Earlier this week in my grad studies, the topic of technology reliability arose. I am sure we have all been in a situation where we spent countless hours designing a presentation or staff session to only have the technology fail at the last minute. This happened to me recently in a PD session on Read & Write Gold 5. Having server issues in our building, I knew that there was a chance staff would not be able to log on to computers in order to learn the technology. On the day, our server failed. Because I was prepared for this, I had a back-up plan, and was able to move forward. Several local accounts had been created allowing staff members to work in groups as we navigated through the software. My colleagues left learning a new technology, not talking about another reason to dislike computers.
In our class discussion, Dr. Eugene Kowch (2012) explained that, in regards to technology, you only get two chances to make the technology work. Once it fails the second time, you must move on because you have lost your audience. Furthermore, in today’s world, blaming the failure of technology for not being able to execute your session is no longer an acceptable excuse. Consequently, you must have a “Plan B”. While this surprised me to learn, it made sense as well. Even after one attempt with the Read & Write Gold 5 software, my colleagues were not overly receptive. However, because I was able to immediately move to “Plan B”, they were still able to engage.
Research states that common obstacles facing technology integration include knowledge, skills, confidence, access, and time (Banas, 2010). Moving forward in my practice, I plan to always prepare an alternative method to deliver instruction. While the delivery may not be as engaging, knowledge and skills will still be acquired, limiting obstacles that impede technology integration.
BANAS, J. R. (2010). Teachers’ Attitudes toward Technology: Considerations for Designing Preservice and Practicing Teacher Instruction. Community & Junior College Libraries, 16(2), 114-127. doi:10.1080/02763911003707552