Morning all (note the deliberate absence of the adjective ‘good’) …. As I was looking throug my emails this morning I came accross a number of interesting blog posts. Specifically, Jenny’s post caught my attention. So, I thought that I would share my own very recent technological horror and some thoughts on what to do when it’s all gone wrong.
Last night a friend and I decided to endulge in some light TV watching. We looked through the numerous DVDs and decided on Stargate: Atlantis, since it was a mutal favourite and I promptly set up my laptop and monitor as I don’t actually own a TV. The menu started to play and it was then that I noticed that although my laptop was plugged into the powerpoint, it was not charge. Thats odd. I thought to myself as I began to unplug the chord and plug it back in. But it still didn’t work. Pushing it to the back of my mind, we watched an episode. Once it had finished I checked again, and it still was not charging …. 20 minutes remaining on the battery. Hmm … i might just quickly back up my uni files onto my hard drive before it runs out of battery. But just as I plugged in my hard drive, the screen went black. So, my assignment for this subjct is stuck on a laptop with no battery or way to charge it … hopefully something that can be resolved and quickly. I really hope that I don’t loose the assignment and have to start again, I would not be happy Jan.
It can be entremely frustrating when technology does not work when and how it is supposed to! The wifi goes down, the computer crashes, your printer breaks, the eftpos machine isn’t working. First world problems right? Check out this youtube clip for the all time greatest technological failures.
However, this got me thinking: what could I do if I had of been in a classroom, and suddenly lost all power. HOw could I continue on with my lesson if the majority of the content was ICT based??
According to Techhub technological implosions happen every day in tech-centric classrooms. Sometimes it’s because the network can’t handle the increased traffic, students can’t log in due to a glitch, or the website server goes upside down—really, the reason doesn’t matter. All that matters is your effort to modernize a tired lesson plan fails, leaving you more technophobic than ever.
Lets be realistic though, technology will fail. In that way, it is very human. Perfection is well outside of its programming. Therefore, as teachers we need to be prepated for when it does fail. AKA keep back ups of files constantly (this one would have really helped me!), have some hard copies just in case etc.
Techhub also offers some more alternatives:
- Know the basics. I’ve found there are only about 20 problems that account for 80 percent of the downtime. The top two: If the computer won’t start, check to see if it’s plugged in. If power isn’t the problem, reboot. Those two solve about half of the tech traumas I face in the classroom. There are 18 more I’m equally prepared to handle. Track yours by writing each down as it happens. Soon, you’ll find it’s the same ones over and over—the tech version of Groundhog Day.
- Google the problem. Lest you think that’s too geeky (it’s not). But I understand your fear. It’s so common that it has its own website called LMGTFY.com. That’s an acronym for Let Me Google That For You. Before you become that LMGTFY person, grab your keyboard, slam those words into the Google search bar, and see if there’s a solution. There will be about 70 percent of the time.
- Be a risk-taker. We preach this to our students, but does that mean teachers too? Well, yes. Make that who you are. Grin in the face of problems. Model solutions. As Edwin Cole famously said, “You don’t drown by falling in the water; you drown by staying there.” Don’t drown. Don’t stay there. Stand up and you may discover it’s only an inch deep.
- Build in Alternatives. Many times this year during the nation’s premier tech-in-ed conference—ISTE—the Internet didn’t work and hence, presenters couldn’t access their presentations. Most handled this with aplomb either with screenshots or animated descriptions of what might have been. No one quit and walked off the stage.
- Don’t apologise. Save the apolodies for something you’ve caused.
^^ That last one I think is very important. You haven’t failed because the internet crashed or your computer chord stopped charging the laptop; some things are simply out of our control. the important thing is that we learn what works and waht doesn’t and develop new ways to combat technological failures!
Happy studying amigos!