Hello. I am not sure if there is a discussion out there for computer lab teachers yet. If not, I would like to start one so we can bounce ideas and resources off each other. I spent my first year teaching as a computer lab teacher. At first I was hesitant because I thought I would be a classroom teacher. Now, I love it and feel I am in the right place at the right time.

This September I start my second year only this time i am at a Chicago Public School with 600+ students. I have a lot of work to do to prepare and would love to talk with anyone about tips, tricks, what to avoid, etc.

Thanks,
Jeremiah Olson

Tags: computer, lab, labs

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Hi,
I just stumbled on this site and felt the need to join.
I had a free trial of K to the 8th power one year. Like most computer assisted programs, there has to be some background built with the students. We can't expect them to learn the computer with a computer and have no teacher. I liked it to reinforce what I taught, but I did not think it was worth the money.
A great resource for computer labs is Tammy Worcester. I have one of her books and have used many of the ideas. Most of them I have adapted from the original idea to what I need in my lab.
Nancy,
Thanks for your response. I don't think our program was used correctly this year. As I've been telling the kids that I'll be teaching computer next year, I've been asking them what they thought of K to the 8th, and they all said they hated it. They have already been so turned off that I can't even imagine using it for the positive aspects of it.

Thanks also for the info about Tammy Worcester. I'll be checking out her books.

Ruth
What grades will you teach? I remember my first year in the lab. I wanted to be there, but when I walked in and saw 30 computers and no teachers manuals, I wondered what in the world I was going to do. I have to say that a bad day in the computer lab is better than the best day in the regular classroom.
Nancy,

I'll be teaching K-6th. I've taught 2nd grade for the past 9 years and 3rd grade for three years back before I had my children. I'm getting quite excited about teaching computer. I ordered one of the books from Tamy Worcester. I'm excited to check it out. I love what you said about a bad day in the computer lab is better than the best day in the regular classroom. Thanks for the smiles.

Ruth

Ruth
Teacher's manuals. What are those? :) I'd be curious to see how many have a set curriculum/textbooks vs. how many are making up their own teaching resources. Or are we doing a mixture of both? I have an office applications book I used for graded 5-8 but that's it. The rest I create on my own based upon the curriculum guidelines from the Diocese are very much out of date. Basic programming? Who has time for that! :) I see my kids once a week so I have to pick my goals carefully.
George

Which Diocese do you work for? I'm in the Archdiocese of Mobile in Alabama. In years past we had a great computer teacher and she created quite a file of wonderful lesson plans. When she moved out of town just a week or two before school started, the classroom teachers were left on their own to teach computer. Some of us were fine - but others were totally lost. Then last year we went to the K to the 8th and shared 1 computer teacher for three campuses. He suffered a heart attack in January and had complications after that and will not be returning. Fortunately our new president saw the need for a full-time computer teacher at the Elementary campus and that's going to be me. I have a lot of great ideas - I'm just a little concerned about implementing them. Oh well, that's what summer is for - right?

Ruth
Diocese of Fresno, CA. Our diocese of spread out geographically. Sharing teachers in near impossible. Budgets are tight and teacher positions may be cut due to a decrease in enrollment for this year. At this point, I have no reason to believe that I WON'T have a job next year but I have to keep my options open. Luckily, the principal is very supportive and realizes that getting rid of "the tech guy" would be like shooting themselves in the foot.
Hello all! I teach computers in a small K-8 private school in California. I see each grade twice a week. K-3 come for 25 minutes at a time, 4th & 5th have one 45 minute class and one 25 minute class, and 6th-8th have two 45 minute classes. I started the job this year and have been working on trying to figure out what works and what doesn't - both with the computers in our lab (6-7 year old Windows XP computers) and with the classes. My goal for next year is to try to integrate what we do in the computer lab more with the curriculum in the classroom if possible. I tried to do some of that this year but want to do more next year.
Welcome Vicky. I am in a similiar situation as you. I teach PreK-8 in a private school in IL.
I would LOVE to see my K-8 kids (also in a K-8 Catholic School in California) twice a week. I only see them once a week. *sigh* It's just not enough. I have the 5-8 graders 45 min. each week with many interruptions in the schedule due to special events (we have a LOT of them). All other classes are 30 minutes.

On the subject on integration, I used to send the teachers a survey each month asking them what they were going to be working on that month. The teacher's appreciated that. Now, all our teachers have blogs, so I use those to find out what they are working on and, if I have questions, I ask them directly. The blogs have been such a benefit in unexpected ways.
Welcome Vicky, I teach as you do in a small private school. This is my 8th year and we have a finished curriculum guide with extended units. It has been a long process, particularly the Integration part. What ended up happening was me approaching teachers to suggest ways I could collaborate between what they do in the classroom and in my lab. One helpful way was to ensure I received a copy of all class newsletters,homework lists, calendars etc. Now that these are posted on our web site I just go in and plan from there. Some teachers embrace the collaboration and others think it is "too much" on top of their regular duties But inch by inch they see how it is such a positive outcome for the students.
Good idea on class newsletters and homeworks lists. I'll ask the teachers to give me these. I don't want to give the teachers more to do but would definitely like to get "into the loop" on what they're doing so I can try to integrate more.

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