New Slide: Digitally Resilient

One of the first lessons that I try to teach colleagues interested in using digital tools in their teaching and learning is that they’ve got to develop a high level of digital resilience because stumbling blocks are simply inevitable in any school-based technology project.

“Don’t give up at the first sign of trouble,” I say, “because it certainly won’t be the last!”

(download slide and view original image credit on Flickr)

The question I’m forced to ask, though, is can we honestly expect teachers to integrate technology into their instruction when we can’t guarantee that they’ll have consistent access to the proper tools to do that work?

Each time a carefully crafted digital learning experience fails in a school because of blocked websites, antiquated tools, or technology decisions that are not aligned with a new vision for teaching and learning, integration efforts take a punch to the gut.

Enough punches to the gut and any teacher is bound to be left reeling, don’t you think?


5 thoughts on “New Slide: Digitally Resilient

  1. techApps teacher

    How odd to find this blog post today. I teach technology applications. My 7th graders were assigned a movie project, carefully planned out to allow them plenty of time to learn MovieMaker (free) and then get creative with it. We had countless random problems that I could not have forseen – missing shortcuts to MM, missing audio applications, missing codecs, corrupted files, permissions for each student to access materials in their own student accounts, never mind all the computers that would randomly freeze causing my students to loose their unsaved work. We had to have a heart to heart today about how I was going to grade their work since so many of them didn’t have a completed project due to no fault of their own. We talked about having to be happy with doing the best we can with the tools that we have. We talked about problem solving, finding solutions or workarounds. I know there would be tech glitches in the most modern lab, but the frustration that this project has brought makes me almost want to find another job.
    I have another class – a yearbook class. Our publisher updated their online software. Not a computer in our building can run it. I’m having to use my personal computer for the yearbook class.
    I have really no budget to speak of so I’ve been very resourceful with finding web2.0 apps but we don’t have enough bandwidth for all of us to even use our keyboarding progam – at least not without clogging up the pipe so that our teachers can’t access our online grading programs.
    BUT, I am committed to being DIGITALLY RESILIENT and to teach my students to be the same.

  2. Simon Oldaker

    There we go – something odd just happened with TypePad and it gave me a new identity there – the previous comment is actually mine. When stuff like this happens to an insecure teacher when working with pupils, they easily get scared off.


    Thanks for bringing this up. I find that the struggles teachers have integrating new technology are too often glossed over, making the discussion solely about the teacher’s willingness and /or pedagogical preparedness.
    I would add another challenge to your list of hurdles: inadequate support. To do something as simple as, let’s say, start a podcasting project with your pupils, many different things have to work properly (machines, software, connections, servers, etc.) We can’t reasonably expect every teacher to be an expert on all of these levels, but experience says that stuff often goes wrong, gets bugs, crashes or simply doesn’t work. Who is going to help the teacher fix things?
    I think that bad experiences with technical challenges are the #1 cause of teacher scepticism to new technology in the classroom.

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  5. Joeldart

    When you’ve spent a lot of time working on your lesson plan centered around web apps or some other Internet-powered app (ex Skype) only to find out it’s more than your wireless network is capable of handling, it’s absolutely enough to drop it altogether. I once was at a keynote about integrating tech and right off the bat nothing worked. The speaker was super comfortable and just pointed out that this is exactly the way it happens sometimes in class, and the challenge is being sure everyone understands that the potential of the digital learning experience is worth the risk. Brilliant quote “…it certainly won’t be the last.”

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