Thursday, April 9, 2015

Helpful Students


Projectors and speakers have recently been installed in all the classrooms in the district. Each teacher has been issued a laptop that plugs into a control center so that anything from that laptop (or the document camera that also came with the system) can be projected for the class.

It's a great setup. But it's prone to problems. (Learning a new system...)

Anatomy & physiology class. The teacher left a documentary on the Bubonic Plague. (Not sure how it relates, but I'm just the sub...) Gone are the days when you feed a tape into the VCR and hit play. Way gone.

I logged onto the computer. Inserted DVD. I found the Windows Media Player. (I'm limited to what's already loaded on the computer.) I got it to play. Success.

I turned on the speakers. Got sound.

3rd period arrived. Fingers crossed, I warned them that it might or might not work...

And it played without a hitch. Whew.

To 4th period I said, "Everything worked perfectly last period..."

Famous last words. I know better! I really do.

The projector worked. The video started right up. The audio...

These new installed speakers are going to be the death of me. I have had to show videos in a handful of classes, and the glitch is always in the speakers. I don't know why.

So, the troubleshooting began. I knew everything was plugged in correctly as it had worked the previous period (and I hadn't touched any of the wires). I checked to make sure it wasn't on mute on the laptop. I ejected the DVD and reinserted it. I restarted the computer. (I've had a bit of experience with this, and while the rebooting was last resort, the other fixes fixed it in prior classes.)

Of course, the whole class witnessed this. So, of course I got "helpers".

There's always a couple who come up to "help". I'm sure in many circumstances their help is actually helpful. I know many people who aren't comfortable with the technology. I, however, am.

They suggest stuff I've already done. So, I stand back and let them try. Because they don't seem to believe me when I tell them I tried that.

They played with it to no success. Then I tried one last thing...

There's this knob that switches the audio input from AUX 1 to AUX 2 to CD. It worked just fine on AUX 2 for period 3. For period 4 the fix was to switch it to AUX 1.

*headdesk*

And then it worked perfectly for period 5. After switching the knob back to AUX 2. (Then the next day when I had the same group, if the sound didn't work, all I had to do was switch that AUX knob to the other and the sound worked. Go figure.)

Perhaps next time it'll just work...?

Do you step in to "help" when someone is having technical difficulties? Do you need someone to help when you attempt anything with technology?  

Today's A to Z Challenge post brought to you by the letter...

Sorry, H not available for the giveaway

33 comments:

  1. That's frustrating. I don't step in to help, but I'm usually the first one that people look to for help. Which is really interesting when it's my parents calling long distance with a computer problem...

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  2. My answer to the first question is: I usually don't volunteer to help, unless it's a problem I'm confident I can fix because I've fixed it before or, more commonly, because the user's technical skills are a bit lacking. *cough* grandmother-in-law *cough* As for me needing help, I'll turn to my husband only after I've spent, on average, an hour trouble-shooting to no avail, which thankfully doesn't happen that often.

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    1. Sounds a lot like how I do it. When I have a choice.

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  3. That would "freak" me out with this system because I am so technically challenged. No, I usually run away from problems when technology seems to act up. Was the video worth it?

    betty

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    1. I thought it was interesting. Them, not so much. But as there was no backup plan for them (picture a class with nothing to do for an hour), yes, it was worth it.

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  4. I cannot count the number of failed experiments and technical errors during my teaching years. The students soon got used to it: Did you try...or maybe.

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    1. That's why I try to troubleshoot on a prep period or before school. When I have that option.

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  5. Your post makes me smile. I don't know what I'd do without students to help. Yesterday a first grader helped me when I was trying to show pictures from China to the class. At home, I'm lost without my tech savvy kids.

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    1. Good thing they were there to help.

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  6. Oh I remember kids doing that with the teacher but I was not one of them. I am technology challenged so I get help from my ex, bro in law or my niece

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  7. I wouldn't say I step in for help. More like dragged in. But of course there always has to be those who want to get right in the middle of things. Those students probably wanted to show off how technologically savvy they were.

