You are ready to begin class and the computer won’t start. Or you are prepared to share a video but the sound system is not working. The video won’t load! The projector will not turn on! Now what? The first thought for many college instructors is to let the class go early. And while students may appreciate being let go early, that is not what they are paying for. Technology failures are bound to happen. It is important to plan ahead so that when a technology failure occurs, you are prepared to move forward with the daily lesson.
Who Ya Gonna Call?
It is imperative to store important numbers in your cell phone. This can make all the difference in being prepare to handle the situation and feeling empowered or wasting time trying to determine what to do, which may leave you feeling powerless. Ask your mentor who you should call if there is a technology failure. Save the phone number in your cell phone so you are prepared for a technology failure.
Have some activities prepared that students can work on. Have a question that they can write a response to independently, then they can pair up and share while you work to get things up and running.
Modify and Move On…
Consider ways that your lesson be modified so that you can carry on with the daily lesson ensuring students are exposed to the information. Below are three suggestions:
- Have students review information from the textbook jotting down the main points. This can be done independently or in pairs/small groups. Students can share the information that they discovered within a small group or to the entire class. As students share points that they wrote down, you can expand upon what is being presented. Add missing information or provide additional details related to the topic presented. Share an example to help illustrate the topic.
- Load your powerpoint into the Learning Management System (LMS). Students can use their laptops to follow along with the lecture on their personal computers. Students who did not bring a laptop or tablet to class can pair up with a peer and share his/her computer.
- Use the white board to jot down main terms or topics. Student can take notes by jotting down the terms and summarizing information that you share verbally as you expand upon each term or topic.
Key Terms and Personal Examples
Identify some main terms/concepts. Have students identify examples to illustrate each term. Tip: Personal examples are the best because making things personally relevant helps to retain the information. Have the students share the examples in small groups and select the best example within their group to share with the class. One student could be voted to write the example on the board or to share the example verbally with the class.
There are so many things that can go wrong with technology. It is not a question of IF but rather WHEN. Be prepared!