Cope with technology meltdown

23rd March 2007 at 00:00
Technology is transforming the classroom. There's a revolution going on, and it's not in the pottery lessons. Although pottery does revolve and is a form of technology I suppose. (Discuss.) But no! I want to teach at the cutting edge, health and safety permitting.

I've seen the future and it not only works, it comes in a range of colours and keeps my seat warm while I'm at lunch. Connect me!

Good. Because the photocopier has jammed. Sleeves up, time to unclog.

Don't we have an IT person for that sort of thing? I've got a lesson to teach.

Didn't anybody tell you? You are the IT person. You know when you switched the head's PC off and then on again? That was your interview.

So what do I do if the whiteboard breaks down during a lesson?

Correction: it's when, not if. Always have a back-up lesson that doesn't need to be plugged in, uploaded or beamed down from somewhere. Try using, and I know this is mind-meltingly radical, a book. Books don't break down.

Unless you accidentally set fire to them with your data projector.

But if I absolutely have to get this DVD player working before we can go on?

Keep control. Don't say, "amuse yourselves, class, while I crawl around on the floor entangled in wires getting occasional shocks". How about a class discussion on a technology theme? Great robots in history? R2D2 versus Bender from Futurama? That should stall them long enough for you to remember to switch it on at the wall.

It does make you think, though, how fragile we are in the face of incessant technological advancement, how much it frees and enslaves us... The human spirit was not shut down properly. You may lose unsaved work Stephen Manning

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