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Epic Tech Fail

Bill Ferriter at the Tempered Radical has a great idea to raise awareness about being digitally resilient, Epic Tech Fail Day. a brilliant idea and i would expect as much from bill because he generally knows what buttons to push to get people thinking. well, looking for my epic tech fail has been little tough. don’t get me wrong, i’ve had plenty of rough waters to navigate through but it seems like i’ve learned so many lessons, been burned so many times, that it has been a while since a fail of epic proportions has occurred, but it didn’t take long to think of a tasty nugget from a mere 3 weeks ago!
our group has done some terrific work with our online courses in an effort to create sustained, ongoing professional development opportunities for the teachers in our district. one of our more recent courses features an archived/recorded version of a webinar we hosted a few months ago. the course is about online tools that can be used to differentiate instruction in your classroom, really good stuff if i do say so myself 🙂 the webinar is an overview of aspects of differentiations and types of tools prevalent and available for use, it runs about 40 minutes and was not a requirement of the course but we felt like making it available for those interested in viewing it would be a nice set up for the online course. we had some nice early returns about how useful and informative it was and we were all ready to break our arms patting ourselves on the back when we got an email that said the webinar was not showing. surely this was just some sort of user error, after all there were folks telling us they watching it and how much they felt it was useful. after logging in and finding it would not, indeed, show we started to look for answers. the answers were not what we expected. it appears in the changes and transitions of the summer months a bill had not been attended to and the webinar was no longer available. oops. more than a bit embarrassed we were able to hide that section of the course through the learning management system and thankfully there haven’t been many questions as to where it has gone.
i could have freaked out. i could have gone on the rampage looking for the person who i could blame. i could have taken a solemn oath NEVER to use recorded webinars in online courses again, but i didn’t. in fact, i didn’t do any of those things. in the interests on honesty, i know a few people that might have done all of the above, and i’m a bit saddened by that. i did the damage control, responded to a few email questions, sent a few email inquiries and hoped the issue could be resolved soon. most importantly, it gave me the opportunity to consider what i can do differently to make sure this doesn’t happen again, and at the end of the day isn’t that what an epic fail is all about? you do the best you can at the time, put in place provisions, hopefully get a good laugh out of it, and look for ways to avoid it next time.
i like the idea of thinking about our epic fails, i look forward to hearing about the tech epic fails of others.

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Posted by on August 1, 2010 in cube life

 

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handheld palooza

having wrestled with “gently used” equipment yesterday in an effort to download programs that we need for our big event next week, it had me thinking how quickly technology becomes outdated.  it seems like the window of relevance on so many items is getting shorter and shorter and it seems to be the desktop computer is simply going to be a thing of the past very, very soon.  if it’s not portable, it just seems to be a dinosaur.  perhaps if i had the pleasure of using the newest and shiniest yesterday i wouldn’t have that feeling.  personally, i find myself reaching for my iphone a lot quicker than i do flipping open my macbook because its just a quicker process.  i am not making a case to get rid of standard computers, perhaps i’m making a public acknowledgement that the age of the smart phone, in my estimation, has arrived in my life and i don’t look forward to ever going back.  how many times to make the comment about websites that should have a mobile version or iphone app?  its not about changing the way i live, its about finally having a tool that fits me.  i’m thinking about all the technology that we will be using and teaching next week and how much of it can be accessed and manipulated on a handheld smart phone.  lots.

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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no snake oil here

its no easy task to craft the perfect argument and i feel like that might be what i’m gearing up for on june10th.  like everyone in my group, technology seems to be consuming us recently, but it’s not in the way you might guess.  in the face of so many reasons to not embrace the ease and innovation that technological tools can bring us,  i am finding it difficult to gear up for all the “yes, but” moments that our technology mini conference may bring.  on the one hand, why would someone sign up for a 2 day technology focused professional learning event just to show up and talk about why these things cannot be done but stranger things have been known to happen.  i’m trying to prep myself by running through all the possible barriers that might be brought to light but in this case the best defense may be a good offense.  in thinking about how we roll out these tools and the messages we send early, and often, we might be able to head some of this off at the pass.  doesn’t it stand to reason that if we can highlight the invaluable aspects of these tools and really build the desire to make them a part of the classroom then our job may be done?  that is why i believe that so much hinges on the “wow” factor.  what is going to be done in our breakout sessions in the first ten minutes (brain rules anyone?) that is going to give you not only the right to be heard but also hook the audience and allow them to see the concrete possibilities for their classrooms and also the limit possibilities that exist when these tools are used appropriately?  the countdown is officially on, and one way or another my questions are going to be answered in a short 21 days.  i have no magic answers, or special catch phrases that are guaranteed to work and win the crowds over, we’re just going to have to bank on their vision and ability to see what can be done.

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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