Just to vent my frustration and show how annoying technology can be at times, I shall write this post. I like to logon 30 mins before Tech Talk Tuesdays webinar starting time, upload any presentation and proforma slides, check my audio and take time to then welcome participants prior to commencement time.
However, as soon as I entered the computer lab, it was obvious that an supervised group of students or highly disengaged students had been in there prior to the closing bell. There were five or so coloured, carefully folded paper rockets littering the floor, chairs were all askew. After quickly tidying up, I settled at the desktop that I usually use for online webinars. The audio on this computer always works and there is rarely a need to tweak the settings – until this afternoon! Here were my challenges:-
- first the computer was so slow loading up
- the speakers worked but not the mic
- the ppt presentation failed to load
- my laptop no longer works with blackboard collaborate, so I could not revert to this.
- try a different headset, run through the audio setup wizard, failed again.
- Plugged the headset into the back ports.
- Tried a third headset to no avail.
- Logged on to a borrowed netbook, still no mic working. Getting quite frantic now so another three computers were logged onto. Still no luck with the mic or with logging on.
- A small number of people were in the virtual room waiting patiently and punctually for TTT to start. I text chatted furiously while trying a fifth computer, which finally worked.
- Fortunately, my school colleague Britt Gow entered the virtual room and she kindly started the webinar and continued moderating until I finally was settled (10 mins after starting time). Thanks Britt! Much appreciated.
- Over the last few years, technology can be your best friend, but sometimes your worst enemy.
- Do not panic! Keep trying and persevering. Change headsets, ports, computers etc until one works.
- No-one is irreplaceable!
- Make the other participants moderators and let them sort out the session, until I can get in appropriately. It is surprising what others can do when they can support each other.
- If the worst comes to the worst, suspend the session and re-schedule for next week. It is all free, so there should be no complaints except for the inconvenience.
Clearing up my scattered mess at the end of the session, meant the room was then neat and tidy for tomorrow’s classes. And….. we had a fantastic webinar where everyone shared tools and conversations. A post is to follow!