Teacher Tap

Technology Fails

Be prepared for failure. Whether it's your net connection, a computer virus, printer cartridge, or a video projector, it will be down, out, or just plain dead at the most unexpected and inconvenient time.

Distance learning requires contingency planning. Think through what you will do when disaster strikes your class. This may be as simple as having a spare bulb handy, carrying a zip drive with a backup disk, or being prepared to postpone a due date if the server goes down. Another approach is to have an alternative plan, perhaps backup technology. Transparencies of a PowerPoint presentation, a print copy of your outline, or a fax machine are possibilities.

This type of planning is especially important for courses that are dependent on a particular technology. What will you do if the server is down for an extended time? For instance, keep a backup copy of your web class pages on another server or a hard drive.

Adapted from Virtual Sandcastles: Teaching and Learning at a Distance by Annette Lamb and William L. Smith.


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