We grow at one rate and technology grows a thousand times faster!

I have to be honest. Lately, I feel like I’m the teacher that is afraid to turn on the computer. OK, it’s not that bad but I do feel like I can’t process one more thing. Since I need to know and I truly want to know it stresses me not being able to keep up. If I’m feeling that way, I can’t imagine how some teachers feel.

Keeping up with technology can be a challenge for many teachers especially teachers who only use technology in the classroom. Even more so if the teacher only uses it to take attendance or give MAP testing. Although I must say that by now we’ve been testing with MAP for over 8 years and you should at least know how to log-in! Sorry, I digress.

Considering everyone learns at different paces, and taking into account the less you use it the more you are likely to forget, it has been brought to my attention that it would make my life easier if I made “cheat sheets.” The cheat sheets should be printed on bright colored paper, laminated, and made in double quantity. My goal for this summer is to take some of the programs, reports, assessment, and anything else that I get called to help with and create the sheets. If anyone already has a few sheets to share, please do. The first one will be “What to check if nothing turns on” (Yes, there are times when I get called and all I do is plug something in).

The teachers that are new coming straight from college, for the most part, seem to have a handle on most of the basic technology needs. It is great when they help other teachers. One of the things, as we build our PLC community, is getting everyone comfortable with helping each other. I don’t always have time to help teachers when they need it which sometimes causes them more stress. But as they work with each other and they grow as professionals they all become more comfortable with at least clicking on the blue link.

When Tech Problems Happen

We live in a fast paced world where there always seems to be more to do than there is time in which to do it. Part of the reason for that is that we now have tools that, when working properly, allow us to do more work in a very short period of time. That is great when the tools work, and we know how to properly use them. But we do not live in a perfect  world. Things break. Tools change. New tools come down the line. These things happen in all industries, and education is no exception. The problem becomes acute when things break or change while the teacher is standing in front of a class of 30+ kids. Everything comes to a grinding halt because something is not working as expected. Not fun.

Picture of a locked computer cart.

Don’t let your chromebooks stay locked up unused because of a fear of tech problems. Instead, practice problem solving strategies with your students.

 

Some folks want to avoid working with technology because of these unexpected events. The problem with that approach is that it leaves students unprepared to live in the world that we live in. Students are going to experience problems with technology in life. They need to have real world problem solving strategies modeled for them. That is one way people learn! Next time you have technology problems don’t panic. Don’t put the computers away in frustration. That shows the students that when faced with adversity it is best to give up. That is not the message we want to send as teachers. Trouble shooting may not be the lesson you had planned for the day, but make the best of it. Figure it out, in front of the kids. Figure it out with the kids. And ask for help, in front of the kids.