Saturday, September 26, 2009

Lab Time!!

This video reminds me of how students act in computer lab. They are ready to go as soon as you walk in. Their little fingers can not say NO to that keyboard and mouse. The computer is the marshmellow. Try walking out for just 20 secs and see what they do. They click the mouse, type on the keyboard, and go to internet sites and will minimize the screen when you walk in.

Don't be afraid of is our open highway with NO Limits of knowledge (Yes, I believe is Intenet Safety and teaching students the correct way to search etc...)

What I want to do in this post is give a few suggestions on how teachers can best utilize their computer lab time with little frustration.

1. Manage your students with Netsupport. If you are not sure how to do this, see your tech coach. Using Netsupport, you can send and receive files to/from your students, communicate with them, and send appropriate links for research. I do not recommend using the logging in/logging out control with upper grades. They need to learn how to do this on their own. However, it is a grade tool for kindergarten (for the first month or so or unitl they learn their login/password).

2. Have a place where students go to receive their computer assignments (Computer page on a blog or wiki). We (teachers) waste too much time trying to get them to an internet site. Your students will quickly pick up on going to the computer page, reading the assignment and clicking on the link. Upper grades should be able to type an URL in the address bar without wasting a lot of time.

3. I do think games can help teach, however, I am not a big believer in having games each lab time. I believe students should be creating, mixing, and researching. The diagram below best explains where I would want my students to be.

4. Technology is NOT an isolated subject. It is to be integrated into different subject areas. Know your curriculum and where you can integrate technology in your classroom. Web2.0 Tools are perfect for digital media/photo/paint projects. Science just lends itself to technology research, presentations, and movies.

5. Students love animation and cartoons...integrate this with your writing.

6. Blogging...perfect for reading and writing.

7. Establish your rules/expectations early.

8. Never start something you can't finish.

9. When a project is finished, post it for the world. Students are proud of their work.

10. Know the site and how it works before you assign an assignment from that page.

11. Let your students help you....let them problem solve if you are not sure of something.

12. Make internet safety a topic of conversation with students. There are many sites that help teach this and have games for students to play.

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