I currently teach second graders, and I typically have about 25 kids in my classroom. Sometimes I am lucky enough to have an aide come in during tablet time, but majority of the time I am on my own. We are a one-to-one school, so all of the students have access to tablets for everyday use. A common tech problem I face with the tablets is the internet connection. Sometimes it is a simple fix: a child accidentally put the tablet on airplane mode, they accidentally turned off their wifi, or didn't refresh the website properly. Other times we have much bigger problems: too many students using the internet at once, slow connections, or simply the websites won't open. Our school is an older building, and we as a staff have heard many times that they are working hard to update our bandwidth. Our tech guy usually tells me that our school is old, and it is hard to maintain all this new technology in an older building. Most of our desktop computers use regular internet connections, and each teacher has their own wifi for tablet use.
Most of the time, our internet issues occur when we use the Pearson website. Out students have the entire reading curriculum on this website. There are videos, games, textbooks, leveled readers, and tests. I have my students take their weekly reading test on this website, but we ALWAYS seems to have problems every week. At first I thought it was the Pearson website because we would log-on on Friday mornings to take the tests, and I would be lucky if 2 or 3 students could connect and finish a test. My thinking was..... maybe there are too many teachers and students logging-on to the website on Fridays to take tests. So I changed my testing day, and started giving my weekly Reading tests on Tuesdays. It made my problems much smaller, but we still had difficulties. I still have students every week that cannot connect to the site or get kicked off in the middle of their tests. I am always teaching troubleshooting techniques and strategies, but it becomes very overwhelming. It's hard to have 25 kids running up to you in the middle of a test with problems.
This year our school started taking the PARCC test, which is all done online. We had so many problems during both sessions of the testing process. Students got kicked off the site or couldn't get logged on. At times that had to test a few students at a time!Teachers who were not testing were told to stay off the internet connection, to hopefully alleviate some of the bandwidth pressure. It was very difficult for all of the teachers and staff involved. Luckily, they figured out how to fix some of the issues and things started to go smoothly towards the end. Now that we have had this reading series for a few years, I have become much more familiar with the site and so have the children, just like they did with PARCC! We still have our connection issues, but we are learning to adapt. Maybe it truly is an older school trying to adjust to newer technology. : )