While watching an observation training video, I noticed the teacher accidentally turned off the projector and then did not get it going again for a while. The technology failed (sort of), and the teacher kept on teaching with little disruption to the lesson.
While this shows a fairly strong set of classroom/lesson management skills, it also shows that the tech was not particularly important. As I watched the rest of the lesson, I hoped to see something more than failed Substitution (learn more about Substitution and SAMR).
Setting my critique of the level of technology integration aside, I was reminded of my first edtech lesson from the week-long SummerCore in 1997: always have a plan B. In other words, be prepared in case the technology fails. At the time (and still, unfortunately) tech failed pretty often.
In other other words, if the lesson is only about the tech, it might not be a great lesson.
As for having a plan B, in the fall after that summer course, I was trying an Interactive Slide Lecture (from History Alive). I’d planned to show a slide (not a powerpoint slide, a real slide) and then switch to a graphic organizer on the overhead to model note-taking. In the course of the first 10 minutes, I blew the bulb in the slide projector and then in the overhead. Forget plan B, I needed plan C.
Have you ever needed a plan B during a tech filled lesson? Let’s hear about it.
Cross posted from Principal’s Point of View.