Intel®
Intel.com home contents contact us about us
Intel Innovation in Education
Education Resources
Intel Innovation in Education Home
Intel's Global Commitment to Education
Site Support
Technology in the Classroom
Managing Computer Use


Managing Computer Use
Education presents a variety of computer environments. Each requires well thought-out guidelines and procedures, as well as some creativity. Here are some common challenges along with possible solutions from master teachers.

Q: How can I keep students on task and working productively when using the computer?

Q: How do I assist students using the computer while minimizing the disruption of instruction or other activities?

Q: When students are working collaboratively, how do you ensure that everyone within a group is engaged and contributing to the project?

Q: What are some techniques for ensuring productive use of the computer lab?

Q: How do I arrange and track student time on the computer(s) to achieve equal access?

Q: How do I maximize access to Internet information if I only have one connected computer?

Q: How can I provide equitable access for students who don't have a computer at home?

Q: How can I keep students on task and working productively when using the computer?
" Create a checklist of tasks to be completed, along with a timeline.
" Discuss with your students the amount of time their project will entail and schedule them accordingly.
" Grade the project in stages (outline, rough draft, etc.) instead of waiting until the end to offer evaluation.
" Give points/grade for productive lab time.
" Define and communicate inappropriate use. Enforce loss of computer privileges as a consequence.

back to top


Q: How do I assist students using the computer while minimizing the disruption of instruction or other activities?
" Train student experts to assist others on the computer(s).
" Use objects to communicate when help is needed.
Examples:
- Place flags on the computers or monitors. Yellow indicates help is needed, but the student can continue to work. A red flag signals an urgent issue, which prevents the student from continuing.
- A similar approach is to put three cups nested within each other upside down on the computer or monitor. Green on top means "everything is fine"; yellow on top means, "I have work I want you to check"; and red on top means, "I need help."

back to top


Q: When students are working collaboratively, how do you ensure that everyone within a group is engaged and contributing to the project?
" Have the group make a plan and create a storyboard before going to the computer.
" Students not using the computer can work on research, handouts, maps, or any unfinished work.
" Give both group and individual assignments, so each student will have personal accountability.

back to top


Q: What are some techniques for ensuring productive use of the computer lab?
" Clearly establish the rules for the lab and enforce consequences for inappropriate behavior, e.g., loss of computer privileges.
" Develop a method for removing students who are disruptive during the session.
" Get additional support by recruiting parent volunteers or student experts.
" To maintain focus during instruction:
- Have students turn off monitors or turn around and look at you when instruction is necessary; or
- Tape a folder on the monitor that can flip up or flip down to cover monitor; or
- Give instruction away from the computers.
" Create Web site Favorites or Bookmark sites students should visit, or create a Web site with approved links for research.
" Set print limitations, and download or save text in a word processing document.
" Assign students to specific computers.
" Require students to check equipment at the beginning of class and report any damaged or missing pieces right away; otherwise, they are responsible for lost or vandalized equipment.

back to top


Q: How do I arrange and track student time on the computers to achieve equal access?
" Use timers to manage students' time on the computers.
" Create a daily and/or weekly schedule to track students' time on the computers.
" Put students in groupsdivide the work.

back to top


Q: How do I maximize access to Internet information if I only have one connected computer?
" Download specific Web sites to the connected computer and distribute to the other computers to view offline.
" Use offline browser software to save Web sites to the hard drive. For large sites, you may need to save the Web sites on a Zip* drive or create a CD to view on another computer.
" Project the connected computer to a larger screen, like a TV, so that a group of students or the whole class can view it.
" Print out valuable resources for kids to view.
" Complete assignment as a whole class exercise.
" Put students into groups with the same research needs.

back to top


Q: How can I provide equitable access for students who don't have a computer at home?
" Make the computer available before school, during study time or after school.
" Allow those who do not have access to a computer at home to sign up first to use the computers in the classroom or lab.
" Help students partner with others that do have a computer at home.
" Check the local library: Many have computers that students can use.
" Set up an equipment checkout program.
" Give adequate time to complete assignments requiring computer use at school.

External Links

The Four Computer Classroom*
Suggestions for classroom management with a limited amount of computers in the classroom, as well as example Athena lessons that would work well in that model.

The Microsoft Anytime Anywhere Learning* Program*
"A vision, case studies, and solutions for schools integrating laptops into the learning process."

The One Computer Classroom*
Suggestions for classroom management in the one-computer classroom, as well as example Athena lessons that would work well in that model.

The School Computer Lab*
Suggestions for management in a computer lab, as well as example Athena lessons that would work well in that model.

Tip Sheet: Classroom Management *
Strategies for managing students on one computer or a limited number of computers.

The WIRED Classroom: Creating Technology Enhanced Student-Centered Learning Environments*
Step-by-step instructions on how to save Web sites for later viewing offline using Internet Explorer.

back to top



  * Legal Information and Privacy Policy © 2002 Intel Corporation