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Spring Break Post: A Useful Rule of Technology




I was at a transitioning to 1:1 teaching conference earlier this month. At that conference I had the opportunity to speak with educators outside of our area. One of the teachers said something to me that I still think about sometimes. "If I had to make a back-up plan to every lesson, I am essentially doubling the amount of work I have to do each lesson and I don't have time for that."

That comment struck me by surprise as, since my first education course in college, I was taught to always have a contingency plan. In some ways, I get it. We as teachers have become reliant on technology always being there. Often my backup plans as a teacher involved a different tech tool, but did not anticipate a total network outage or power failure, and so on. What do you do if the technology does not work?

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If you're going to teach trainee teachers or colleagues just one rule about technology, it should be this:

It's not a question of if the technology goes wrong, but when.

That's obvious to those of us who have been around a bit as far as education technology is concerned, but not to those who haven't. In my experience, when something goes wrong for a teacher who has decided to use some ed tech perhaps for the first time, they personalise it. They think it must be something to do with them, or that they are naturally incompetent.


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