Using technology in the classroom brings a whole set of potential issues. Frankly, you can’t really blame some teachers for avoiding it at all costs. I thought it might be useful to post a few articles looking at the kind of problems that can arise, and what to do about them.
Permanent marker on the interactive or dry wipe board
You walk into the classroom, your slides or presentation perfectly prepared, and then you discover to your horror that someone has written on the whiteboard with a permanent marker pen. What can you do?
The most sensible option is probably to abandon the idea of using the board in that lesson. You probably don’t carry around a whiteboard cleaning kit, and even if you did it would simply waste a lot of time. Calling a technician to deal with it is likely to prove much more interesting to the pupils than your lesson -0- no offence meant.
I always tell new teachers, or teachers new to using education technology: it’s not a matter of if something goes wrong, but when. Be prepared for it.
To the technology co-coordinator, I would say that there are a number of things you might do in order to avoid the situation as far as possible:
Put notices on the whiteboards to the effect that only the correct pens should be used.
Put occasional reminders in the staff newsletter/bulletin.
Make sure there are proper pens available. This should be obvious but I’ve been into schools where the pens are locked away, missing or useless.
Look out for signs of permanent markers being used. You don’t have to do this all yourself. Make it easy for teachers to report it as a fault; consider setting up a digital champions scheme whereby pupils can be your eyes and ears as well.
Whatever else happens, no matter how exasperated you are feeling, keep your cool!