I know when I’m rushing from task to task and my computer freezes I experience passionate feelings and think not-nice words about my school-issued laptop. And I’m on the team that chose and handed out the laptop.
Many people love technology when it works, but when it doesn’t the tables quickly turn. My teachers are no different. However if they’re managing a class and can’t pause everything until the problem is resolved they start to distrust that technology will work for them and quickly fall back on their former tried and true methods. I’ve learned that if I want technology integration to last at my school I need to shorten their frustrations before they give up entirely. We’ve employed a few steps to ensure that happens:
A member of the tech team checks in with each teacher before or during homeroom. They personally make sure all technology is in order at the start of the day, before a critical moment in instruction reveals that the AV cable mysteriously bent overnight. (Hint: “When is the last time you restarted your computer?” is one of the most important questions we ask on those sweeps).
Step by Step Instructions
Any time there is any sort of technology change or new initiative from email logins to SMARTboard tricks, I follow up any verbal information with an email of step-by-step instructions and a saved document on the server so that teachers can get the information quickly when they need to use it. I find this more effective then monthly newsletters as my teachers may not read the email, but they’ll remember I sent it.
The teachers also have at least 1 up to 3 back-up contacts for any technology problem if I or the key tech team member they need is not available.
Would any of these strategies work in your school? Do you do anything similar already? Let us know here !