Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Network failure ... DON'T PANIC!

A couple of weeks ago I hosted a twilight training session for SNITT students and was really looking forward to working with them. Although we have ipads at Roydon I was very aware that the students needed time to look at resources that many Norfolk schools have, like IWBs, textease, Espresso, visualisers,  beebots and free resources like photostory3 and movie-maker. I also thought it important to have a practical session, but point them in the direction of theory/paperwork. I wanted them to have a positive experience with ICT

Unfortunately, like one of my OfSTED observed lessons a few years ago, the network had a meltdown. Fortunately I didn't. I think that my defence mechanism of not feeling responsible for  out-of-my-control technical failures is one of my strengths. Still, it was a bit embarrassing and a bit disappointing - especially as I was wanting to give them a positive experience. 

Luckily, there is always a plan B. The beebots and probots just came out earlier than expected, easi-speak chatterboxes and microphones were modelled and played with and I recounted my digital literacy project. The ipads were used as an example of where schools can go next with their tech (and showed perfectly how versatile and practical these 'shiny things' are). I was very grateful that I had them and they filled a gap whilst the laptops were slowly logging on. 

So what have I learned from this? Well I will definitely check the network during the afternoon next time. I will also ask my digital leaders to be on hand, to accompany the students to other rooms to support them individually to use the IWBs and visualisers in case my room crashes again. 

I was very grateful for the loveliness of the students - and that their mentor Jayne said 'Beebots' when I was having a 'blank moment' of disbelief about the network fail! Maybe this experience has shown the reality of ICT in school? It will definitely be better next time!

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