Network Down

I read somewhere once that teachers make as many on-the-spot decisions as air traffic controllers. Never are teachers more tested than when things don’t go the way that we’ve planned them, especially when technology is involved.

Yesterday, the entire district network was offline for about 4 hours. Image

Image credit: http://res2.windows.microsoft.com/resbox/en/windows%20vista/main/7a7d2fcd-3f27-45e5-bd99-b1e214b87730_14.pn

With the end of the school year looming, this was not a good time to be inconvenienced. Really, there’s never a good time, especially when we’re encouraged to use so much technology so much of the time. Teachers had grades to enter; students had projects to complete. It was a very frustrating day, but we survived.

We experienced a similar outage just two weeks before, when internet and email access were down for almost 24 hours. And we survived that, too.

These incidents reinforce the fact that when we’re expected to develop so many technology-driven assignments and that technology fails us, we’ll need to have a contingency plan in place when the network goes down–and the network *will* go down.

Beyond that, I don’t ever see a time (in my English classroom, for sure) when we will never use paper and pen to accomplish a goal. Even with iPads and iMacs available, I still intend to have my students put pen to paper to express their ideas. There are just some things that technology can’t replace.