Making room for the unexpected and the unknown

I think one of the most profound responses to my post this week was when Matt remarked about my comment of a power outage disrupting my schedule.  He asked, “Is this was it is going to come down to?”  Wow… I never thought about that aspect.  Networking reliability is an issue, especially in Alaska!  Do our technology plans accommodate for network disruptions?  It would be important to make sure that our technology plans don’t result to “the haves” and “the have nots” because of location and unreliable internet and hardware accessibility.  Tech costs money, and not everyone has those resources.

That is one of the reasons behind my research for Impact of Technology in the Classroom: What are best practices for integrating technology to meet State Standards for 1st grade reading/writing with limited resources (hardware)?  It’s specific to a 1st grade level, because that’s the focus group I had access to.  But it’s an important aspect to keep in mind for Alaskan education.  We won’t always (if ever) have the newest and best technology available to our students.  So what do we do about it?  Good teachers are creative and pros at improvising a solution.  It’s nice to have ideas already in the repertoire for what to do when the unexpected happen.  ESPECIALLY with technology!  Boy, technology is wonderful when it’s working, but it’s a REAL pain when it’s glitching out!  And everybody knows it, which just adds to the stress.

And in reflection, many of us are in agreement that a technology plan needs to be a living document that leaves room for the unknown and unexpected.  And even the concept of allowing for students input is important too.  They just have a different perspective than we do, and that shouldn’t be taken for granted nor neglected.

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One response to “Making room for the unexpected and the unknown

  1. I loved your comment about technology being a REAL pain when it glitches out. I had a lesson planned during one of our data collection weeks that involved interactive response questions. The questions and accompanying graphics were to be displayed on my Smart board. That morning, the display port on my computer bit the dust. I did not have another computer available with the software I needed nor did I have time to set one up. My plans for the day were destroyed. Thankfully, I had a backup plan for the class but it did not provide a chance to gather any data. The kids didn’t seem to mind nearly as much as I did which made my plan B a little easier to swallow. When making lesson plans that involve any form of technology, we really do need to think about the unexpected. It’s the same reason we keep spare tires in our cars. You never know when life is going to throw a little debris in your path.

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