Teaching with Computers

Given the choice, many classroom teachers would prefer visiting the dentist over taking their students to a computer lab.  Today's technology tip consists of some common sense classroom (or computer lab) management techniques that can make class time in the computer lab more productive.

Some Computer Lab Management Techniques:

Have students turn off their monitors while the teacher gives directions.  Ever try talking to a teenager while they’re watching TV?  You should know that the computer is just as distracting for our students as a TV set so have them turn off their monitors so they can hear the directions.
Try everything before you have the students in front of you.  Preparation in the computer age means testing everything (the CD's, internet access, the online activities and the digital projector) before trying anything with the students.

If your lab has management software learn to use it.  Lab management software can make it possible for you to monitor all the computers from one place, do a demonstration on everyone's screen at once and take over computers to help students individually.  Here a link to more information: http://www.wtvi.com/teks/exchange/netop/default.htm

Be familiar with the policies of your school concerning computer use.  Are students allowed to access their email?  Can they instant message each other?  Are inappropriate websites blocked?  What printers can they use?  These are just some examples of the kinds of things you should research in advance.

Don't forget to check the Taskbar on student monitors as you wander around the computer lab.  Students can easily wander off task when using a computer and many of them are experts at hiding what they're doing.  They'll quickly minimize the windows they don't want you to see.  Just remember to check the Taskbar at the bottom of their screen:
Games in task bar

Here’s a link to even more tips from Education World: 
http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/tech/tech116.shtml


PRACTICE ACTIVITY:  Try some of the tips above the next time you're working with students in a computer lab setting.

TO KEEP ON LEARNING:  For more technology techniques for teachers try searching the internet for:
Teaching with computers
Computer Lab Management
Students and computers