11 Humbling #EdTechFails That Prove You’re Not Alone (Whew!)
Posted by: Meredith May
Relax! You don’t have to be embarrassed or sheepish. Even the most tech-savvy educators have hiccups along the road we call the information superhighway.
This includes Edmodo teachers, who are among the most tech-literate professionals anywhere. To prove the point we asked our community of educators to share technology guffaws they’ve made or seen. Some are funny. Some thought provoking. Some downright puzzling. Buy they’re all understandable – because technology is complex.
Have a read and see if you can identify with any or all of these snafus. And keep the conversation going by sharing your story via Edmodo Topic #EdTechFails.
1. Draw your own conclusions.
“I once had a student that was using a drawing tablet, and instead of using the provided stylus he used an actual pen! When I saw it I was of course mortified … but I had to laugh!!!” Christina Centro Xabier
2. Doing it by the book.
“I used to be in a portable classroom, where the only technology was a computer and projector. I made it work like a smartboard, elevating the projector with a couple books and projecting images on the whiteboard to write with my markers. When I recently moved to a new classroom filled with the latest technology, I found that things weren’t installed properly. So I went back to my projector and pens on the whiteboard. I don’t think smartboards are that smart.” Alicia Duarte
3. Our insect video has a bug!
“For a lesson on insects I had a follow-up video. My students were waiting patiently, but NO sound! We checked everything, and our computer tech person did the same. Time ran out and the class was over. I went to check the smartboard and guess what? The sound cord hadn’t been pushed all the way in. Ha! Ha! Ha!” Cynthia Brawner
4. Great art in a Flash. Or maybe not?
“My 2nd graders were studying Alexander Calder and I found a great Flash-based website that allows students to build virtual mobiles. I had grand visions of them turning in screen captures of the mobiles through an Edmodo assignment. I asked their homeroom teacher to prepare students with their login info, which didn’t happen. So I spent most of class resetting passwords so we could continue ASAP. Then we had Wi-Fi issues that required restarting all computers. FINALLY we got to the Mobile Maker and saw each computer needed updated Flash, which I didn’t have admin rights to install. There was nothing I could do, so we all had a nice discussion on what to do when NOTHING goes your way” Ian Mullins-Zugelder
5. Hollywood here we come.
“I teach English as a Foreign Language, and we wanted to watch a movie but no one could make the audio work. Moving to Plan B, we begin the game “guess what’s going to happen next” — with students creating dialogues for scenes and “acting” them them out. It was stressful but wonderful in the end, as much later when we actually saw the movie, the lines they wrote were hilarious!” Cecilia Monserrat
6. Seeing the big picture.
“When I first started using a smartboard, I was not very tech savvy. One day I was showing a short video when my students asked if I could make it full screen. I told them this was as big as the picture gets. One boy politely got out of his seat, pressed a button and viola — the video was full screen! Never underestimate the power of this generation!” Brenda Osborne
7. Permissions require … well, permission.
“I received 10 iPads to use with my students. Not surprisingly, the students started using the camera on the iPads to take selfies instead of doing their work. To minimize the distraction I changed the permissions to turn off the cameras. Then later I set up a great lesson on using QR codes. The first class came and the QR codes didn’t work on the iPads! I couldn’t figure out what I did wrong! Then, second period, I figured it out – I had to turn back on the permissions for the cameras. Sigh.” Amy Sharpe
8. The power of a great song.
“My colleague and I were selected to present a technology seminar to administrators in our school district. Twenty five minutes into our presentation, the power went out. I was standing there with 25 administrators, principals and assistant principals all staring at me. What could I do but take out my cell phone, put on the flashlight, and sing “All About The Bass”. I thought it was hilarious. Administrators did not find it amusing.” Sheryl Place
9. Do as I say, not as I do.
“I planned an entire evening for parents and students. It was going to be a technology night with info for parents and lots of door prizes. When everyone arrived, I tried to start my presentation and nothing would show through the projector. Three of us who are tech savvy worked on it unsuccessfully for 30 minutes, and then I had to send everyone home. I was so embarrassed.” John Choins
10. The mouse that roared.
“30 years ago I began using computers, programming in COBAL before there were even mice. About 10 years ago I became a teacher and suddenly each computer had a mouse! I watched as people moved the cursor by sliding it on the mousepad. I slid the mouse but it stopped moving! So I slide the mouse up the side of the computer monitor and up onto the screen until I got the arrow to where I need it to click something. It’s one of those stories my husband feels compelled to share at parties.” Carrie
11. Up against a wall.
“I couldn’t get the laptop cart to work. I checked everything, and finally called in the computer resource specialist. I had tried to plug the power cord into the laptop cart, not the wall!” Christina Centro Xabier
Feeling better now, knowing that technology is something educators all struggle with on a daily basis (hourly basis?). If you feel like enlightening us with your story of technology gone awry, share via Edmodo Topic at #EdTechFails.