“Technology coaches create and support effective digital age learning environments to maximize the learning of all students” (ISTE 2011).
e. Troubleshoot basic software, hardware and connectivity problems common in digital learning environments.
A successful school technology program builds the troubleshooting capacities of all members of the community (administrators, teachers, students, parents). Technology coaches can support this effort by helping administrators, teachers, students, and parents learn how to independently “troubleshoot basic software, hardware and connectivity problems common in digital learning environments” (ISTE 2011).
During my coursework in the Seattle Pacific University Digital Education Leadership Master’s Degree program, I explored methods that I could use to help administrators, teachers, students and parents to become confident, resourceful, and responsible users of digital technologies?
Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day.
Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.
– Navajo Proverb.
As a technology integration specialist, I was able to advocate for professional learning time that would allow teachers to explore new technologies beyond learning only the basic technical operations. This led to rich discussion and planning for the pedagogical shifts that would be necessary in order to begin using new technologies with students. These pedagogical shifts included embedding lessons for students about purpose and acceptable use of a new technology, as well as independent troubleshooting protocols and identifying student technology leaders who could assist with in-class troubleshooting.
I also encouraged teachers to form in-house and join online communities of practice (CoPs) where they could collaboratively troubleshoot a problem and/or find answers to questions. Over time, teachers found that, through gradual new technology skill mastery and discovering unique uses, they quickly moved from “student” roles to “teacher” roles in their CoPs.
Our technology team developed “how-to” guides and videos that were available to administrators, teachers, students and parents in order to show them how to troubleshoot basic software, hardware and connectivity problems. The guides and videos that we developed for our class blogs, online gradebook, and yearbook software were particularly helpful for parents.
You can read more about my experience in my blog post: “Troubleshooting in Digital Learning Environments.”
Technology coaches contribute to a technology-enhanced learning environment by helping all members of the school community to become confident in independently “troubleshoot[ing] basic software, hardware and connectivity problems common in digital learning environments” (ISTE 2011).
- Navajo Proverb documented in: Whittlesey, S. (1970). VISTA: Challenge to Poverty (p. 39). New York: Coward-McCann.
- International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE; 2011). Standards for Coaches.