Getting Started
Tips for integrating technology into your classroom!


bullet 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.
bullet Always run through a technology lesson before presenting it to the class
Always have a back-up lesson prepared in case the technology fails. It
really is ok to use these back up plans.
bullet 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) )
bullet 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.
bullet 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.
bullet 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 learning.
bullet 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.
bullet 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.
bullet 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.
bullet 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.
bullet 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 you.  Follow through with the consequences.
bullet 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.
bullet 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 key.  
bullet Attach plastic hooks to monitors to hang headphones on when they're not being used.
bullet 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.
bullet 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 good manners.
bullet 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.
bullet 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.
bullet 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 before class.
bullet 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 This site allows you to access your bookmarks anytime from any location.
bullet Check out the Tips and Tutorials for more help.



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