Educators use technology very often during teaching because it provides tools that are easy to use and they are easily accepted be learners. Even though technology is evolving every day, there always technical problems that arise and need to be addressed, so that the process of learning can continue. The solutions to technical problems vary and depend on the nature of the problem each time.
Different kinds of challenges
There are different types of challenges you might encounter when engaging with technology:
personal knowledge and skills,
leadership and organisational issues.
The technical problems are always present because technology does not always work. For educators working in low resourced organizations, access to equipment, broadband internet.
There different ways to handle technical problems. You can either get support from the IT Support Service of the organization, try by yourself to find a solutions from internet resources or engage less technological means in your learning activities.
Problems with personal knowledge and skills are also widespread. Many people are anxious about using technology because they feel they do not know enough. Added to this, many people think that young people can use technology without any issues, and older people inevitably struggle. This not the case – for the young, or old. There are always course which teach how to learn through technology, and this is the most valuable knowledge you can have when beginning to design digital learning experiences for your own classes.
It is also worth remembering that there is one characteristic that marks out someone who is good at using technology – a willingness to try things out. This means simply clicking on a button to find out what happens, or having a go at a tool someone recommended. Just being ready try things out will give you most of the technological knowledge that the ‘experts’ seem to possess. And you can use your own experience as a guide – if you cannot use something easily, the chances are that your learners will struggle. Trust your own experience to choose which tools will work for you.
Even if teachers are willing to try and organization can be slow to encourage or take risks with technology. This often means that educators are forced to invest their own tools when it would be simpler if the whole school provided solutions.
It is challenging to solve these problems, but the more knowledge that educators have, the better able they will be to press for institutional solutions to this problem.
General tips to keep in mind
There are many different things that could cause a problem with your computer. No matter what’s causing the issue, troubleshooting will always be a process of trial and error—in some cases, you may need to use several different approaches before you can find a solution; other problems may be easy to fix. We recommend starting by using the following tips.
Write down your steps: Once you start troubleshooting, you may want to write down each step you take. This way, you’ll be able to remember exactly what you’ve done and can avoid repeating the same mistakes. If you end up asking other people for help, it will be much easier if they know exactly what you’ve tried already.
Take notes about error messages: If your computer gives you an error message, be sure to write down as much information as possible. You may be able to use this information later to find out if other people are having the same error.
Always check the cables: If you’re having trouble with a specific piece of computer hardware, such as your monitor or keyboard, an easy first step is to check all related cables to make sure they’re properly connected.
Restart the computer: When all else fails, restarting the computer is a good thing to try. This can solve a lot of basic issues you may experience with your computer.
Read the following scenario.
Let’s say you’re trying to print out invitations for a birthday party, but the printer won’t print. You have some ideas about what could be causing this, so you go through them one by one to see if you can eliminate any possible causes.
First, you check the printer to see that it’s turned on and plugged in to the surge protector. It is, so that’s not the issue. Next, you check to make sure the printer’s ink cartridge still has ink and that there is paper loaded in the paper tray. Things look good in both cases, so you know the issue has nothing to do with ink or paper.
Now you want to make sure the printer and computer are communicating correctly. If you recently downloaded an update to your operating system, it might interfere with the printer. But you know there haven’t been any recent updates and the printer was working yesterday, so you’ll have to look elsewhere.
You check the printer’s USB cord and find that it’s not plugged in. You must have unplugged it accidentally when you plugged something else into the computer earlier. Once you plug in the USB cord, the printer starts working again. It looks like this printer issue is solved!
This is just one example of an issue you might encounter while using a computer. Discuss this hypothetical problem with your peers and write down other suggested solutions. Deeside as a group and choose the best approach.
On this Finding Solutions to Technological Challenges Padlet you will find three columns for the types of challenges we face: technical, personal, organisational.
Under each column add a specific instance of a challenge you face relevant to that category. Then look at other people’s posts, and reply with a potential solution they could try.
Educators are responsible of the learning process in every classroom, physical or virtual/digital. They often face technical problems because the technology used is not always 100% reliable so they have to overcome these problems by providing solutions. They can try troubleshooting (based on the problem) to provide a technical solution but they can also try to identify personal knowledge and skills, leadership and organisational issues involved.