Fear of technology is real.  It is probably the #1 obstacle in getting technology integrated in our classrooms or even our personal life. If we techie types ignore these fears or trivialize them we risk losing trust and damaging relationships – and we all know learning is all about relationships.  On today’s show we will talk about the fear of technology and share some thoughts on how to face it, fight it, and move past it.

Lessons Learned

Dennis – If at first you don’t succeed, try again.  If at second you don’t succeed, try again. If at third you don’t succeed, try again…

Chris – The difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is this: Successful people do the stuff unsuccessful people shy away from.

Fun Fact

Epic Tech Fails that Changed the World for the Better


AOL: Introduced a generation to ISPs,  instant messaging, email, buddy lists that presaged social media groups… wow!

Blackberry: Made iPhone possible. First real mobile, capable of surfing, texting, and emailing all from one small device. That clunky keyboard may have helped kill it, but it paved the way for the mobile devices of today.

Napster: Established large files sharing as the norm and put the largest nail into the coffin of the venerable CD. Now, all we do is share files. It came before iTunes, Spotify, AmazonMP3 … you name it!

Notes & Links

Overcoming Technology Fear

Top Teacher Technology Fears

  • I’ll be in front of my class, something will go wrong, and I won’t know how to fix it. (Fear of looking like an idiot in front of your students.)
  • I don’t understand how (technology tool) works. What if my kids have a question that I can’t answer? (Fear of looking like an idiot in front of your students.)
  • I’ll spend all this time working on something and I’ll lose it, and have to start all over again. (Fear of lost or wasted time)
  • I might accidently click on the wrong thing and… (Fear that I’ll break something I can’t fix/fear of the unknown)
  • Kids might see or do something inappropriate.  (Fear of not being in control)

ASK: What’s the worst that could happen?

“Identify Your Fears Instead of Your Goals” – TED Talk by Tim Ferris  https://www.ted.com/talks/tim_ferriss_why_you_should_define_your_fears_instead_of_your_goals#t-789895

“We suffer more often in imagination than in reality” – Seneca

Tim Ferris’ 3 Page Strategy for dealing with fear.

  • Page 1 – Define your fear, what could be done to prevent it?  And if you can’t prevent it what could be done to repair it?
  • Page 2 –  What are the benefits of (even a partial) success
  • Page 3 – What is the cost of inaction? If I don’t do or try something out of fear, what is the downside – not just immediately but in future.

Fear of new technology can be minimized by allowing time to “play” in a safe environment where risk is minimalized.  Where you can learn, make mistakes, and it’s okay. Often – because of time constraints – new tech is employed and used for something “mission critical” before a “comfortable level of understanding” has been reached.

Identify a support structure and a strategy for what to do when you need help.

If we are going to teach Growth Mindset, then we certainly need to exemplify Growth Mindset. That means embracing failure as a natural series of iterations toward success.

How to Use Failure to Your Advantage



  • Don’t dismiss or trivialize fear.
  • Focus on it. Dissect it.  Is your imagination worse than your reality?
  • Define it. What’s the worst that could happen. Be ready for the worst (have a plan B). Have strategies for preventing it.
  • Weigh the upside potential vs. the downside risk.  (Cost of action vs. inaction)