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  8. Surprisingly enough, I am the technical person in our house. I say surprisingly because my generation is generally not very familiar with computers. But I kind of got in on the ground floor years ago and I wound up doing it for a living.
    I have to admit, I am not a very patient helper.

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  9. I smiled as I read this! My job for the Department of Health from 2007-2013 was "multimedia coordinator." They had hearings where they discussed licensing issues with doctors, nurses, hospitals, paramedics, etc. We had this sophisticated (for 2007) system but do you think the attorneys and state employees knew how to work any of it? Nope. So every time they'd have the slightest problem, they'd call me down there. They've moved since I left and it's about ten times MORE complicated now, or so I hear. Glad I'm done with all that! If you don't have an IT person who will come running in there teachers have trouble with the equipment, you have my sympathies because there's nothing more stressful than having a room full of people and having the equipment NOT working!

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    1. I think there's someone, but at that school I don't know who it is. At the continuation high school, I know exactly who to call (and he does come running).

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  10. Technology can be so frustrating! It's amazing you figured it out!

    Yvonne

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    1. I'm not sure if I'm stubborn or lucky.

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  11. I have to help the public (and other staff) with such a wide range of software questions at work and then have to fix any problems with the computers or home network and also my dad's computer..

    I refuse to have anything to do with printer or copier problems at work. We just got a new multi-function printer at the children's reference desk (where I was stuck today). I tried to print and it wouldn't work so I had one of the two people that were trained figure it out and I took a break. I probably could have figured it out but I just didn't feel like it.

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  12. Don't you just *love* technology sometimes? While we couldn't live without it, days like this makes one wonder.

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  13. Somehow, this old redneck lady is the one that people in the office come to before they resort to tracking down our tech guy. AOL trained and proud of it! LOL Used to blog over in AOL's Journals (J-Land we called it.) And we had an affectionate nickname for it for all the tech troubles we'd run into AOLHell.
    Visit me at: Life & Faith in Caneyhead
    I am Ensign B of Tremps' Troops
    with the A to Z Challenge

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    1. I don't think being tech savvy has anything to do with age, young or old. I think there's something in our makeup that just makes these sorts of things easier to deal with.

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  14. Helpful kids though! Through school and uni, I've never known anyone to get up to help with technical problems with a projector or computer. They all just sat staring or sniggering. And me, I was too shy as well as technically inept!

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  15. I rely on my husband and break out into a cold sweat when something technical goes wrong at our house and it's just me!

    You can find me here:
    ClarabelleRant

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    1. Yikes. Good thing you have him around.

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  16. When I was teaching, the boys were always the ones to help me with my technical difficulties. And I can always rely on my teen boys. They are amazing techie nerds (but super cute:).

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    1. Sometimes I get girls helping, too.

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  17. I am one of those people who is usually approached for help, because all the person has to do is have their computer in my vicinity and it starts working. :P And if it doesn't, I can finagle it... But I don't usually offer unless I know the person.

    Alex Hurst, A Fantasy Author in Kyoto
    A-Z Blogging in April Participant

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    1. Where do you live? I may have a few things you can help me with... ;)

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  18. I always do my best when someone is having a technical problem. if I think I can help. At least you figure it out. So hopefully you won't have a problem with it again.

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    1. We'll see. I hope I've got this one solved.

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  19. I'm a hands on person and feel comfortable to tackle most jobs. What I can't do on my own, I ask Google. I am usually more successful in fixing my problems on my own than with the help of said, "Technical Support" who seem to know less than I do. Computers can be wonderfully strange at times and will leave you scratching your head.

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  20. I can usually figure things out pretty well by myself but if I can't do it, turning it off and back on again doesn't work, then I'll ask Google before asking someone else for help. ;-)

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    1. Google is good. Unless you're in front of a class of bored teens...

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