Re: Reminds me of a story
"Honestly - it doesn't matter who you are or how old you are, if you can't understand how to use a computer mouse (which was designed for the non technical) after an hour and be able to click on a simple icon then frankly you're just thick."
On similar lines, lots of software interface people talk a lot about "intuitive use patterns", which, if you you have no similar past experience to draw on, are anything but intuitive. Pensioners back in 2002 were quite unlikely to have any experience whatsoever with anything even vaguely resembling moving an object around on a surface and relating that to something moving around on a screen.
Dealing with that age group myself to some extent 20 years ago, I found it worked best to use the sort of education methods used in schools in the 1950's. ie repetitive rote learning rather than flashy, exciting, interactive, attention grabbing and engaging learning that people are more used to today. It worked really well to get over the basic of what a mouse is and how to use it. Once that was done, moving on was much, much easier when liberally sprinkled with relevant analogies that the older generation could properly relate to.
It's a less of an issue now, but back then I found many younger instructors assumed levels of knowledge and experience based on that young persons entire (but short life), experience the older (long lived) students simply didn't have. They got treated as idiots, to some extent, despite often having wide ranging experience of life, systems, processes etc that the instructor probably couldn't comprehend.
Reminds of the one 85 year old guy that a colleague referred to as "a bit dim" but was actually a retired senior engineering designer who could still tell you anything you need to know about mechanical engineering. Once I took him asside and showed him the relevant basics that he'd not yet been shown, he was away and sailing on the PC ant within weeks was showing the other instructor (the one claimed this guy was "dim"), was showing him so very advanced engineering related uses for the PC that the instructor obviously was not understanding. It made me smile.
Oh yes, I should add that explaining the mechanical design of the mouse to the 85 yo engineers helped a great deal in his almost instant and thorough grasping of what it did and how to use it. Back then pretty much all mice were the mechanical ball and roller types.