I had the privilege of delivering a couple of concurrent sessions at this year’s Georgia Education Technology Conference in Atlanta. I had a great time in the sessions. I met a few of my favorite educators from around the country. And I learned a lot of new ideas that I can’t wait to use. A funny thing happened to me on my way there on the final day.
Since I was doing an early morning session on Friday, I stayed overnight in a hotel, just to make sure I had an easy, non-stressful morning. I was going to wake up, head out to maybe sit down for breakfast, and get to the conference center with some extra time to get mentally prepare. You probably already know where this is going.
I hop in my car and search Google Maps for some nearby places to have breakfast. I don’t have a ton of extra time, so I’m not heading somewhere like Waffle House, but I do love Chick-fil-A, and when I saw one only a few miles from my hotel, I tapped on it and started driving. One thing you may or may not know about the Georgia International Conference Center is that it’s near the Atlanta Airport. And one thing you may or may not know about the Atlanta Airport is that it’s huge.
So, I’m driving, listening to my music and getting ready for my session, turning whenever Google tells me. Before long, I realize that I’m on one of the roads leading to the South Terminal at the airport. “That’s strange,” I think to myself, “but maybe it’s just the quickest way to get there because of traffic.” It certainly was the quickest way to get there because Google was trying to take me to the Chick-fil-A INSIDE the Atlanta airport. I’m suddenly sitting in line at the arrival/departure terminal with no way to get out except to wait in line and drive through.
All because I wasn’t really paying attention.
Naturally, this put me behind schedule, and there really isn’t anything too close by. So, I drive past the convention center and find the nearest place I can get breakfast, McDonalds. There are two cars in the drive-thru, so I pull into the line. I waited in line for 15 minutes to get my food, and I got blocked in, so there was no way out but to wait in line and drive through.
What should have been an easy relaxing morning turned into me getting to my session with about 15 minutes to spare and a half-full room already there. It was certainly stressful, but everything did go well. I just had to wait another hour to eat breakfast.
All because I didn’t pay attention to what I tapped on my phone.
I thought about using technology in my classroom. Technology is great and has helped me tremendously in my classroom, but it’s not perfect. I plan things in class, and sometimes things go wrong. The internet goes out. The accounts don’t work. Problems happen.
We’re going to encounter problems, and we just have to be ready for them. We have to be able to think on our feet and problem solve. Back-up strategies are always helpful. Just remember: it happens. It’s not your fault (even if it sometimes is). It’s just a part of life. We all go through it. Own the mistake if it’s a mistake, laugh it off if it’s a tech problem.
Technology, just like all of us, is faulty. Don’t get discouraged if things go wrong. Take it in stride, wait in line, and just drive through.