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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Stephanie,
I just visited your eboard. What a great site. I especially liked the actors reading books for the first graders. I am going to give this eboard a try. The trouble with me and all this technology is that I want to make sure I am using the best tech for my situation. So I look at all the options and next thing you know, I've spent hours and hours researching and still have nothing set up. I am vowing to change that although I do have a question for you and anyone else in this discussion.

All my kids have the same username and password to log into the server. I want a centralized (web based) place for them to save their work. Otherwise, I have to go to 30 computers to find their work. I know their is a "storage locker" site out there but I think it is expensive. Does anyone have any ideas? Thank you all for your input to this discussion.
Hi Jeremiah,

I am new here, so I haven't had time to read all the comments. However, I have three places for my students to store work. I use www.gaggle.net for their email, it has a file locker. Some of the students use that to move files from home to school and vice versa.

However, most of the students use some shared hard drives for storage -- I have had lots of problems with that as the students do not have a unique login. So you can imagine the temptation to just copy someone's work or to delete another's files.

To help combat this, I have set up an LCMS server that allows me to set up my projects so that students have a secure login, a file storage area that students/instructors can use and students can turn in files to the instructor, a place for forums, a chat area that can be recorded, a glossary area, and many other tools that can benefit you and the students.

I use a hosting service that is free to US public schools at http://www.lunarpages.com
My LCMS is ATutor from http://www.atutor.ca

I evaluated other LCMS such as Moodle, but chose the ATutor for its simple clean interface -- I don't want my students spending time modifying the look of the LCMS only to forget what they logged on to do.
I had a separate drive set up on our server. All of our work is saved on this drive. It took a lot of teaching, reviewing, and saying the same thing over and over again - but it paid off. It's been much easier this year.

On the T drive I set up a folder for each homeroom and then under that I set up a folder for each individual project that we do. That way, I just have to go to the T drive from my computer, check that project and see if everyone is finished. It also made it much easier to print projects from Kidpix, etc. In Kidpix, we export as a j-peg to the T drive, and then I can print them all at once with several on a page. It also saves on paper and ink so I feel like I can print a lot more of their projects.

One other benefit is that if a child does not finish their work, they can finish from a classroom computer.

I hope this helps.
Hi Stephanie,
I too visited your eBoard. It's great!!! What a great way for students to learn interactively-especialyy the younger one's. Just a couple of question, "Where do you find all of those great websites and links?" I'm teaching in a K-4 setting for the first time and need all the help I can get. Do you have any interactive links / activities for Kindergarten students???
My eboard page is a site that the kids have bookmarked. The expectation is that they come in, get logged into their computer and go to the eboard. While everyone is getting logged in, they are free to explore the lesson links for the week.
Planning can be over whelming because there is so much available and high expectations. I serve over 800 students in a k-5 school. This may sound simplistic, but for year long plans I count how many times I will see each class to get a realistic picture of what I can get to for each grade level. I look at ISTE NETS-Students and data for grade level test scores. What do our students need in specific core academic areas? Is it writing skills, research, math problem solving, graphing across the curriculum, measurement in math and science..? How can technology help our students learn in these areas? Ask the teachers what areas are more difficult for traditional teaching methods. What are they researching? Survey the students' strengths/interests. Your confidence comes through and ideas flow when you know you are doing much more that running a lab.
I write weekly lesson plans, but I make my own forms and compile them in a notebook. My forms change each year with my needs. I make year long plans- spreadsheets with grade levels. months, subject/topics and technology applications.
Jeremiah,
I am also starting my second year as a computer lab teacher. I'm thinking of starting the year with net safety. I'm glad you have started this discussion. I teach in a small rural school in Missouri.
Ruth (t3ach3)
Hey Jeremiah!

I teach K-4, 525 kids, once a week for 50 minutes each. NOT. ENOUGH. TIME! But I love what I do and cannot WAIT to get back to school. If I had my way we'd be in session 12 months a year.

Since you successfully completed your first year, let me ask you:

1) What went well?
2) What could have been better?

I'm starting my fifth year and want to shake things up. I have lots of ideas and am brainstorming with my fellow teachers now.

Stephanie is right, e-boards ROCK, mine has some resources you might find useful:

http://tinyurl.com/5ezeu

My K-8 EdTech blog might also benefit you:

http://www.ncs-tech.org

It's kind of inactive, but once school starts, I post daily.

As for approaches ... I'm starting with the new NETS-S and building from there with heavy emphasis on social networking, Web 2.0 digital imaging and storytelling, cybersafety, and keyboarding.

I would spend as much time as possible talking to your fellow teachers to see how your position can help them, you'll be amazed at the ideas you get.

Good luck to you!

-kj-
Kevin, Change of subject--I teach in a special education program for gifted elementary students. I am updating and rewriting technology goals which may end up on their IEP (Individual Education Plan). I'm using the new NETS-S and am thrilled to see familiar language. The skills in the new NETS-S are skills we have been emphasizing in gifted ed for 25 years--problem solving, collaboration, critical thinking, decision-making, communication, creativity---just thought that was interesting. OK, you can go back to the original topic! Have a good week. N
Hey Nancy! That *IS* funny - and great to see - the NETS finally have it figured out!

Now, it's up to *US* to implement, any advice?

-kj-
Here's the sad part, we know what kids like, we know how to teach, we have good materials and ideas. BUT, it is a big but---in our district elementary students spend 2 hours a day with reading instruction and an hour with math. With specials, lunch and recess that doesn't leave much time for critical thinking, collaboration, problem solving etc. I asked the director of C&I last week at a meeting if a student reading three years above grade level had to have 2 hours of reading a day. Luckily she said "no", but do teachers know what to do with that kid? Did you see the new Time magazine by chance? Good reading to remind us that some kids don't need the repetition demanded by NCLB and could easily meet the NET-S standards. I think I'm still off the subject of this thread. Later, N.
Hi Kevin!

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