Troubleshoot basic software, hardware, and connectivity problems common in digital learning environments

As a teacher technology leader and instructional technology coach, there have been many times when troubleshooting is necessary in order to allow a lesson to continue or to be able to use a certain technology. I like to involve students in that process and value their contributions to show them that they too can troubleshoot. In addition, I like to show them that we all have problems that need troubleshooting at times, even me as the teacher or technology coach. However, I think a major shift is necessary. I’ve seen many teachers who are hesitant to troubleshoot and become frustrated or give up if technology doesn’t work. I wonder what that is communicating to students and this is something I ask in my post Troubleshooting for All. I do understand being frustrated, but I also would like to empower both teachers and students to become more and more independent in their troubleshooting capabilities. The indicator refers to troubleshooting that is common in digital learning environments and I think that is a key term. Many of us use technology everyday, so it is my thinking that we should acquire some of the skills to troubleshoot the technology we use. As teachers we can help model and teach these skills to students, because they will likely need them now and in the future. Here is some of my thinking from my post about why we should provide more troubleshooting teaching to students.

If we are looking to empower students to be creative thinkers and problem solvers then troubleshooting should be a skill they acquire. It has been my experience that my former students are some of the most eager people to troubleshoot technology problems. When I reflect on my classroom practice from past years, I think if I had strategically provided them with these resources they would have been even more independent in their use of technology and in finding solutions for problems.

Finally, in my post I reflect on why we should be advocating for increased troubleshooting responsibility now. Often stopping to think about a system instead of an individual instance can help guide the change we want to happen, and provide a framework for why we should do that work. If we think about shifting practice across our entire education system, we will need to find a communicate the value of troubleshooting to all.

The way forward could help to shape classroom cultures, mindset and the entire environment of  a school or district. If we are willing to be patient, resist the urge to provide answers, model our own troubleshooting with both staff members and students, and encourage flexible solutions to problems then an important shift can continue to happen. Our goal as technology leaders should be to help spur this change.

Troubleshooting matters! For more information see my complete post Troubleshooting for All

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