Image: maned goose GeoGlance There are some days in a classroom where technology can just make a fool of you in the public arena and you have to learn to carry on to ensure your tech cred is intact. The advantage is students can see you can have problems too. It will also make you more tolerant of their tech problems. Books don’t freeze up, they don’t suddenly make content disappear , nor do they suddenly display rubbish. Is that a reason to keep books? No. They weigh a tonne. I have become aware this week of just how much weight we drag around when we want books in our classrooms. Time to move on and just deal with the issues. I had a class of 32 year nines for the first time yesterday. I wanted to play the slide presentation I had embedded in a movie programme for a different sort of educational experience. Mrs. Goose had NOT taken the timings out of the slide presentation. So I am teaching , and the students are looking at me and when I looked at my laptop…my presentation was playing away merrily. In that instance they had to twiddle their toes while I quickly changed the automatic settings to mouse click. Two minutes later we were on the learning road again. Mental note – save all presentations as plain mouse click ones before I enhance them! In those sorts of circumstances I always go to my box of tricks and come up with something clever to assure students I am not a tech incompetent. I showed them the video I had made with my presentation embedded and told them they would be able to do that when they got their laptops in a couple of weeks because I would show them how. Reputation rescued. The next double lesson was my senior students. We were setting up their blogs and half way through one of the blog pages in the dashboard just displayed all wrongly. It was useless to me. So I asked, as you do, whether it was my problem or everyone’s? Some students said they could see the page properly so I just asked if I could come and use their laptop at their desk. It’s not a huge class. I held the laptop up for all to see. The students use their trackpad. I am holding the device in my hand and Skinner and his rats came into play. I tried to use to laptop screen as a touch screen and scroll the page down. I then worked out I couldn’t hold the laptop and scroll it with the track pad. Strike two. I just asked the girl if she would scroll it for me and I just kept talking. I was laughing. It was soooo dumb. I laughed and talked and we got past that bit. None of yesterday’s Mrs. Goose behaviour could compete with last year’s episodes of draw the screen in the air. First we were having wifi problems and then we were having server problems so for a while our Net access would drop out. I just used to stand up , go to the non electronic whiteboard, and draw the screen or stand up, wave my hands in the air and draw an imaginary screen. I am lucky I know my web pages so well I can remember what they look like. Given some students had web access and others didn’t , like me, I survived that. There were times where they too drew the information and went home and followed the instructions and quickly got the tech stuff done. You have to keep talking, you have to keep moving and you shut things down quickly rather than waste valuable teaching time on technical problems. In the end it all gets resolved and yes, maybe you do make a goose of yourself. It’s funny, though, and a good way to test thinking on your feet.
Filed under: classroom, e-learning, methodology, personal influence, software, technology | Tagged: e-learning, methodology, Teaching for Effective Learning, tech difficulties, tech problems, technolgy outages, technology, technology in the classroom, technology mishaps |