Many of us have been assigned the unusual teaching package of instructing our classes online this year. A year ago, that would have seemed unthinkable. Teaching students from their homes with their pets, music blaring, siblings crying and unreliable technology would have seemed like a tall order. But here we are.
For me, my assignment that I received recently is called the hybrid model. In a nut shell, I am teaching my students who are attending in person simultaneously with my students who have opted for online learning. The important note to this assignment is that all of my students have a Developmental Disability and a variety of complex learning needs.
With three days notice of this hybrid model assignment, my colleagues and I moved quickly to explore the technology required to make this happen.
This is what the last week has looked like as I prepared:
This was my face when my Smart Board’s touch screen function now required you to touch things 1 foot to the right of the item you want to open.
This was my face when my student’s Chromebook wouldn’t load Google Meet for some unknown reason even though every other Chromebook loaded it just fine.
This was my face when my hard drive in my personal laptop imploded during the training for this new hybrid model.
This was my face when my office email refused to work three of the last four days.
This was my face when my desktop computer in my classroom no longer started, my student’s live streams crashed multiple times and the volume refused to work on my student’s iPad when we removed her headphones.
For those who are having technology woes, I feel your pain.
I am sure that things with all the technology will look up soon. I remind myself daily that we should be very thankful that we have access to iPads, Chromebooks, Smart Boards, laptops and desktops. There are many students all over the world that do not have access to even one of these things to support their learning. Tomorrow, I will pick myself up and try to figure out how to problem solve our challenges. For today, I sympathize with your challenges and I feel your frustration!!
Good luck for the month of October!