nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,

How to help someone use a computer
Computer people are fine human beings, but they do a lot of harm in the ways they "help" other people with their computer problems. Now that we're trying to get everyone online, I thought it might be helpful to write down everything I've been taught about helping people use computers.

First you have to tell yourself some things:

Nobody is born knowing this stuff.

You've forgotten what it's like to be a beginner.

If it's not obvious to them, it's not obvious.

A computer is a means to an end. The person you're helping probably cares mostly about the end. This is reasonable.

and so on.

I wish I'd known this earlier. I wish I'd never read anything from BOFH. I think this applies to a lot of teaching generally, and I hope I haven't made too many of the implied errors.

Link thanks to womzilla.
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