So, if you’ve been following my Twitterings or Facebook page, you know that I had a bit of a rough time trying to do one of my classes online while I’m here in Phoenix for a meeting. I always seem to have misadventures that cause me to run around like crazy and get rather frustrated…
Anyway I arrived here at the hotel Weds. afternoon with plans to do one class at 9:00 Thursday night and the other at 6:00 Friday morning. I got all unpacked and hooked up my computer to the DSL connection…dead! After some fussing around with Tech Support, and having a technician come and swap out the modem, there still was not a resolution. So off I went to my meeting, expecting that things would be ok when I returned to my room.
Nope…so I had the hotel move me to a different room, and I was all set, or so I thought, as I began to get re-settled after 11 pm.. The connection wasn’t exceptionally fast, but acceptable… Off I went Thursday morning to the meeting and returned before 8:00, plenty of time before the 9:00 class. So I got the computer turned on and put my feet up to relax for a while.
At 9, I entered the classroom and everything came to a screeching halt…my connection failed miserably, and I had not even taken note of the phone call-in number. I finally managed to get that phone # and called in to let the students know I was relocating to the hotel lobby to use the wireless network there. (Good thing I had an old phone card with 15 minutes left on it, as I left my cell phone back in Detroit, and a newer 800-minute card had expired – always read the small print!)
I ducked in the business center for a quieter place than the open lobby, and guess what…no connection! I finally had to switch to one of the hotel computers, but couldn’t use the full functionality of the Wimba Classroom environment, including audio (my phone card didn’t have enough minutes to get through class…frustrating to say the least )….but we muddled through. And I even stayed up an extra hour re-doing a summary of class to post online for the students – don’t you know, the connection was fine when I returned to my room!!
Fortunately, everything worked beautifully Friday morning. I think the students appreciated my efforts to meet them, even though they might have preferred to just cancel class altogether.
The take-away from this little story…technology is great until you really have to depend on it. Always have a Plan B!!
Next time…some pics from here and a brief side trip to Sedona.