||Sometimes the little things make a big difference! If
your tech lessons too often turn into teaching disasters, maybe all you
really need is a little professional help. The Education World Tech
Team, a group of 50 seasoned technology professionals, shares 33
simple secrets for managing the minutia of technology instruction.
||Always run through a technology lesson before presenting it to
Always have a back-up lesson prepared in case the
technology fails. It
really is ok to use these back up plans.
||Type directions for frequently used computer operations such as
how to open a program, inserting clip art, printing documents, and so on.
Have these directions available for your students and you will find
they are more successful (without asking for help every 30 seconds ;0)
||Have students turn off
their monitors when you're giving directions. This way they will focus
on you and not what is on their screen.
||If you have classes filtering in and out of a computer lab each day
and have little or no time to set up between classes, arrange for older
students to help. Your older students can put in CDs and start programs
for the kindergarteners who follow them. Simply end your lesson five
minutes early and walk the older students through the process of
setting up for the next class. They get technology experience, and you
reduce your stress levels.
||When working on lengthy technology projects, print out step-by-step
instructions. Include some that say "Save your work; do not go any
further until you help your neighbors reach this point." This helps
less-proficient students solve problems more quickly, keeps the class at
roughly the same point in the project, and fosters collaborative
||Make it a class rule that students can help one another but cannot
ever touch another student's computer. That way, you can be sure that
learning occurs even when students help one another.
||Keep a red plastic cup at each computer. When students need help,
have them place the highly visible cups on top of their monitors. This
way your students can continue to work while waiting for your help.
||Problem losing the
balls from your mice? Before students leave class, have them turn their mice upside down so
the trackballs are showing. You'll lose fewer trackballs that way.
||Attach laminated cards to all portable technology equipment. Include
school information as well as a list of any accessories -- batteries,
cords, headphones, and so on -- contained in the case. Number each case,
and keep a list of the numbers and assignments for easy tracking.
||Post a list of all your rules for technology use in a visible place.
When a rule is broken, ask the offending student to read the rule to
Follow through with the consequences.
||Place different colored sticker dots on the left and the right bottom
corners of each monitor. Use these to indicate which side of the screen
you are talking about -- very helpful when using certain programs, such
as the new Kid Pix -- and to determine whose turn it is if students
share a computer.
||Place small chart stickers on the most commonly used keys (space,
enter, backspace, and )enter. Young children find it much
easier to locate the red apple space bar or purple star shift
||Attach plastic hooks to monitors to hang headphones on when they're
not being used.
||Use a Video Out card to project a monitor display onto a television
screen or use a SmartBoard to display material to the whole class.
||Turn your classroom into a museum. After a lesson using presentation
software, allow students to walk around the room and view everyone
else's work. They might get some good ideas for the next lesson -- and
finding something positive to say about other students' work teaches
||Keep keyboards clean -- and hopefully cut down on germs -- by always
having students wash their hands before going to the computer lab or
using classroom computers. Keep a supply of antibacterial wipes handy
for quick clean-ups.
||When students are working on small group technology projects on
classroom computers, divide the tasks so some students are working on
the computers while others are working at their desks on another part of
the project. Provide a sign-up sheet for the computers. When one group
is finished using the computers, they must notify the next group that
it's their turn.
||Set up teams of
computer helpers and assign each team a different room in the
building. Each week, these teams must clean their assigned rooms,
keeping the computers dust free, wiping the monitors and cleaning the
mice and keyboards.. You can also have students turn on each computers
||If your school system
doesn't allow students to create "Favorites" or "Bookmarked" sites, ask your technology coordinator to
set up a shared folder for Internet resources. Then, when you're
planning an Internet lesson, simply save a shortcut to the Web site in
that folder. During lab time, students can go to the shared folder,
double click the link, and go right to the site without typing the URL.
This saves time and stress for both students and teachers. Another
great find is
MyBookmarks.com. This site allows you to access your bookmarks
anytime from any location.
Check out the
Tutorials for more help.