Unprogramming [part 2]

April 4, 2008 at 8:16 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I was eager to try a drop-in technology unprogram because of a recent technology infusion in our department. (If you’re wondering what in the world an unprogram is, take a look at the previous post for part 1.) My first drop-in tech session was a “Digital Photo Booth” using the iMac’s built in Photo Booth software. I selected this topic because it didn’t require much advance planning, the software is easy to use, and people love to have their pictures taken. What was my prep work prior to the day of? The only thing I did before the unprogram date was to sign up for a free Gmail account that I added to the iMac’s built in mail client. That allowed me to instantly send a person’s photo to an email address. In the description of the session I called this a “digital souvenir.”

On a recent Saturday I had the opportunity to give the drop-in unprogram idea a trial run. For two hours I parked myself (and the iMac) at a table in the lobby of the Beatties Ford Road library branch. One of the branch staff members sent a few people my way to get the ball rolling, and the unprogramming experiment was off and running. The actual setup was simple: Patrons stood in front of the iMac, I clicked the button to take a photo, and they instantly had a digital photo of themselves. That was just the hook, however, to get them engaged in the experience. If they wanted to know more about the iMac or try something else with the software, they were welcome and encouraged to do so. Several people asked, “Does it cost anything to take a picture?” and I enjoyed telling them it was free.

In the third and final part I’ll share how this experience moved further into the realm of unprogramming.

Jason

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