The Technology May Fail You

Screen Shot 2013-12-17 at 4.24.09 PMIncluded in the Digital Tips Advent Calendar and part of the Effective Technology Integration category

“Don’t panic!” ~ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

During the ISTEK conference in Istanbul, I was doing a partner presentation with Sue Lyon-Jones titled, Teaching with Technology: Plan B! Ironically, our projector didn’t work. We were in a room full of teachers and we couldn’t even show our presentation. We decided to go with my part on offline activities with mobile devices while Sue got a technician. Our session was successful, the teachers walked out with valuable learning. We didn’t allow our technical difficulties to interrupt the learning process. At times, the technology will fail you. Too often I have seen teachers and presenters spend too much time fussing over the technology, and apologizing profusely. At the end of the day, your audience (including your students) came to learn from you. Let them walk away with the learning. Below are a few tips when you face technology hiccups:


Don’t panic when the technology fails, just continue with the learning.

31 Days of Digital Tech Integration Tips

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Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell (@ShellTerrell) is an award winning digital innovator, an international speaker/consultant, and the author of Hacking Digital Learning with EdTech Missions, The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers, and Learning to Go. She has trained teachers and taught English language learners in over 20 countries as an invited guest expert by organizations, like the US Embassy, UNESCO Bangkok, Cultura Inglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, ISTEK Turkey, and Venezuela TESOL. She has been recognized by several organizations and publications as a leader in the movement of teacher driven professional development as the founder and organizer of various online conferences, Twitter chats, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Two of the projects she co-organized were shortlisted for ELTons, #ELTChat and the Virtual Round Table Language and Technology online conference. She was named Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women, awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, and named as one of the 10 Most Influential People in EdTech by Tech & Learning. Her greatest joy is being the mother of baby Savannah and Rosco the pug. Shelly has an Honors BA in English with a Minor in Communication and a specialization in Electronic Media from UTSA, a Masters in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix, and a CELTA from CELT Athens. She regularly shares her tips for effective technology integration via Twitter (@ShellTerrell),, and on her blog,, which has won several awards and recognitions as one of the top ESL, Edtech and Elearning blogs. Find over 400 of her slide presentations at

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