Complete and utter failure

We’re back again with another horror story.

No, I’m just kidding, not really a horror story, it’s more of a class activity gone wrong.

Two weeks ago we were asked to create a lesson for this wonderful course, TELL. In the lesson you had to use some of the technology discussed in class and it had to be about one of the four skills, grammar or vocabulary. All of this together had to be created with 2 fellow students.

Now, this being said, I decided to use this lesson and put it into practice during my internship. The lesson would contain a little bit of reading, some pronunciation and vocabulary mixed together in an activating lesson. (Important note: this lesson was to be observed for my evaluation /tussenevaluatie/…)

For this lesson I was going to use a Socrative Space Race, with questions about a text that would be read together with the students, and I was going to use a Padlet.

As well as for the Socrative as for the Padlet, students needed their phones.

If you have never used Socrative before, below is a picture of the Space Race.


As you can see, there are 8 bears and 8 colours, which means there were 8 teams. Of  course, you can set these things for yourself. If you want less teams, you can add less! These teams can be assigned automatically or you can let the students pick these for themselves.
The questions will appear on the phones of the students, so they can answer these in groups. If they answer the question wrong, there is an explanation added as to why it should have been something else.

There is the possibility to choose M/C questions, true/false or open questions, so it’s in your own hands on how difficult you want it to be!

An example of Padlet, and how it can be used is seen here.


You can choose your own background, title, how the  boxes are placed, etc. You can set it on secret, public or password protected, so no weird things can happen to it…


So in a general point of view, it looks really nice, right? And of course, everything works when it should…..


Again, I was failed by technology…

The Socrative wouldn’t open, the Padlet wouldn’t load. My students started without me, which wasn’t that much of a big deal for the Socrative even though it wasn’t handy. However, for the Padlet… that is a completely different story.

A downside of Padlet is that anyone who has the password, to your password protected Padlet, can add anything they’d like. Anonymously. I hope you can guess where this is going.

Since I couldn’t open the Padlet, I wasn’t able to monitor what the students were writing down… After a little while I could open it and what I saw blew my mind in a way? There were things on the screen that were very inappropriate and needless to say I wasn’t very pleased.

A few things I’ve learned while giving this lesson;

  1. Never trust technology;
  2. GUIDELINES GUIDELINES GUIDELINES; tell students how to do it, when to do it, what NOT to do and why to do it!;
  3. Don’t try new things when you’re being observed :’)…

Well, actually the last one isn’t completely true. The SO (sorry, no English word comes to mind) and my internship supervisor (WPB) actually appreciated me trying something completely out of my comfortzone 🙂

So eventhough it felt as if I had completely, utterly failed this lesson, hearing that my attempt at something new was very much appreciated.

Never trust technology to work when you need it to work. It seems the internet, all its tools and myself do not really get a long…

Something to keep in mind for the next time.


6 thoughts on “Complete and utter failure

  1. I wanted to comment here rather than on my blog just to say your writing is already -far- from wimpy. This post had me cracking up! I hope this experience won’t scare you away from trying more new things in the classroom in the future. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. towishfulthinking April 8, 2017 — 2:19 pm

      Ah, thank you! That’s really nice to hear. 🙂
      I’m going to keep on trying new things, trying to gather some experience which I can use later.
      Who knows, maybe next time it’ll work out the way I want it to.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well done for just doing it, even on such an important occasion! This is what a placement is also for: trying out methodology and learning from the experience!
    It is not completely clear how you have used the Padlet in this lesson, so it would be great if you would explain that here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. towishfulthinking April 10, 2017 — 7:07 pm

      The Padlet was for the students. They had to look at the text of the story (that was given beforehand) and they had to underline the words they thought that were difficult/didn’t know at all. After that they had to fill in these words on the Padlet so that we could discuss these together with the whole class.


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