So, the title is a little over dramatic, but it's definitely how I felt yesterday. On Wednesday, the PC I use for preparing teaching materials crashed - something about a new district update causing some machines to totally lose it. Knowing that I could not depending upon my school laptop, I brought all of my personal devices to school as backup. Turns out it was totally necessary.
I turned on my old desktop I keep at the front of my room to connect for sub videos and for emergencies. I opened my Google Slides presentation and... none of the images I inserted into my slides would display. Perhaps one of my Macs would do the trick?... nope. With minutes until the beginning of class I moved to plan D, chalkboard and poster paper. My guess was that since both PCs and Macs did not display the images correctly, it was a server error. I took out my phone and pulled up my presentation on Google Slides - my images were still there!! Since I was connected to my LTE network, this confirmed my suspicions about the nature of the error. I was able to view my presentation on my phone and copy the relevant notes to poster paper for students to view and copy.
Examples were written on my chalkboard (I used to have a whiteboard, but it was cheap shower board and stopped erasing, so I brought the chalk board back to life) and we were ready to go!! By 2nd period, I was able to revive an old MacBook with the Promethean software I needed (I only had it on my work PC laptop). Eventually, the server error was fixed and my original images displayed on my presentation by 3rd period. By the end of the day, my PC was returned to me, and I was even able to get my AirServer program working to mirror my iPad to my Promethean board. While each class experienced varying levels of tech, I was proud that I did not let the errors stop me. There is always a plan B, plan C, plan D for every day. While many teachers get frustrated about inconsistent tech, I've found the more you learn to troubleshoot these instances, the more willing you are to embrace tech and feel good about your backup plans. Perseverance can overcome even the trickiest days. What is your biggest tech struggle story? How did you handle it? Please share it in the comments below!!
Mattea Garcia is a passionate creative educator dedicated to improving the student experience. This blog is dedicated to reflections on educational technology tools, instructional coaching, and educational equity.