Introduction to Electronic Publishing: Managing Technology
Combining creativity and technology can result in a mix of overeager and easily frustrated students. Difficult programs might call for the help of a computer buddy or a volunteer, and sharing a limited amount of computers requires organization and patience. Ensure that your lesson runs smoothly with these classroom management pointers.
Whole Group Instruction
- Using a classroom computer with a whole group can be challenging. It can be done by having the students crowd in close, but it works better to connect the computer to a TV.
- Whole group instruction works well for introducing new software or new skill, for creating a web with Inspiration software, for viewing a Web site, for creating a class book, or for slide show presentation.
- Have another upper grade class be Computer Buddies. When using the Internet or when a program is somewhat difficult, schedule the computer lab with the Buddies so that help is available.
- Older students love to help with Internet use or to type the dictated stories for the younger students.
- Arrange for parent or senior citizen volunteers to help with the computer center or with the computer lab. Often they are just needed to help read the words to the younger students.
- The computer center or computer lab can be used for practicing skills on the Internet, as a publishing center, to illustrate a story, or for motivation for learning.
- Have a Computer Buddy or a parent volunteer available for help in the classroom computer center.
- Have a "Waiting for the Computer" sign up sheet (PDF). When a student's project is done or time is up, that student can tell the next person on the list that it is his/her turn.
- Or schedule the computer center so that each student has a 30-minute turn every five to ten days.
- Have the students work in small cooperative learning groups in the computer center. Each person has an assigned job for working in the group.
- Introduce the Internet site or software program first to the students in the classroom using the whole group instruction. Then they will be ready to work when they arrive in the computer lab. I have found that even Kindergarten students can type in a URL.
- Using the Computer Buddies or parent volunteers to help primary children with the reading, internet inquiries can be done in the computer lab.