One of my main pet peeves as a teacher is when my students don't know how to "do something" and they do not attempt to solve the problem. They commonly respond with statements like "I can't do it" or "I don't know how to do it." I tell them - keep trying and see if you can problem solve and figure it out. I do this because I want my students to be innovative thinkers, problem solvers, and to never give up. I want my students to develop skills of exploration and understanding. Our answer doesn't always have to be right, but we must always attempt to solve them. I think many teachers are like this - in fact I would almost bet at any given time that teachers across the world are encouraging the same types of behaviors in their classrooms.
My question arises from this: If we expect our students to problem solve and attempt a solution, shouldn't we hold ourselves accountable to the same standard?
Teachers come to me for their technology problems, needs, and questions daily. I commonly ask if they tried step a, b, or c? A majority of the time the response is no! A problem arose and the teacher has taken no steps to correct it. They simply quit using the device and decided they would ask someone else. What kind of modeling is this for our students? Should teachers give up so quickly? Absolutely not! With all the technology in our schools I believe that teachers should "tinker" and "mess" with their devices, programs, etc. when somethings doesn't quite work the way they intended.
Some examples of steps that teachers could take:
My Smartboard isn't working: (also known as: The red light is on statement)
My iPad isn't working:
The website isn't working:
95% of the time the most common tech issues could be solved without help if our teachers would hold themselves accountable to troubleshooting. Teach our students what good troubleshooting looks like by modeling some of these steps the next time your technology fails! Don't be afraid of "breaking" it or "messing it up." You will never full 100% comfortable implementing the device, software, or technique until you are sure that you can support problems that may arise.
All I am saying is: Get in there and get your hands dirty! Don't be afraid to try (or google) a solution!