Boost your tech know-how without feeling lost in the cloud.

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Whether making a diagnosis via Skype or using the cloud to run a leaner apparel business, technology is changing every field, in every workplace (physical or virtual). But it’s easy to become overwhelmed by tech. Here are three ways to boost your tech know-how without feeling lost in the cloud.

Make tech education a routine part of daily life.

Curate your social media to include outlets such as Engadget that deliver information about new tech developments, suggests Gulru Ozkan-Seely, assistant professor at the UW Bothell School of Business. Attend free events, conferences and workshops in the area (using a source like Eventbrite). “Conferences have specialized sessions for different fields,” Ozkan-Seely says, so you can attend a track tailored to technology in your field, whether business, medicine or nonprofits. Even a quick search of TED Talks may reveal new products and services. Want to dip your toe in coursework? A lazy Sunday afternoon could be transformed by working your way through a free Khan Academy technology class.

Manage technology, so technology doesn’t manage you.

Businesses move faster, and employees are more available, thanks to technology – but there are also increased interruptions, which can impact work quality and creativity. To manage attention, increase focus and stay innovative, know when to turn off the phone, silence email or close open windows.  “We need to balance being connected with knowing when to disengage to be more fully engaged and present in our work,” says Sophie Leroy, a UW Bothell School of Business assistant professor who specializes in organizational behavior. To focus on a high-level meeting, step away from the screen. And to keep up with new technologies, pick up a book or even shadow someone in another department to learn how a fresh business technology helps them, and to learn new skills.

Create room for advanced growth.

Even if you’re a great software developer, you might not understand technology’s impact at the executive level. “Allow space for transformational inputs,” suggests Sandeep Krishnamurthy, Dean at the School of Business at UW Bothell. These “transformational inputs” (game-changing information) can make the difference between where you are right now and where you want to take your career. Rising in the organization requires a complex understanding of strategy, globalization and supply-chain issues, plus a deep appreciation of customers and human behavior. Returning for an MBA or other advanced business-related degree gives an edge with a broader business understanding. As a result, you’re not just ahead of technology, but a technology leader.

More Advance Course

Thinking of going back to school? Visit the Advance Course special section for a useful mix of motivation and information for adults who want to continue their education toward a certificate, master’s or doctoral degree.

“Make room for deeper learning informed by research and knowledge of what firms need to compete better, of the success and failures that a good MBA program can provide,” Krishnamurthy says.

Turn technology from a necessity into an advantage. Learn how to use technology for innovation and growth with a Technology MBA from UW Bothell School of Business.