Can You Hear Me Now? - The Importance of Having Back-Up Equipment

Having technical failures is any teacher's worst nightmare. Today Teacher Jackie will tell us all about her own experiences and the importance of having back-up equipment. 

My name is Teacher Jackie!

I currently live in the grasslands of the Midwest, but I have lived all over the country. I like it here the most! I live in a very small rural town but I still have high-speed internet! I am a teacher, a mother (of 3 kids and 2 cats) and I LOVE my job! I have many, many years of teaching experience, including preschool, leadership camps, home-schooling, co-ops- and the list goes on. I have also volunteered and held office within the school districts. Education is a passion for me! I am a Marketing Major, currently finishing up my BBA. Qkids allows me to use my marketing skills, and passion for teaching all in one beautiful stay-at-home job.

We all know the importance of doing the system check before starting your classes for the day. But what happens when you fail the system check? Or worse, what happens if you pass it, but mid-class suddenly your students cannot hear you? Fret not! You are not the first one, and there are solutions!

Once upon this very morning….

I did my system check and my pings were nice and low, my camera check was fine except for the sleep-deprived lady staring back at me, and my sound came through crystal clear!
"Camera, camera and my screen, couldn't you be a little nicer to me?"
Unfortunately, once I entered the class I realized my students could not hear me! Ahhhh!
I tried my headset in different ports, I sent a message to CCT informing them I was logging out and back in (which worked for a moment and then stopped) so I said that I would be right back to fix it. P.S. I said it as loud as I could while writing it in the text box and trying to explain with some version of miming and TPR combined. Hoping they knew I was not abandoning them!

I logged out again quickly and then ran down the hall to my boxes (we just moved). Thank goodness I just happened to open the box with my extra supplies yesterday! I grabbed my spare headset and ran back into my office (a.k.a my utility closet with lots of lights and decorations), did another systems check, logged back in and yay! They could hear me!

Learning from our failures (even system failures)

This is not my first rodeo. I have had multiple technical failures before. They have occurred while entering, and even mid-class. Luckily, I have learned along the way what to have on hand to minimize the impact on students. In this case, it only took a few minutes to solve and I extended the class for good measure.
I hear many new teachers panicking as they have a system or technical failures for the first time. I am here to tell you, it happens to a lot of us. There are things you can do to minimize the impact, but don't stress out because it did not go perfectly. Just learn from what happened!

Here are a few tips and tricks regarding what spare supplies you might want to keep on hand! These are based on real-life technical failures.

Note

Do not feel overwhelmed with this list, especially if you are just starting out. On day one, you just need your 
  1. Computer/laptop
  2. Headset
  3. Webcam
  4. Ethernet cable
  5. A mouse is always helpful 
  6. Your sparkling personality
Add spares as you can or as you upgrade, keep your old stuff as spares. I would definitely start with a spare headset!

Spares to have on hand

  • Headset
    • These puppies go out too often!
  • Ethernet Cord
    • Especially if your Wi-Fi is not steady.
  • Laptop battery and charger
  • Lots of extra daylight lightbulbs!

You Also Might Benefit From

  • A spare laptop
For the days that:
Windows decides to update right before class, despite your settings.
Your child stands on your laptop, and *craaaaack* goes the screen (also can use an HDMI cord to use the screen on a TV while you figure that one out.)
  • An external webcam
They usually have better picture quality anyway.
  • An ethernet-USB port adapter
Ethernet ports can stop working. Guess how I know…
You can also add additional USB ports this way.
Make sure it comes with a charger, if not purchase the right one.

In Summary

Be Prepared! Qkids understands when we have system problems, but when possible, we should try to prevent them. Besides, it keeps us from missing classes when we have extra supplies on hand instead of waiting to get the replacements delivered.

Even if your equipment fails, Qkids will love you anyway- just fix it!

Important: Stay in contact with CCT when you are having any technical issues. If you log out before 3 minutes and they are not aware of what is going on, your class could be sent to standby.

Qkids LOVES their teachers! Even if your headset breaks…

If you would like to apply to be a Qkids teacher, I would be happy to mentor you… even during your hot mess technical moments, look for me in the Facebook group House of Qkids: Jacqueline Hayward Spegal and apply using the link http://teacher.qkids.net/ref?code=IWZDQP You will always have an easier application process if you are actively mentored. Please reach out to me, instead of just using the link and going at it alone!


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Love,
Qkids Family

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