Woohoo! How ’bout that new WebAdvisor system for drops? That was the best example I’ve seen in a long time of augmenting human capability. Imagine the collective hours saved of not having to locate the slips, look up the student ID, fill out the required info, sign them and either hand them to someone to deliver or deliver them yourself to the records office. If we could aggregate the time saved, we could teach a couple of extra classes. In the flurry of celebratory emails, I wanted to send one that said, “It’s about time.” However, I’m so glad I did not.
Guess what I did? In my exuberance to use the system, I deleted a student that should not have been deleted. So, the new system augmented by capability, but not my thinking. OOPS.
One additional comment about this system. There was not a high price to pay for the augmentation. Engelbart refers to the time and energy required to learn and use the system this way. Reading about his cards with notches and windows overwhelmed me with the price for that sort of augmentation. I’m glad the new webadvisor system has no notches or needles!