Monday, August 13, 2007

Old Dog - New Tricks

As the new school year rapidly approaches, I want to ask something I usually begin my workshops with. Do you know where the layout of your QWERTY keyboard came from?

No? Well, the placement of letters comes from a time when people could type faster than their typewriters could keep up. Keys would get jammed in a terrific mess of metal and ink. By placing frequently used keys, like vowels, in harder to reach places, users were slowed down.

Now, examine keyboard in front of you.

The placement of the keys has been the same since 1873. There are newer, redesigned keyboards that allow faster typing such as the Dvorak keyboard. Introduced in 1936 it arranges the keys for the greatest efficiency. But, overwhelmingly we use what is given to us.
What we have always known and are comfortable with.

Sound familiar?

Many teach how they were taught, and I won't belabor the point, but the world is different. It's flat right?

If I handed you a new keyboard, it would undoubtedly take time to unlearn how you type and relearn the new positions. During that time, productivity would down and frustration would ensue. Yet, with the understanding that ultimately, speed and accuracy will improve with time and practice until you have surpassed what you were capable of before.

Such is all new learning.
Don't let only what you're comfortable with limit where you can go!

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