Reconnect. If some of the peripheral equipment like document cameras, eBeams, SmartBoards, or projectors are not working, sometimes simply unplugging and replugging will prompt the connection to the computer. Computer monitors are notorious for having a plug or cord work itself loose, so if a monitor appears to not power up, tightening connections becomes a quick fix. And finally, ensuring that cords are connected to the right equipment or the right port may identify the issue.
Restart. If there are missing icons such as Program Shortcuts or Websites folders, restarting the computer will push the district’s group policy (this policy is essentially all the things the district says every computer should have) back to the computer and reinstate those icons. If a computer has been locked and the individual who is logged in is unavailable to unlock and/or log out, it will require a “forced” shutdown in which the power button is pressed and held until the computer powers down. Count to ten (just for fun!) and then power the computer back on.
Refresh. When online, sometimes webpage content does not load correctly. Using the refresh button will often allow the content and its functions to load correctly. This is especially helpful in Google Drive, when collaborating with others. If students are not seeing their peers’ work, clicking refresh will usually display the most current work. One other way to think about refresh as a solution is to consider whether the appropriate browser is being used. Remember that Google plays nicely with Google, and Microsoft plays nicely with Microsoft. If using Google Drive, then use Chrome as your browser for full functionality. If using Office 365, then use Internet Explorer.
The 3 R’s for Troubleshooting Technology may help both teachers and students have a more successful and enjoyable new school year when using technology as part of learning! Happy school days ahead!
I am a technology integration coach for a school district supporting one preschool, fifteen elementary schools, two middle schools, and three high schools. Check here for the latest updates on instructional technology.