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.

Jeremiah Olson

Tags: computer, lab, labs

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Hi Jeremiah, I think we might share the same job description. I am technology coordinator and teacher in elementary school in Israel. We also have about 600 students. I teach in the computer lab, classes come to me once a week for 1 lesson, this year they will be accompanied by their teachers, which I am hoping will encourage the teachers to implement technology more in their curriculum.

There is a group here on Ning that might be of interest to you. Connecting Content and Technology.
Thanks Susan. I am now a member of your group. All of this is so overwhelming. I looked at your bookmarks and found plenty of good ideas. I just really do not know where to start. one question: Do you have to write lesson plans? How much in advance do you plan out your year?
Hi Jeremiah, sorry I didn't see this sooner :-( I should check my RSS feeds more often!
In answer to your question, I can't plan out my whole year in advance, as I never know who or what I will be teaching until the first day of school. I usually plan the first month as a general introduction to work in the Computer Lab and the school web site ie. rules, safety, saving work, passwords etc. We also have 3 Jewish Festivals which fall in either the first or 2nd month of the school year so I always plan to do some work based on those festivals.
By the end of the first month I am supposed to have the rest of my curriculum planned out. As this year my curriculum depends on collaboration with the Homeroom teachers, I am treading new ground and will have to see how it works.
Hi Susan,
Thanx for the tip about the ning. It looks perfect for me as well. I'm the tech coordinator in a Jewish Day School in Chicago. What grades do you teach? Where are you located? Perhaps our classes could collaborate. We're nursery-8th grade school with a lot of equipment. What's your situation?
Hi. I have the same job title. I'm in a small school with 300 students. I see the K-5 crowd once per week and the 6-8 students twice per week. I find it hard to fix, teach, and support teachers with my schedule, but somehow it works out every year. I work with Macs in OS 9/OS X. I'm slowly migrating as funds are available. I'll keep following this thread and chime in when I have something that contributes to your posting.
Hello Ann. I sure appreciate any help. I had your type of schedule last year. This year I think I see every class once a week. I'd like to ask you the same questions I asked Susan. I need to plan for this year. I have too many resources. I would like to have a list of technology related ideas for every grade and subject to give to the regular ed teachers and have them lead me to what they want their kids to do. I know that some teachers just want to dump off their kids to the lab so they can have their prep.

Any ideas on how I should begin planning? I want to be many many steps ahead of the kids form day one.
Start at the end. What outcomes do you want?
Hi Nancy,
I am trying out your suggestion, start at the end. I want the kids to be able to superimpose a picture of themselves onto an inanimate object. I've seen examples of this, but don't know what programs to use. I am a beginner with phot shop, but think that may be worth learning more about. Any other suggestions? since i'm gonna have to learn a new program, I'd like to invest my time wisely.
You could use a number of programs. You can either shoot the pictures of the kids with an uncluttered contrasting background and eliminate the background using a program like Imageblender or Photoshop LE (if you don't want to get as advanced as Photoshop) or you could use a magnetic lasso to trace around the kid and cut and paste them as a new layer on another photo (your inanimate object). This is a lot of fun to do for many different kinds of projects.
Paint Shop Pro is a great editing and creation tool. It works like Photoshop but is much less exspensive. The learning curve is also lower. Many Photoshop plugins and filters are compatible. It is currently made by Corel--under $100.

Here is a tutorial I made a while back. In this tutorial we superimpose three animal parts to create one animal. This lesson is centered around animal adaptations, but could apply to what you'd like to do. Here we use Microsoft Paint (built in to the Windows OS) I also show an alternate method using PowerPoint 2010. Hope you find it useful. [Just realizing that this question was posted four years ago. LOL. Oh well, posting anyways.]


I'm sorry, I never saw this reply. I'm starting my sixth year. You're right about the prep thing. I really only get suggestions a few times per year per teacher. I used to roam the halls and see what they were doing, especially in the lower grades and map things to that. I don't know what software you have. I like KidPix (especially the older version that won't run on OS X. I started logging my projects at this wiki. Feel free to borrow and change as you wish. I keep a spreadsheet of skills and projects in Excel. I've been updating it for five years and it reminds me of what I want to do. I have a general overview of what I attempt with each class at another wiki. My biggest problem is wanting to do it all. If you add a few new things each year, you'll be amazed at what you can accomplish. Also, each year, my curriculum becomes more and more defined. At the beginning, K and 1, 2 and 3, 4 and 5, and 6-8 were doing very similar things. It got easier each year, because K, 2, 4, and 6 became better defined in year two. The next year, I had to come up with new and more challenging projects for 1, 3, 5, 7, and 8. As software had to change with the operating system changes, and as I'm finding out about wikis, etc. The curriculum is improving again. Feel free to email me through my main computer web site if you wish.



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