Tech support issues are by often by their very nature really frustrating. You might prefer one of those within easy reach of your desk, but the realities are that this is just not feasible. Hopefully you understand that that the school isn’t in a position to have a technical person on standby in every corner of the school, “just in case”. What would they do the rest of the time, when there is no emergency?
For non 'emergency' the IT support system is working (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) But what happens if it is an IT 'emergency'?
First, let's define that word in this situation. Google defines it as:
- A serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action.
- Arising from or needed or used in an emergency.
For our purposes this really means:
- A serious, unexpected, and often desperate situation requiring immediate action.
- An IT problem that effectively halts a teaching/learning situation.
The IT support team already have a system for escalating response time for IT emergencies, if you make the URGENCY of situation clear in your email, they will aim for a response time of about 15 minutes.
As always, planning and prevention is the best cure, so with that in mind, please consider:
- Always take some time to ensure that the technologies your are relying on are functioning before you need them.
- If presenting to an audience make time to set up and troubleshoot any problems before the audience arrives. Bear in mind a class is also an audience.
- If presenting to a large audience, eg an assembly, you can request IT support to attend before the start of the session to assist with any potential IT issues. Please provide plenty of notice though.
- Always, always have a plan B, ideally an ICT Free Plan C as well.
- Not ALL emergencies are IT emergencies. If you are unsure check with the IT support guide, here.
- Avoid reliance on one screen (like the IWB); lessons structured around multiple screens are better for learning anyway, and far less susceptible to computer catastrophe.
Last, but not least, always bear in mind ...
- When computing, whatever happens, behave as though you meant it to happen.
- When you get to the point where you really understand your computer, it's probably obsolete.
- The first place to look for information is in the help section where you least expect to find it.
- When the going gets tough, upgrade.
- For every action, there is an equal and opposite malfunction.
- To err is human ... to blame your computer for your mistakes is even more human.
- He who laughs last probably backed-up.
- If at first you do not succeed, blame your computer.
- A complex system that does not work is invariably found to have evolved from a simpler system that worked just fine.
- The number one cause of computer problems is computer solutions.
- To screw up is human, to really screw up properly requires a computer.
- A computer program will do what you tell it to, not always what you want it to do.