Tis the season for ringing phones, pinging email notices, and window-popping live chats and remote connection requests–often several at a time. At the other end of each is an often frantic teacher just trying to get through the mind-numbing business of getting students enrolled or logged in.

It probably sounds as though this is a bad thing. But honestly, it’s not! This is my favorite time of year, as I’m sure it is for all sorts of folks that work behind the scenes to try to make your classroom technology work smoothly for you and your students. This is precisely why we are here.

There is an excitement in the air as teachers return to their classrooms and reacquaint themselves with technology they haven’t touched for awhile. It’s always so nice to hear from a teacher I know and to meet the fresh meat–those teachers that have been thrown into a classroom with software or technology they had no idea they were expected to use. It’s my job to help you get started and find your way.

So what are some tips for making that return to technology go smoothly?

Do a Dry Run

If you haven’t already, log on to your new or old technology. Log on as you and log on as a student. Experience the technology from the students’ perspective. Don’t assume that your experience with it will be the same as a student’s.

Make sure everything seems to be working smoothly. You’ll obviously recognize errors, but also recognize things that might cause confusion for students. If the student logon or enrollment process is complicated, plan to spend 20 minutes or more just getting everyone ready to go.

Worst thing you can do? Walk into your classroom cold and expect technology to operate/cooperate seamlessly.

Know How to Get Help for Technology Problems in the Classroom

If you found any errors or forgot how to do something or have any questions that require help from your school’s IT staff or the developer of the technology, get started towards a resolution.

KNOW WHO CAN HELP YOU!

I’m sure your school’s technology department has a standard process for getting assistance. For me, the best way to get in touch is through our Live Chat feature. This is instantaneous. And, I can typically take care of your issue even if I’m on the phone or working on something else. It’s a highly effective way to get support today.

Make a point to check out the technology developer’s web site for support contact information and run your eye over the list of FAQs just to know what’s there in case you need it.

Be Patient (I know, that bites!)

These first few days and weeks of school are going to be crazy busy for your site’s IT team. The same is true of the developers of the technology. But the good news is, your patience will almost always pay off. We want to help. We may just have to dig a little to find a resolution.

The best thing you can do is provide the most accurate and specific information as possible. There are many times that the details that we ask for seem unrelated or insignificant at best. But in trying to resolve what’s ailing you and your students, trust us…we wouldn’t ask if we didn’t really need to know. Those seemingly unimportant details start to paint a picture. And that picture is what will lead to a swift resolution.

Of course, knowing a few basics about your situation is always a good thing. We’ll often need to know such things as what operating system you are using, the version and/or build of the technology you are using, and whether or not you are operating under any restrictions such as permissions and Internet blocking.

An Extra Tip…

Have a sense of humor. Technology problems happen to everyone at one time or another. You aren’t likely to escape this demon forever. Prevention can only go so far. So when your number’s up, roll with it. Your students are very technology savvy. They’ve been through a technological failure a time or two themselves. Have a laugh over it with your students, then either resolve or move on to Plan B for the day.

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