Sunday, May 18, 2014

Classroom Help Desk

As I was reading some stuff last week about 1 to 1 teaching, I came across something that kind of blind sided me.  What are the procedures in your classroom for when the technology doesn’t work.  I had not even thought about this and now that I am, I can’t believe I hadn’t thought of it.  This is going to be an important piece of a successful 1 to 1 implementation, and one that I’m guessing a lot of teachers have not thought about.  I’m not talking about when the network crashes at school, or the power goes out.  When that happens it will scrap any lesson plans I had and I improvise.  It’s not like I haven’t had to do that before.  

I’m talking about when that one kid can’t get logged in, computer dies, website won’t work, or some other individual technology catastrophe.  I say catastrophe because for the kid it is happening to, it will be.  I’m kicking around a couple of ideas right now on how to handle this, and I’m completely open to other suggestions.  I like the idea of turning this over to a “help desk” in my room.  Not sure how this would work but basically having a few kids who are really comfortable with technology helping those that are struggling.  Will this keep those kids from staying caught up or are they typically far enough ahead that it won’t hurt them?  

Another idea I have is to really work with the kids up front on trouble shooting.  There will always be problems no matter how well you train the kids but I think the training can go a long way to cutting these problems down.  What things do I need to teach the kids to do?  

I’ve had success in the past with using short videos for simple skills that the kids don’t seem to get.  For example when I was using movie maker in broadcasting finishing a move wasn’t hard but it was a multi step process with a couple pitfalls along the way that kids always got lost on.  I created a video on how to save, finish, and turn in a video.  I’ll be that video was watched hundreds if not thousands of times.  I actually quit teaching the skill and just had kids watch the video.  I will probably create a stable of help/troubleshooting videos for the kids to use.  I’m hoping to not have to create all of these but some will be class and project specific.  

What procedures do you have in place for troubleshooting these problems?

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