Sunday, January 22, 2006

Students as Problem Solvers

One item that kept coming up while students were working on their handhelds is that the wireless keyboards wouldn’t work. I taught them different ways to problem solve when they weren’t able to type with their wireless keyboards.

STEP ONE: Go into the actual keyboard program and turn it on. They are given a small area to verify the keyboard is typing. Then they return to the program they are working in and try it out. In the majority of the cases, this solves the problem.

STEP TWO: Sometimes, they turn on their keyboard in step one and it works for a short period of time. I have them close their keyboards and reopen them. This actually causes them to turn their keyboards off and on with the keyboard itself. It also offers a self-check because when they fold the keyboard, keys are hit and you can see the typing of random letters on the screen.

STEP THREE: Sometimes the keyboard won’t stay on from Step One. Students might hit on, but it immediately defaults to off. At this point, if all other steps have been taken, I just delete their keyboard file and beam them it again.

So far, these are the only steps we’ve had to take to solve our keyboard problems. When a student has difficulty with their keyboard, they don’t visit me unless they need Step Three. I do hear students telling each other to “Troubleshoot your keyboard.”

There is one problem that one of my students experienced with the wireless keyboard that I am unable to correct. The key for the 1 on one student's keyboard became detached while he was opening it one day. I've tried to hook it back on, but I just don't have small enough tools or enough hands to help out. Luckily, we have extra keyboards so I was able to assign him another one. I'll have to contact the company and see if they repair keyboards or offer a help site.

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