Sunday, October 2, 2016

Mystery Skype that Failed

This is how my first mystery Skype of the year failed. Yep, it failed. Epic-ly. If there is a picture of an epic failure it was of my class this week. And I'm not worried about it at all.

This is what happened.

I tried to connect with a class to do a Mystery Skype in advance of reading PAX for the GRA. However, our connection did not work due to some technical difficulties. We (the other teacher and I) weren't sure what the problem was at the time, so we tried Skype, Google Hangouts (on two different accounts in case my GAFE account was being blocked at the district level...). But it was not to be.

After 20 minutes of trouble shooting, we just couldn't get it to work. It failed. And my administrator was in the room for it because I had invited him ahead of time. Awesome!

But that's ok, failure happens - especially when trying something new and using technology. It doesn't mean we should give up. We have to be resilient. And probably try to connect on the school computers at least once in advance of the actual meeting time...

Am I embarrassed? No, just disappointed I couldn't make it work. Thinking of giving up? No way! We are hoping to be able to try again next week with the same class or a different one.

I think it's important to share that it didn't work out because I know there is a lot of hesitation out there when it comes to technology. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth trying (or trying again). I have done many Mystery Skypes and never failed at one before.  So I felt comfortable inviting my administrator to watch us. And so, he was there when it failed. I think the administrator was as disappointed as the kids were that we couldn't make it work. He commended me on taking intellectual risks and said he was impressed with my perseverance to try to trouble shoot the connection. He commented that he was very excited about what I was trying to do - connect with another class in a far away place about a shared book. I hope he can make the time to come back next week when we get the tech all straightened out! Because connecting with other classes using the technology is worth the trouble and effort it takes to do it!

How has technology failed you lately? What did you do to get around it? Does the failure inspire you to try again, or make you feel like you should definitely NOT do that again? I would love to hear your comments in the discussion below. Thanks for sharing your failures because I think it shows that things go wrong for techy teachers, too. Maybe knowing that will help others take risks in their own class...

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