Ahhh, the technology isn't working! It happens, and this year, it seems that my teachers have had to deal with it more often than normal. When I was in the classroom I tried to have back up plans when I knew I was going to be using a technology heavy lesson. This seems like a harder and harder task as we start to rely on tech tools more and more on a daily basis. In thinking about this problem recently, I realized that there is a way I used to address similar problems in my classroom.
I am a planner and I like to be ready for any contingency. Add that to my goal of not waisting classroom instructional time and I ended up planning emergency lessons that could be subbed in if ever there was a reason why I had to call in a sub at the last minute. To ensure the activities were relevant to the material we were working on, I made a point to create a sponge activity for each unit I planned. For example, during a Shakespeare unit I used a project that required students to create a cell phone that might be owned by one of the characters from the play. Students had to choose a background picture, locked screen picture, 5 apps, 3 songs, and show one text conversation with another character. Then they had to be prepared to defend their reasoning for their choices. The beauty of this activity is that it can be effective as a paper based activity so the sub would not need computers to allow students to complete it.
Having a paper based, sponge activity for each unit could be a great way to save teachers from losing a day due to technology breaking down. Because it seems to be a rule, the day you most need the tech to work is the day it will let you down!