Classrooms / eLearning / Mobile / Uncategorized / Web 2.0 Tools

“Oh shoot!”… Ah-ha Moments with Technology

Photo by Tiago Daniel. Licensed under Creative Commons.

In February of 2010, I was sitting in a coffee shop on Anacapa St. in downtown Santa Barbara, trying to put words to why I deserved to be a grad student.  Not just a grad student…an educational technology grad student.

The application deadline was mere days away, which added haste to my task.  This is the way I prefer to work, anyways.

Barely a year-and-a-half into my first technology-related job, I needed to say something that would put me in the “good pile” of applicants.  What do admissions people want to hear?  What sets me apart from the rest?  Well, I decided to write about ah-ha moments.  You’ve had them, whether you know it or not.

Flash forward to November 20, 2011.  I’m half-way into the second year of my masters program, but am thousands of miles from my school, and equally distant from doing any real work.  It’s 2am.  My brother and I are sitting on a couch at my parent’s house in California, sharing the latest and greatest viral YouTube videos on my tablet.  He’s  struggling to type keywords into the search box.  After a few minutes, we find his video and tap the play button.

The video viewer is small and I’m having a hard time making out the words at the bottom of the screen.  “Here,” I say.  I lay both my index finger and thumb on the screen and spread them, enlarging the video and type to a viewable size.

“Oh shoot!” (smiles & laughter)  “That’s so cool…hahaha.”

Yep, he had an ah-ha moment.  I don’t care what tool, or function of a tool (for that matter), you are talking about.  I love these moments when a human being realizes that something was built for them.  Built for them; it’s nice to hear, even nicer to feel.

 We make tools for people.  Tools to create, tools to communicate.  The age we’re living in, these tools surprise you… That’s why I love what we do.  Because we make these tools, and we’re constantly surprised with what people do with them.

Steve Jobs

D5 Conference: All Things Digital, 2007

Well, as you can imagine, I was able to make a strong case for my admission and was accepted.  The best part about it is that I was sincere, 100% honest.  I meant it then, and I mean it now.  And I still have ah-ha moments myself.

So what ah-ha moment comes to mind for you?

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