Fix technology with technology

cat Image: Pinterest

A lesson for wearing my #notperfecthat and just walking through the issues in a calm, considered way. I could have done without it, but technology is very much there to teach you how to be a good problem solver. I wanted to show my class a couple of their blogs so we could clear up some misunderstandings. The students had actually provided the materials on their own blogs so I could easily explain. One of the benefits of getting students to blog is you quickly find out what the learning gaps and misconceptions are and you can use their blogs and your own resources to set them straight very easily. It creates an authentic learning continuum. My interactive whiteboard decided to be difficult. First the projected screen size on the board was too small. I fixed that with the remote as I was explaining. I was just about to get going with the student blogs I wanted to show and the board lost the connection altogether and 3 resets, as I talked, did nothing to resolve that. Deep breath. My students have laptops. We put the addresses of the blogs I wanted them to visit on the whiteboard . I told them to read and look for themselves at what I was talking about and to leave a like and/or comment on the blogs they were visiting. In the meantime I was trying to get my connection back. The students enjoyed being able to independently look at the blogs. The students who were being visited were very proud and pleased to be able to help. It was all very positive , genuine learning and sharing. I got back to my board and the lesson carried on except for 5 minutes my laptop just would go into screensaver mode ( it is not set for that) and half way through a practice sentence the whiteboard image would shutdown. I just logged into my laptop again and after a few minutes it just stopped misbehaving. Had I not been able to get back onto my whiteboard/laptop interface I would have chosen the whiteboard only option or connected my iPad and used that. It  is important in a technology driven classroom there are technology options for when things play up. As it turned out we had a good lesson where we shared a lot of information and learning and the students did not add to the problem. They were seeing ways of helping resolve the issue and keep us all on track. We did not get side tracked or off task. We problem solved as a team because I was clear about what we were learning and doing. Wearing our #notsoperfecthat meant we had a real sense of achievement in the end.

Get your interactive whiteboard out

Promethean PlanetCan’t get your Promethean Board working with Mavericks? I couldn’t either. Each time I have upgraded the MacBook OS I have had to fiddle around with the Promethean Board software and this Mavericks update has been the most challenging. The fix for Lion did not work on Mavericks. The active logo top left of the board was not calibrating the board .It was bringing up the file menu and that was all. My pen wouldn’t work. I removed all the software and downloaded the new version of the software on the Promethean site. I was really impressed with how nice it looked and how much better it had been set out. Drag and dropping files onto the flipchart was easy, searching for files was easy and inserting media was easy. My pen was still not working. You also discover you type straight onto the flipchart from the keyboard. I like that. The board image is clear and functional in a classroom setting. In the end the technician sorted it all out for me. She changed the display setting to 1280 x 800 and recalibrated the board from the menu in the top toolbar of my MacBook desktop. Technician magic! It was all working again. My year 8s were so happy in the lesson at the end of the day. They especially love it when we use the Promethean software and they can see my awful drawings as I teach them French. They love and value interactive learning which is why I was pleased to see the Promethean software looks better than ever. My year 8s seem to like to run a conversation with me as I teach and the Promethean software allows you to do that. They will pay attention to things on the board for a little while but past that point they want to be actively engaged and so you have to have  tools to teach them according to their needs. An interactive board does that. In actual fact it is making far better use of my resources than before because I can aggregate them on the board when I want to or just focus on one thing. It’s all easy and effective.


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