An guide to using the computer labs
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An Guide to Using the Computer Labs Cynthia Tougas Director of Instructional Technology New Bedford Public Schools Goals Schools will develop procedures for using the computer labs. Teachers will become comfortable using the computer labs with their classes.

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An guide to using the computer labs l.jpg

An Guide to Using the Computer Labs

Cynthia Tougas

Director of Instructional Technology

New Bedford Public Schools


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Goals

  • Schools will develop procedures for using the computer labs.

  • Teachers will become comfortable using the computer labs with their classes.

  • Students will strengthen their technology knowledge and skills.


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School Computer Labs

All school PC Labs should have:

  • MS Office Suite

    • Word

    • Power Point

    • Excel

  • MS Publisher

  • Internet Access

  • Laser Printer


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Creating a Teaching/Learning Environment

All schools should develop procedures for computer lab usage:

  • Clearly post and communicate agreed upon rules for the use of the lab.

  • Consider a lab seating chart to encourage student computer responsibility.

  • Create a teacher sign-up schedule.


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Creating a Teaching/Learning Environment

  • Computer desktops should be kept ‘uncluttered”.

  • Files should be saved and organized in folders such as “My Documents.”

  • Only shortcuts to regularly used programs should be placed on the desktop.

  • Wallpapers should be simple and consistent to make it easier for whole group instruction.


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Creating a Teaching/Learning Environment

“Labs are shared resources. It is important that all teachers and students share the responsibility in the care of this equipment.”


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Using the Labs

Using computer lab with classes:

  • Think about preparing students for their assignments before going to the lab.

    • Going over expectations and general directions

    • Assigning groups or partners

    • Any pre-computer work/drafts should be completed first

  • Assign seats as you would in the classroom


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Using the Labs

  • Walk around

    • To keep students on task

    • Clarify information

    • Prevent potential problems

  • Stop a few minutes before you leave to:

    • Have students save, print, and return to the desktops

    • Collect and manage headsets

    • Clean up their surroundings for the next class

    • Shut down if no one is using the room after you (except at NBHS…check with Mr. Edmundson).


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Student Tech Knowledge and Skills

Usage can assist students in developing important technology skills in the areas of:

  • Word Processing

  • Student Presentations

  • Student Publications

  • Web Inquiry-related Activities


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Computer Usage Ideas

  • Word Processing

    • Reinforcing Vocabulary/Spelling Lists

    • Use Story Starters

    • Use of primary source photographs to prompt student writing

    • Student Essays

    • Journal Writing

    • Reports


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Computer Usage Ideas

  • Word Processing

    • Letter Writing

    • Create a whole class “Chain Story”

    • Poems

      • Haiku, Formula, Name

    • Have students use special formatting features to identify parts of speech, main idea and supporting detail, and vocabulary. Formatting features include bold, italicize, underline, font colors, and the “built-in” highlighter.


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Computer Usage Ideas

  • Presentations

    • All About Me

    • Oral Book Reviews

    • Research Presentations

    • A Virtual Tour

    • Review (Using Game Templates e.g. Jeopardy)


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Computer Usage Ideas

  • Tips:

    • Presentation projects can be individual, pairs, small-group, or whole class.

    • Don’t forget to plan enough time to view all of the presentations.

    • Provide students with a template (e.g. the titles for each slide they have to create).

    • Provide students with a rubric.


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Computer Usage Ideas

  • Tips:

    • Templates can help students to plan their ideas on paper first (storyboard).

    • Limit the number of slides, especially for younger children.

    • When students are first introduced to the program, it is best to keep the project small.

    • As students become more proficient, they need to include a “Works Cited” slide for research-related presentations.


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Computer Usage Ideas

  • Student Publications

    • Create a class newsletter or newspaper (real or historical)

    • Create an informational brochure using collected facts (scientific, geographic, etc.)

    • Create a book

    • Young entrepreneurs – create business cards


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Computer Usage Ideas

  • Internet Activities

    • Inquiry-based

      • Scavenger Hunts

      • Open-Response Questions

      • Web Quests

      • Research Reports

    • Electronic Field Trips

    • Simulations

    • Interactive Sites


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Web Research

  • Research at the elementary level should be conducted carefully.

  • The preferred method is to have students conduct their research using teacher pre-selected sites.

  • Pre-screening sites allows students to maximize their time using information rather than wasting time locating it.


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Web Research

  • Some students may experience problems spelling keywords which can lead to problems.

  • Students may not have the skills to properly evaluate the information found when searching Web sites.

  • Many of the search results found may not be at an appropriate reading level.


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Web Research

  • Many of the search results may lead to sites with excessive, distracting, and potentially troublesome advertisements/pop-ups.

  • If elementary students are asked to search, they should be using kid-friendly search engines.

  • If students are being asked to search the Web, teachers need to be instructing them how to search properly!


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Internet Activity Tips

  • Tips

    • Try your activity in the lab yourself before your students.

    • Links you may be able to access at home could be blocked at school.

    • An additional plug-in installation might be required


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Printing

  • Most of the labs have laser printers.

  • Please encourage students to click the print button only once.

  • You might want to have them check with you first before printing.

  • Consider having a recycle bin located near the printer.


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Printing

  • Procedures need to be established regarding toner and paper replacement.

  • If you are experiencing printing problems, shut down the printer, count to 10, then turn it on again.

  • NEVER pull the power cord directly from the wall to shut it down!


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Final Thoughts

  • Consider having students shut off their monitors when instructions are being given.

  • Students should stay seated, except to retrieve items from the printer. (Minimize excess traffic to the printer.)

  • Students should not be left unattended with Internet connected computers (inlocus parentis’).

  • All district computers have filtered Internet access, but no filter is 100% guaranteed.


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