19 Tech Problems Every Student Can Fix

tech tipsIn these 169 tech-centric situations, you get an overview of pedagogy—the tech topics most important to your teaching—as well as practical strategies to address most classroom tech situations, how to scaffold these to learning, and where they provide the subtext to daily tech-infused education.

Today’s tip: 19 Tech Problems Every Student Can Fix

Category: Problem-solving

Here are the nineteen problems that cause eighty percent of the tech stoppages in your classrooms. Review these authentically with students and expect them to master all nineteen before graduating from fifth grade:

Deleted a file

Open Recycle Bin (or Trash) and restore.


Can’t exit a program                                      

Alt+F4 works 95% of the time.


Can’t find MS Word                                             

PC: Right-click on desktop—select ‘New>Word Document’.


Keyboard doesn’t work                                 

Push ‘Num Lock’ to see if it lights up. If it does, the problem is other than the keyboard. If it doesn’t, re-plug cord into digital device and reboot.


Mouse doesn’t work                                       

Move it around to see if the cursor moves. If it doesn’t, re-plug cord into digital device and reboot.


Start button is gone                                        

PC: Push Windows button.


No sound        

Unmute the sound or turn it up from the lower right corner of the screen; plug headphones in (or unplug); reboot.


Can’t find a file                                              

PC: Start>Search; when you find the file, notice where it is and/or resave to a location you’ll remember.

iPad: Open the app it was created in or go to the Cloud storage associated with the device.

Chromebooks: Push Alt+Shift+M to access File Manager.


Menu command grayed out                           

Push escape 3 times. This gets you out of wherever you were and activates the command you’d like to use.

What’s today’s date?                                     

Hover over the clock in the lower right corner (depending upon your digital device, you may need to click); 2) from MS Word, start to type the date and it will prompt you with the current date; 3) from MS Word, use the shortkey Shift+Alt+D


Taskbar gone

PCs: Push the Windows button. If the taskbar is hidden, drag the top border up to expose it


Taskbar moved                           

PCs: Click on an open part of the taskbar and drag it to the bottom of the screen (or wherever you prefer it).


Desktop icons messed up 

PCs: Right click on screen—select ‘Sort by’ and the method you’d like the icons arranged (name, type, etc.).


Computer frozen                                            

Check solutions in this list. If nothing works, reboot.


Program frozen                                              

Find a dialogue box asking for input and clear it. Or, the program may be blinking on the taskbar because it accidentally fell asleep down there. Click the program on the taskbar to reactivate.


I erased my document/text                            



Screen says “Ctrl-Alt-Del” 

PCs: Hold down Ct+Alt—push Delete. This will either bring you to login or the desktop.


Program closed down

If the program is open on the taskbar, click it. If not, reopen; see if the sidebar shows a saved backup and select.


Toolbar missing at top of internet

Push F11 key


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Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.