Read a tremendous article in David Weinberger’s blog. It’s long, but well worth reading the whole thing. My favourite quote:

Pedagogically, we need to develop ways to speak about technical-scientific ideas that are not weighed down by jargon and don’t require prior knowledge, but are cognizant of the ability of people to deal with complex concepts. If you go to an art museum, it’s designed for adults. If you go to a science museum, it’s designed for children. You don’t have to write in one-syllable words and assume the audience wants to climb on the exhibit.

http://www.hyperorg.com/blogger/mtarchive/berkman_lunch_peter_galison.html

Wow. That’s exactly the approach we need to take within IT in the NHS. Stop treating people like idiots and they’ll (a) cope with some really complex concepts and (b) respond much more strongly/favourably to IT solutions. This is borne out in my own experience teaching staff about the blogs/wikis/newsfeeds stuff: these are simple concepts with complex interactions and wide-ranging implications for the workplace. It’s such a great feeling when you see people really “get” the concept, and it’s a high percentage of them that do “get it”, i.e. much more than 50% I’d say. So let’s start treating non-techie NHS staff as grown-ups, get them involved as participants rather than passive users. I’m willing to bet that approach could turn around a few IT projects.

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