Tech Happens...What to do when you have technical difficulties?

Hello!  This is Tina here.  I have been absent for some time when it comes to blogging.  I have set a goal for the upcoming school year to blog more often.  To refresh people's memories, I am a fifth grade teacher in Milton, WI.  I have been teaching 5th Grade for 19 years now.  Wow, time has flown by!

I have been working with iPads with my students for almost four years now.  Every student in my classroom has an iPad Air 2.  We are very fortunate to have this technology in our classrooms.  My upcoming blogs will be about how I integrate technology into the classroom and various apps or web 2.0 programs I use.  In addition, I will share some advice to make the transition from a traditional classroom setting into a 21st Century learning environment.  Feel free to use my resources.  If you have any ideas to enhance my suggestions, I'm willing to listen!

Troubleshooting Tech Issues...

At the beginning of the school year, I experience some issues with students when they begin using technology in the classroom.  When students enter my classroom, many students come with various skill levels in the area of technology.  I have students who are "afraid" of technology, I have the "happy clickers," and everything else in between.  My goal as an educator is to get everyone onto the same page.  This takes time.  By the end of the first quarter, every student has the same level of skills in the area of technology.  To speed up the process this year, I created a poster called "Tech Happens." When I experience technology issues in the classroom I am calm and relaxed.  I often use the phrase, "Tech Happens" which I adopted from the phrase, "Life Happens."  This poster will be on display in my classroom for students to use as a resource.  I will also be sharing it out with my parents.

For the second quarter of fifth grade, my students are required to take their iPads home and return them daily to school for classroom and homework usage. I realize many parents struggle with assisting their child with tech issues at home. Hopefully, this resource will assist both students and parents.

Embracing Tech Problems

We are working with 21st Century Learners, as a result, how we instruct students and educate them has evolved over time.  One skill as educators we know we need to teach is problem-solving. When we have technology issues and we ask students to try to solve the problems on their own, they are learning real world problem-solving at its very core!  In my classroom, we use the phrase "work around."  When we have a technology problem, what "work around" can we use to solve our problem? This is why one of my suggestions on the poster is to place the learning into the hands of my students and have them solve their own tech issue.  The students who solve their tech problems share their "work around" with the class.  I also cannot stress the importance of modeling how YOU as an educator solve tech problems.  I do it all the time in my classroom, but never realized I did it until one day a student made a comment to me.  She said, "Mrs. Nording, you always find a way to solve your problem!" Wow, what a powerful statement!  

Lastly, in my classroom, we like to use the phrase, "When in doubt, shutdown and restart."  It is a catchy phrase my fifth graders leave my classroom with.  I have overheard them sharing the phrase with their friends in other classes.  Feel free to use the phrase and see if your students like it!

Creating the Poster

I thought I would share with you quickly the program I used to create the poster.  It is called Piktochart.  I have used this program to make many posters for my students.  I created the poster using the free version.  Click onto their logo and you will be directed to the website.

Until next time...happy creating!

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