Monday, May 6, 2013

Lessons Learned: Expect Technical Difficulties

In RAPP sessions we primarily apply a low-tech approach to facilitation, focusing on writing, speaking, and physical action to communicate ideas. However, recognizing the power of technology, we sometimes incorporate audiovisual components in sessions. The use of such media can make an activity much more meaningful and engage participants’ different learning styles.

In planning for the utilization of technology it’s important to always remember that it can regularly go awry. In order to be mentally prepared and flexible for this these occurrences, facilitators should plan back-ups whenever possible. For example, if an activity calls for a video to be shown, have the video file saved both on a flash drive and via an online video hosting resource. Now that you’re sure the video is accessible, you should plan for audiovisual complications. The computer you trusted to play your video may not cooperate, therefore it’s beneficial to have a compatible laptop available. But wait, the video is showing, but the audio volume is too low. Preparing the video with captions or a printed transcript can help remedy this situation. In the case of all technology failing, it can be helpful to have an alternative way of introducing a concept.  

There are various ways to prepare for dysfunctional technology that you can’t always expect to simply fix. RAPP XXVIII has had the fortune of having two exceptional IT students, yet still we manage to stumble over technical difficulties. Planning for these potential problems will help maintain group engagement and make coping easier for facilitators.


Lessons Learned is a RAPP Blog initiative intended for folks who hold formal leadership positions in RAPP programs to share what they're learning through their process

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