You’ve spent hours preparing a lesson, incorporating a wide range of resources from the Internet. You give yourself a pat on the back for having developed a rich, authentic learning experience sure to engage students with its heavy use of various technological tools. The students are ready, you are ready and then the Spinning Rainbow Wheel of Death appears. Your computer has frozen and your well-prepared lesson is effectively useless. All your efforts have gone to waste, leaving you with a feeling of failure and sense of “Why do I bother with technology?”
Technological failures in the classroom will be varied, frequent and inevitable. Technology will fail during learning experiences and it will continue to fail. In this way, it is actually very human! As teachers, we are masters of thinking quickly on our feet and always being 2 steps ahead. How often have you been in the middle of a lesson, realised that what you’re doing is not working so steered the lesson in another direction? In this sense, we are actually well-equipped to deal with the inevitable technological failures that we will encounter in the classroom.
So how can you use technology effectively in your classroom and what do you do when it fails?
Here is a great visual summarizing the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teachers Who Use Technology.
What do you do when the technology lets you down?