Warning: Normally I don't use this blog post as a forum for venting frustration, but I'm writing this today to ask, "Has this ever happened to you?"
My position here at St. John's has me spending a great deal of time working with teachers and helping them integrate technology into their lessons. While some of our teachers L-O-V-E technology and all the possibilities it offers them, many still approach these new tools with trepidation. It's a big step out of their comfort zone. While I applaud them for their willingness to take a leap forward and try something new, I'm frustrated when things just won't work as planned.
This happened last week while I was away at CUE Conference. I convinced our second grades to use Voicethread instead of Power Point for their Important Book Project. Classes worked for weeks making their pictures and recording video comments. When the teachers tried to present their final projects on Grandparents Day last Friday, Voicethread locked up and would not play. (NOTE: This Monday Voicethread added the ability to download and save projects locally. Timing is everything!)
Earlier this year 8th grade was all set to use MyBrochureMaker.com for a literature project. The site worked perfectly the day before, but when the time came for the students to start working on their projects, all that came up on their screen was the "Page Cannot be Displayed" message.
Today in the lab I had a class come in to work on a project using Kerpoof.com. I've used this site before and never had any problems but today it just wouldn't open. I posted my dilemma on Twitter and a few other colleagues shared that they were having the same problem. As a result I had to switch gears quickly and do another activity. While I can roll with these little annoyances, many of my new technology adopters see it as a reason NOT to use these new web tools and stick with "more reliable" crayon, pencil & paper projects. I can understand their feelings.
I've done enough trainings and presentations to know that the nature of all things online means that the one web tool you need might not work when you need it most. If that's true, how do I convince a timid teacher to replace their "always reliable" paper project and integrate these new web tools when they just don't trust them?
How do YOU handle this? I'd love to hear your thoughts. If nothing else, let me know I'm not alone here.