Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010 | Computer Usage
When it comes to technology Murphy’s Law applies: anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Imagine you have spent time preparing a lesson and you planned to use technology to present the material in an interesting way, but when you switch the equipment on, you discover that it does not work. You’re stymied!
You always need a Plan B when you use technology. This is true of any form of technology: computers, data projectors, interactive whiteboards, mobile devices and yes, even old-fashioned overhead projectors. Unless you have another trick up your sleeve, you will not be able to deliver your lesson when technology fails.
You must plan for contingencies, so that the time it takes to try fixing technology does not eat into your teaching time. Your best Plan B is to have an alternative activity available. Technology will not often let you down – once you know how to use it properly – but it can do so at the most inconvenient time. So be prepared!
What can go wrong?
The electricity supply is interrupted. Much of the technology you’ll use in the classroom is dependent on electricity. Continued use of a laptop or other mobile devices (such as cell phones and digital cameras) will not be affected by an electricity failure, but PCs and display devices such as data projectors and interactive whiteboards will be affected. You could install an uninterrupted power supply (UPS) system, but this is expensive. It can be argued that this investment is not warranted, as the use of interactive devices is not a mission critical activity.
The laptop breaks down. When this happens, and you have your lesson backed up on a secondary storage device (like a data stick) you may borrow an available laptop from someone else in the school and continue with your lesson.
The technology malfunctions. Anything can go wrong with any of the technologies you’re using in the classroom. Unless you are a technical wizard, there is nothing you can do about this, except to call a technician.
The possibility of technology failures must not deter you from using it – this would be like saying you’re not buying a TV set for you home because the power may go down or the TV set may break down. Just make sure you have a Plan B ready for an emergency situation.
For more technology tips for teachers click here.