don’t understand, but they’re too embarrassed to admit it. Writing out instructions also forces the instructor to put down all the intervening steps that they glossed over because they’re common knowledge–except for the newbie, they’re not.

  • http://OgBlog.net Earl

    kali:  That makes me laugh….when I was teaching (Biology, not tech) and the tech guys would come to the office to “show me” how to do something, I drove them crazy because I made them slow down (STOP!  What did you do – exactly – to get that to happen?) and I wrote EACH step.  Then I typed up a Word document and saved it in a special file for next time.
    I did the same thing with populating my grading program – I only did it once/semester, and in the interim, I’d forget the details of what steps were needed to do what…..so a list of steps took care of it for me.  I shared that list of steps more times than I can count, with teachers in other departments that I never met, but who used my lists!!

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    I tend to teach people the steps by making them do them. That is the best way for them to remember. When they forget, it’s easy to see what they forgot.