Monday, April 4, 2011

When the technology fails in a 21st century

The question was posted "How do I handle it when something I have planned has a glitch?"

It is important that your students be involved in the problem solving process. Remember that they are digital natives and the idea of work arounds is familiar to them. Allow them to take some ownership over solving the problem. Is there a different program to be used? Could you convert items into a different format? Be clear in the learning objectives and the tasks required of the class. This is one those places that we as teachers and digital immigrants have to get out of our own way. We don't have all the answers.


  1. I have started to incorporate the Smartboard into my lessons and classroom, since that is my ILTP goal. Something that My kids tend to just say..... “touch that button” and never really give me a why. I would like them to say, “Touch the button that looks like an eraser, because it probably would erase.” or “click on the paint can, I know if I paint something it will change color, so maybe if I click on that button, it will change colors.” I want my kids to know the reason behind something they do. I think that glitches or troubleshooting some of the "small and minor details" could be minimal if students process the "why" behind something they are doing. Just a thought. :)

  2. Yes Brook including the why or details in explanations is something that is a struggle for my students across content areas as well. I think it's just something that you can model and probe out of them. Asking follow up questions then repeating the entire answer including the why would give them a clear understanding of what you expect.

    Kathleen, I think including students in the steps of problem solving can be very meaningful. It makes me think about how my students always instantly reach for the power button behind the computer desktop when their activity loads slow or they click the wrong tab and something strange pops up. It becomes very frustrating for me and my students as the computer loads even slower and seems even more "messed up." I think taking the time to teach them a few problem solving skills such as asking a neighbor, raising your hand, checking to see if the page is still loading etc. before just turning the entire computer off. This would lower the frustration for everyone and save our computers.