Saturday, February 17, 2024

Testing, this thing on??

February 17, 2024 My students had to transition this week to a new platform for submitting their work. They are dual enrollment students, so they had to interact with and submit an essay to the community college platform, instead of the usual Google Classroom platform. After my first few students came in and reported issues with logging in and 'finding' the right place to go, I decided I needed to devote class time to ensuring students could navigate the site. Mind you, we already did a trial run a couple of weeks ago and I made sure everyone could access Canvas. Nevertheless, students were struggling, so I scrapped part of my planned lesson and backtracked to offer support. In addition to devoting classtime, I also published a flier of Google Classroom with step-by-step instructions, and gave them reminders about how to navigate regular issues students were having. In class, I projected the flier and talked them through the steps. Still, I had students with issues. --Ms. L, it still won't let me login. It says I don't have permission. Me: Are you going to the webiste address on the flier, or another address? (She was not going to the website on the flier.) --Ms. L, it says it doesn't recognize my user name! But I'm using my I.D. number! Me: Which I.D. number? Remember that I said you needed to use your college I.D., not your high school one, since this is the college platform? (He was, in fact, using his high school I.D.) --Ms. L, when I log in, it takes me to a page that's not our class! Me: So, when I said when you log in it will ask you to update your communication preferences before you move on, this is that page. (It literally says, "Please update communication preferences before advancing to the next screen.") --Ms. L, I have to put in all that information?? It takes so much time! Me: It's verifying your name and email contact information. You can handle that. --Ms. L, now that I logged in nothing happens! Me: See the icon that says 'Canvas'? The one the flier tells you to click on? Click on it! (The icon wasn't even hiding from her; it was right out there in the open, just patiently waiting for her to click.) --Ms. L, can I just email you my essay instead? I tried to upload it, but it says it doesn't recongize the file. Me: I told you you can't share from your Google Drive, because this platform doesn't talk to Google Drive. Did you download the file as a doc or a docx so that you can upload it to the site? (No, he hadn't.) --Ms. L, I DID download it, but it says it won't accept it! Me: What kind of file? Is it a pdf? (Yes, it was.) Remember how I said NOT to download it as a pdf, because it would only accept doc or docx files? (She did remember. She just didn't think I meant it.) Most of the time, the intelligent, diligence, and knowledge of these kids is impressive. On a day like this, however, it's a little less so. This is not to say I don't have those days myself--we all do. But the collective troubleshooting ability was definitely not functioning at its highest level. My only saving grace is I am sure it saved me from about 90% of the panicked emails I would have gotten this weekend without taking that time in class.

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