An unfortunate part of integrating technology into teaching and learning is that things do sometimes go wrong. For some, this is their cue to give up on the whole thing. But it doesn’t have to be.
I Need Help Now!
It’s an emergency. You need the tech to work and you need it to work now. Try these:
- Don’t panic. Seriously. Breathe. Look for any obvious problems. Chances are, you’ve overlooked something.
- Is it plugged in? Check that everything is plugged in properly. Video cables, sound cables, and, yes, power cables.
- Try turning it on and off again. I know it sounds trite, but it often helps. You don’t need to know why it works, but it so often does.
- Ask your kids to help. They don’t expect you to know everything, and they’re happy to help. Sometimes it just needs another set of eyes.
- If you have the option, plug in your ethernet cable rather than using WiFi.
- Close any unnecessary apps / programs. Use the menu bar to view your hidden running programs and close these by right-clicking on them.
- Look around. The best software is intuitive, but that doesn’t mean that all of it is. You’ll often find what you’re looking for if you slow down and look.
- Use in-built help. Many programs actually have fairly decent on-board help systems.
- Google it. You can actually solve a great many problems with a quick Google search.
- Buy some time. Get them started with something else. Hopefully and IT administrator or colleague can help you out.
Planning for Success
- Just like any other lesson, tech-infused lessons work best if you prepare. Try a few dry runs to see how it works before you go live.
- Have a backup plan.
- Chose what you use. You don’t have to use every new app that comes out. Get comfortable with about three to five apps and use those.
- Make sure that you choose the appropriate tech. Don’t use streaming apps, for example, if your school internet connection fluctuates.
- Don’t be embarrassed to ask a techie or a colleague to be on standby (if possible) during your lesson.
- Keep it simple. Yes, you can do some amazing things with tech, but the best lessons have fewer working parts, and thus less that can go wrong.
- Keep your computer clean. If you are a freeware junkie and you skip through those confirmation messages when you install all your free software, chances are, your machine is infected. Get it cleaned and develop some more discerning downloading and installing habits. Also, please stay away from pirated software.
- Learn some basics skills in the programs and apps you’re using.
- Learn how to create a custom Google Search.
- Learn how to use Safe Search – and, if they have their own devices, insist that your kids do too.
- Update regularly.
- Backup frequently.
- Save often.
- Carry your computer or tablet carefully in its case.
- Do a proper, full restart at least once a week.