Tuesday, September 2, 2014

What To Do When Technology Tanks

"I can't log in."
"The screen froze."
"My Apple TV keeps dropping."
"It didn't save and I lost my work."

These are all frustrating things we deal with as we strive to integrate technology in the classroom. I like to call them "technology tanks". Technology tanks are inevitable and can spell disaster for your lesson and discourage many teachers from wanting to use technology.  However, these disasters can be averted, even when the technology tanks strike, if you have procedures set up in your classroom to help things run smoothly while you deal with an issue when it arrises.

Just like any lesson has the potential to go differently than you planned, so can your technology components.  The trick is knowing how to deal with it in a way where you classroom can continue on beyond the speed bump.  We can use these technology tanks as a learning experience so we know how to deal with the problem if it occurs again.  The key is not to panic and transition to a back up plan.  Here are a few helpful tips that may help ease anxiety about trying something new and dealing with technology tanks.
  • Don't overdo it.  Rather than trying 3 new tools or strategies at once, choose one and focus on using it a few times until you feel comfortable.  Then, add something new.
  • Don't be afraid to try using a new technology because something might go wrong.  
  • Ask your Ed Tech to walk you through using the technology before hand, or ask them to be there as a support the first time you use it (they would love to help)!
  • If it isn't working, turn it off, and back on again.  It doesn't always fix things, but a lot of times it does help.
  • Work with your students to solve the problem (within reason).  Critical thinking skills are important, and often times someone in the room will have a suggestion that might work.  Student will appreciate the opportunity to show what they know.
  • If all else fails, go to plan B.  Adjusting is part of being a good teacher and it's important for students to see those skills on display!

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