What you can do when Tech issues occur in your lessons today?

ICT Teaching Strategies

GUEST BlOGGER: Massiel Barros-Torning 


If there is one thing that will test you as a teacher, it's when you've planned to make the most of technology, some links to video's, maybe a mindmap and visual explanations. Then the power goes out, or for some reason, the computer or IWB is just not going to work today or for this moment.


What will you do?


Well, if you know this agony, then you know it's a mystery if you loose 5 minutes or the whole lesson. The restlessness of the students makes that pressure even worse.


You can plan for this! You can plan around this and still comply with the ICT component of your professional responsibility.


How?  Well, this will vary on your bag of strategies, who you are and what you think you can facilitate. But I will share what I've done, some of the strategies I spent time to learn for these moments.


I've just picked one starting point a Panda. You can take this to a whole new level. Remember, reflection is where your next lesson or idea comes from. Revision is also part of the process. Revise and improve what you've done when you can.


Hope this gives you a great starting point.



This is a starting point.


I'm not a fabulous artist, so I learned to draw basic things. I use a circle when everything goes down. A big O for "oh no" and I either use a chalkboard or a piece of paper. Whatever medium, you can draw a circle.


I then point to the ring finger with my writing hand to emphasise the letter "o" in Auslan.




I then begin to show how to draw something from that O, it could be an animal, a face, a part of something. I have used this for primary, and I have used this for adult education too. For students of any age that struggle, I get them to do a smile face. Take the pressure off for a bit of fun.

I suggest you keep it simple so that your class can keep up.


I got the following stencil from https://www.lovetodrawthings.com/2020/06/how-to-draw-cute-panda-in-6-steps.html?spref=pi


A step-by-step guide like this us wonderful for animating a drawing. But regardless of what age, you have to practice doing this over and over. You can do this as group work with 6 people doing each step (one for each step) and you can use this as an animation project.


Now, the technology may be up and running by now. You get them to take a photo of where they got to, and they can take that home to keep working on it.


Next you can link this exercise in the following ways:

  • What do you know about a panda?
  • Have you ever seen a panda?
  • Do you know what they eat?
  • Can you move like a panda?
  • I wonder what a panda sounds like?
  • What would their fur feel like?
  • How fast do they move?

Working on thinking activity

Edward De Bono encourages us as teachers to work on "how to be more interesting" by writing a list of what you know about something. Set a time limit. Again depending on your class and how they handle quite time 2-3 minutes to write stuff down. Now I do this with adults, teenagers and the idea is to find out what they come up with quickly.


You go around and ask what for one answer from a student, then you can do a tally of who ever else had the same answer. You can turn this into a game. See who is left standing with a unique answer.


Have a look at how many had similar answers, celebrate that you have similar views.

Have a look at how different responses can be, celebrate the unique side of your peers.


Or you can do this as a whole class, see what you all know about pandas BEFORE you go and research the topic. You can then do this activity weeks later and see how much you've all grown.


The key here is that as a teacher, you do this as a fun activity in your personal life. I did this at the pub with friends, and I often try new things on all ages or for fun. If I'm stuck entertaining a grandchild I ask "what do you know about a panda?" and you will be surprised about what pre-school or early child hood have to say.


You can do this as an interview (iphone video) and collect the responses. Then see how these responses grown.


Lateral thinking?

How about linking to things that are black and white?

  • piano
  • zebra
  • printing
  • road signs
  • sheet music


Or look at black and white thinking, expressions used in English.



Cross curricular to languages?


Cross curricular to dance or movement?


  • do the panda dance? Yes, you can either make up your own song and dance or look at what others have done:


Cross curricular to science?


Get the students to ask tough questions. You can have boxing gloves and have a tough question dramatic approach.

For example, why are panda's black and white?





Science - Panda's Food web

  • What do panda's eat?
  • Where are they from?
  • How big are they?
  • Life cycle of panda.


A quick search is always a good starting point. But set a timer so you don't lose too much time online. And make sure your sources are scientifically sound (but you know that).



Source for image: wwf.panda.org



Food Science? Cross Culture?


I love encouraging healthy eating with fun. I collect pictures of fun arrangements.




You might find that what you’re looking for does not exist. So there is an opportunity for you to create something unique. For example, I did not find examples of poems read out and animated. Or examples of black and white plasticine animations of pandas.



Did you get an idea or comment you’d like to share?


Of course, we want to know. When you share, not only do you help others, but you get even more ideas in return. That’s why I’m sharing because my brain will just think about pandas for a few days doing this article. But I’d love to know what you think. 


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