Daily student access to computers in elementary classrooms

May 4, 2008 at 10:41 am | Posted in Tech Integration | Leave a comment
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When I was a first, third and fourth grade teacher, my students used our lab and classroom computers as a tool to learn, practice skills, research, communicate and create. It was easy to allow this in the classroom as we set ground rules for proper purposes and times for use. I taught the students to save often when writing and what to do when the computer froze as our classroom desktops were very old. I figured out their quirks and they worked well for our purposes; a classroom tool like the pencils, papers, and books. Except the desktops were capable of opening up the world to us, gave us answers/images/audioclips/ videoclips, gave us fun and engaging games to promote skill practice and develop thinking, and best of all encouraged reluctant writers and readers to communicate through original writing. What did the teachers use? One of the classroom desktops when needed.

In my current school, we are now rolling out a program that provides a designated new laptop to all faculty members. This is a fantastic opportunity for teachers to explore tech as teaching and learning tool and gain skills with computer use. I am also excited because those older desktops the teachers have used will be moved away from the teacher’s corner out into the classroom for student use. With the upgrade of our LS lab this summer, each elementary classroom will have at least 2 classroom desktops for student use in the classroom in the fall!

As a technology integrator (and previous classroom teacher), it is my opinion that for students to use computers appropriately and at a skilled level, they need exposure beyond the once a week hour in the lab. What is your opinion and experience?


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