The Top 4 Technology Issues in Classrooms - and how to Fix Them
In today’s modern schools, effective teaching and learning is becoming increasingly reliant on its ICT assets working properly. With more staff and learners using technology to create, deliver, participate or collaborate in lessons, technology failure inevitably results in a loss of focus, lost teaching time and all-round frustration at the school.
With this in mind, we’ve gathered some practical advice from our technicians on what steps educators can take in order to resolve (or speed up the resolution of) some of the most common technology issues they face - without needing a high level of technical expertise.
The problem - slow boots and logon:
There is nothing more frustrating than hitting a snag in your lesson due to your PC or laptop booting up or logging in sluggishly. The dreaded ‘black screen’ has been known to cause delays of up to a quarter of a lesson’s time or more!
There are many possible causes of slow boots but before you ‘call in the cavalry’ you could try the following:
1) Clean up your Start-Up programmes list.
This tried and tested method will ensure that your PC or laptop only launches necessary programmes when starting up:
- In Windows 7 click on Windows > Run and then type ‘MSconfig’ > Enter
- In Windows 8 and 10 click on Windows > and type in ‘Task Manager’ > Enter > More details
- Navigate to the Startup tab.
- Deselect / uncheck any programme that you wouldn’t use as soon you start up your PC (e.g. Spotify, iTunes or Adobe Acrobat).
If you’re in doubt about which programmes to disable, give our service desk a call. PS. Never disable your antivirus at Start-up!
2) Restart periodically
If your PC or laptop is logging in slowly, try get into the habit of restarting it once a week, especially if you use it often. This will clear out the memory cache and errant processes and should speed things up in general.
3) Compare your PC or laptop’s performance to others on the network
Check with other staff members to see whether they’re experiencing the same problem. If they are, then this may well be an issue with the network rather than your device. Escalate it to our service desk or speak to your Joskos managed support engineer.
The problem - AV / projectors issues
The use of interactive display solutions in the classroom can be a great addition to lesson delivery and student interaction. However, classes sometimes face setbacks when incorporating AV into lessons due to images not being displayed, the audio not working or even a projector just not turning on.
If your AV equipment is typically moved around quite often from class to class, it is worth checking to ensure everything is wired and plugged in correctly. A great way to save time is to label corresponding input/output locations for easy set up.
If you are still experiencing issues, check the projector for any red lights, flashing lights or no light at all after being turned on. These can indicate common problems such as a low bulb life and power or connectivity issues. Pass this information onto your onsite Joskos engineer or Service Desk technician in order to speed up the resolution.
The problem – printing issues
Many teachers still rely heavily on the use of printed learning resources. Small printing fleets combined with long queues, lost print jobs and paper jams have proven to be a major pain point for teachers.
‘Losing’ a print job (i.e. you send something to print but nothing happens) is quite common when using networked printers. Ensure the printer is online and set as your default printer by going to “Devices and Printers” from your Control Panel, right clicking the correct printer and choosing the “Set as default printer” option. If the printer does not appear to be online, check the power and network connections and make sure it’s turned on.
If your school has individual printers in many classrooms and your printer fleet is getting outdated, consider migrating to a Managed Print solution. Typically, this consists of a smaller fleet of ‘heavy-duty’ multifunctional printers dotted around the school. These are less prone to paper jams and faults and come bundled with regular maintenance visits. Managed print solutions also tend to cost schools less in the long term.
The problem - lost files
Accidents happen from time to time - lesson plans, timetables and other important files may be deleted by mistake from a shared drive.
Go to the location/folder where the file was located, right click on “Properties”. Select the “Previous Versions” tab, choosing which version of the file you require.
Another way of safeguarding against any data loss is by discussing your school’s back-up strategy with a Joskos consultant or your school’s ICT coordinator. Backup solutions must be tailored to your school’s needs. Whether your school’s data is stored remotely or on a local server, the key to a successful strategy is automated, frequently-scheduled backups. This will increase the likelihood of retrieving the most recent version of your file.
We hope that the above tips will offer relief from some of these notorious ICT problems and help to get your school’s lesson back on track. However, if ever in any doubt be sure to contact a member of the Joskos Service Delivery team – that’s what we’re here for!