There is definitely a kind of Parkinson’s Law at work when it comes to ed tech problems. Quite often, a seemingly insurmountable problem can be sorted out really quickly, while something very simple, even mundane, can destroy a lesson.
An absence of printer paper can come into the latter category. You’ve asked the class to print out their work so that you can plaster it on the walls, or mark it in an old school kind of way, when the printer runs out of paper. There are several ways you can tackle this:
Defer the printing till next time, and in the meantime revert to Plan B (if there is a Plan B).
Ask yourself whether printing is really necessary. For example, could the same result be achieved, at considerably less expense, if you marked the work online?
Send someone to get more printer paper from the technicians or ICT co-ordinator.
For future reference, this would be a good time to consider having a digital champions scheme , whereby one or two pupils take responsibility for such things. For example, you might tell them that you’re going to need printer paper in the next lesson so that they can see the technicians about it.
If you’re a technician or ICT co-ordinator reading this, I suggest you can circumvent this kind of last minute panicking by the simple expedient of keeping a spare ream of printer paper in a cupboard in each room with a printer.
If you try this and the paper ends up going missing or being misused, keep a record of when it happens and speak to the teacher concerned. If necessary, remove the paper before that lesson takes place. I had to withdraw facilities once, as I said in the article When it comes to ed tech, trust is better than control.
Parkinson’s Law (Amazon affiliate link)