Computer Lab Management Strategies

Before Going to the Computer Lab
<    Check to make sure that all students’ accounts are active; be aware of any students who may have restricted access for some reason.
<    Know the process that students use to log in to the network.
<    Remind students of their responsibilities established through the school’s Acceptable Use Policy. 
<    Establish any additional classroom rules for your class when using the computer lab.  
<    Define and identify inappropriate behavior and use of equipment before and during lab time.
<    Identify consequences for violating any rules and enforce them.
<    Test the lesson ahead of time to anticipate questions and problems.
<    If possible, have students meet in their regular classroom for attendance and last-minute instructions before going to the computer lab.
<    Assign students to specific computers, possibly the same computer in the lab throughout the year (unless special groups are working together for a project).


In the Computer Lab
<    Ask students to deposit books, backpacks, etc. away from the workstations and take only what they will use to work areas.
<    Tell students to check equipment at the beginning of class and to report any damaged or missing pieces right away so that they are not blamed for lost equipment or vandalism.
<    Build in extra time for network/software/Internet instruction, especially for first visits to the lab.
<    Give students a checklist of tasks/work for the period, along with a timeline.
<    Move around the room to offer additional instruction/direction, and to monitor student work, but do not stay too long at any one workstation.
<    Report, in writing, all problems to the technology staff (written notes, email, repair forms).
<    Remind students to push in chairs, clean work areas, and take personal belongings when leaving the lab.


Strategies for increased student productivity in the computer lab. . .
<    When instructions are about content and not about a computer function, have students turn off their computer monitors and focus on the instructor while directions are given.
<    If available, use a projection system for instruction about computer functions.. Students will be able to see the instructor’s computer and follow directions visually.
<    Grade/check assignments or projects in stages (outline, rough draft, etc.) to make sure students are progressing through their work.
<    Use a rubric/scoring guide for lab work and give a grade. Students will be more directed in what they do.

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