Plan ahead and be prepared when issues come up
Computers won’t boot up, a website is blocked, the internet is spotty -- there will always be days when technology isn’t quite working as planned. Here are some steps you can take to help you either prevent glitches or adjust your plan as needed:
- Practice the lesson ahead of time to ensure that websites aren’t blocked. If students can’t access images due to blocked websites, download a set of images that they can use or provide them with links to accessible websites.
- Check for firewall restrictions to the Applied Digital Skills website and other websites you might need. Ask your school or library administrator to provide access.
- Prepare a section in your lesson plan for an alternative activity that is not technology based. For example, if you had planned to teach the Write an If-then Adventure Story lesson, discuss the premise with students without watching the videos. Then, have students get into groups to brainstorm and plan out a rough draft. They can jump right in when the technology is working again. This teaches students to remain calm when things don’t exactly as planned.
- Consider asking a student or group of students who seem technologically savvy if they are willing to be the “tech expert(s)” of the class. They might be able to offer assistance or suggestions when there is a glitch.
- Group students based on how many computers are working. If there are multiple computers in a classroom and a few aren’t working, adjust the number of students in a group so each group has a working computer.
- Use the lesson’s video transcript. If you are unable to play a video, the transcript can be copied and pasted into a document. Once copied, you can read the transcript at a later time without the need for internet access.
- Download the videos to use Applied Digital Skills offline (you will need the internet to complete the initial download). Save videos locally to your computer (or to a portable storage device like a thumb drive) if your internet connection does not support many students streaming at once.
To download the videos, click the “Teaching Materials” tab of any lesson, then “Download All Videos.” From there, you can show the downloaded videos on a projector or screen for the entire class to see. When you reach the extension portion for an activity, have students vote on which extension they’d like to watch together. You can also assign the lessons for homework or extra credit (only if students have access to the internet at home, at the library, or in the computer lab).
- Use the newest and last prior versions of these browsers: Google Chrome, Firefox, MS Edge, Safari, and Opera for an optimal Applied Digital Skills experience.
- Use offline editing to use many features of Drive, Sheets, Docs, and Slides without the need for an internet connection. If you experience issues with videos freezing or not loading, make sure you’re running the most up-to-date version of your Internet browser. Read our Help Center article, "Supported Browsers" for other troubleshooting tips.
Remember that glitches are common, and if one occurred during your lesson, give yourself a break if you didn’t know how to fix it. Teaching with technology does not mean that you need to be an expert on the subject.