K-8 Computer Lab Teachers

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K-8 Computer Lab Teachers

I started a discussion inviting anyone to share resources and ideas about running a computer lab. I am not sure I am doing this right but we will see.

Members: 156
Latest Activity: Oct 31, 2013

Discussion Forum

New K-5 Tech. teacher, need HELP

Started by Candice Johanson. Last reply by Charlie Gerancher Aug 16, 2013. 8 Replies

Computer Lab Educational Software Recommendations?

Started by Obe Hostetter. Last reply by R. Scott Young Jul 21, 2013. 3 Replies

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Comment by David Paoline on July 30, 2013 at 8:19pm
Thanks for the insight Nancy. There are a few things that I need to look into. It's just another aspect of technology that I like to learn. I've been researching assistive technology just to be exposed what is available.
Comment by Nancy on July 28, 2013 at 7:44pm

How old is this student and does he have an IEP? What sort of CP and to what degree? (Athetoid vs. spastic) I've had students with communication boards, some with mild CP for whom i worked on keeping the hands to the proper side of the keyboard and not worrying about fingering correctly. Others had a joystick that was anchored to the desk or wheelchair that they used for input. But even so, a child with CP can help you figure out what works best for him. If voice is not affected, verbal commands via a microphone also can be used for input. Depending upon the family, they might be a source of guidance, as well. 

Comment by David Paoline on July 28, 2013 at 6:50pm
I am more concerned with the students with physical limitations. I have a special education background and I have always felt kids with learning disabilities always learned more with the computer. I have a student with cerebral palsy and like to know what I can do for him. Is there a special mouse he could use? How about when it comes to typing?
Comment by Nancy on July 28, 2013 at 7:42am

I agree with Charlie. I usually meet quietly with my special needs kids and we come up with a plan. It keeps them in control and responsible for their learning at the same time. However, I do the same with the other kids in the class whenever I see a need. I also allow students to stand at their computer if they so desire as there are times when all of us need to move or stretch. As long as you aren't interfering with the work of anyone near you, all is good. I put the most "motion prone" kids in the back where they can wiggle as much as they need to without distracting others. Things are so individualized in my class that only new transfer students question why different kids have different expectations from me. 

Comment by Charlie Gerancher on July 28, 2013 at 5:47am

I have had many students with various physical challenges over the years. I prefer not to make any adaptations up front. Rather, sit with the child and ask him/her what things are difficult. Observe him/her using the equipment and see what seems to be problematic. One example: I had a student with learning difficulties who was also very impulsive and hyperactive. Too many buttons available to press was a problem. I had a technician replace the two-button mouse with a one button Apple mouse. That helped tremendously because there were no accidental right-clicks make things happen that caused problems. Many times though, the student can tell you what works for him/her. 

Comment by David Paoline on July 28, 2013 at 5:29am
My new challenge this year is getting to know assistive or adaptive technology for special needs students. I am going to have a student this year with cerebral palsy. Although my student can get around on his own he still has difficulties using the mouse. I would like to know if anyone had a student in their computer lab that faced physical challenges? What did you do? How could I prepare myself for the future and equip my lab for a student with physical impairments?
Comment by David Paoline on July 28, 2013 at 5:18am
Thank you for all of the great Smartboard tips!
Comment by Nancy on July 23, 2013 at 10:01am

I don't use many of the Smartboard games as they don't really tie into what I'm doing in the lab. However, I DO use mind-mapping charts as we set up projects. Even the youngest like to contribute and see their ideas on the Smartboard. Another primary grade idea, David, is to create books on the Smartboard with the class. I have them brainstorm ideas, then we migrate towards determining what would be a good intro, middle, and end to the story. Next, we consider details, and the Smartboard allows us to move those items to form a logical sequence of events. Once that is finished, we then start a new file, and using the printouts I made of their work up to this point, we create a storybook, using the graphics they can find in the program when possible. This way they learn to use the software, to import graphics, to sequence, to be precise in their language use, to create pleasing layouts, etc.  Finally, I let each child design their own book cover, and when I print their story each child can speak to collaboration and individual work! This is really good with special needs students. It is so easy to have each student contribute at his/her own level and guide the process for all.

Comment by Jacqui Murray on July 23, 2013 at 9:39am

I have--I did a unit on it last year--Bridge Building. Students watched videos/read material on bridges for homework, taught each other quick basics (graded formatively) based on homework material, then entered the West Point Bridge Building competition as the project. This tied in with science discussion on 'toothpick bridges'. I like including GHO in the homework because students are motivated by that--get to go online with friends!

It took extra work on my part, but the results--I think--were great.

Comment by Charlie Gerancher on July 23, 2013 at 3:34am

David,

Here are some sites for SmartBoard activities and resources.

http://teacherslovesmartboards.com/

http://www1.center.k12.mo.us/edtech/SB/templates.htm (a set of templates)

http://goo.gl/1in1mO (Smart Exchange)

http://www.smartboardgoodies.com/

Hope those are helpful,

Rock On,

Charlie

 

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