Mar 19, 2012

Tech Lab Tips

As the demand for time in the technology lab increases, here are some tips to help you and your students have a successful visit.

A great visit begins with a reservation:
  • Contact the media clerk at your campus to reserve lab time well in advance (Robin at GES, Marilynn at SMS). GES Staff should check the online lab calendar for availability prior to contacting Robin, as this is the most up to date lab schedule.
  • If you find that your needs change, please contact the LMC staff to adjust or cancel your reservation.

Plan Ahead:
  • Ensure you have adequate support. Do you need help planning? developing an assessment tool? What about an extra pair of hands to help students? Mrs. Bond is in district to help you in these and other ways.
  • Post all links to your wiki/website/blog page, or at the very least, make sure they are short and easy to type.
  • Demonstrate the activity before visiting the lab. There is something about a keyboard and mouse that reduces student attention span!
  • Assign seats. This will help when students accidentally save their work to the hard drive. It will also help to ensure students are accountable for what happens to the computer on their watch.
  • Make sure every student knows their login and password before leaving the classroom. All students in grades 4+ have their own login, and should use that login.  Never log students in with your credentials. Please contact help@gtsd.net for login/password assistance.
  • Check the technology before visiting the lab. Are your links working? Is the software loaded onto the computers?
  • Prepare a backup plan. Have an idea of what you will do when the server is slow, the internet is out, the power is out. 

At the Tech Lab:
  • Respect your colleagues lab time -- arrive on time, leave on time. 
  • Make the most of learning opportunities and discuss some form of digital citizenship every visit. This may include password protection, digital footprint, the simultaneous permanence and impermanence of the web.
  • Ensure that all students log off the computers (no touching power buttons!), push in chairs, collecte personal belongings.
  • Contact help@gtsd.net with any issues -- this includes slow network or net connection, problematic software or hardware. Please be specific about time, sites, duration of difficulty, etc., as this helps diagnose what is causing the problem.