Computer use in the classroom leaves a huge impact on your student’s learning. When you’re able to incorporate technology into your lessons, it helps keep your students engaged and holds their attention. There are many ways to use computers in the classroom, but no piece of technology is flawless.
Using computers in the classroom will come with some bumps along the road. This is something you’ll need to plan for in advance. Keeping up with the latest computer tips and tricks is another great way to ensure your computer use in the classroom goes as smoothly as possible.
With so many other classroom techniques to stay on top of, we know learning the ins and outs of computers for school use can become overwhelming. That’s why we’re here to help! Continue reading below for a few tech tips and tricks that you can use when using computers in the classroom!
1. Remove Unused Programs
If you use your computer for your classes on a daily basis, then you’ve most likely accumulated a few programs and files. As time passes by, all of these programs and files will eventually slow your computer down. It’s essential that your computer runs smoothly and quickly as a slow system can take away precious learning time for your class.
Go through your computer on a regular basis and remove all unused programs and files. Consider placing a reoccurring reminder on your computer or cell phone to tell you it’s time to do another sweep. Set this reminder once a month or more frequently if needed.
If you need to free up space on your computer but don’t want to completely delete certain files, then you can move the files to an external drive. The external drive will keep all of these files safe without taking up space on your computer’s internal drive.
2. Back-Up Everything
Aside from removing files and programs that aren’t used, you need to back-up everything. If you were to lose all of the data on your computer right now, would you have a way to retrieve it? If not, how detrimental would that be for you and your class?
Having a back-up system in place will keep you from losing data due to accidental deletion or a computer crash. Use the back-up system on your computer to back up your data on a reoccurring schedule. You can also use an online back-up system as well.
Finally, save copies of all your most important files on an external drive.
3. Have Set Goals
When implementing technology into the classroom, you need to have goals set in place. You can’t expect the use of technology to help achieve academic goals on its own. Just because you’re using computers to teach a lesson, doesn’t mean the students will benefit from it.
Computers in the classroom can be wonderful tools if used properly. Think about what you want your students to learn from the lesson. What’s the objective of the day?
Then, see how computers can fit into the lesson, not the other way around.
4. Give the Students Control
When new technology enters the classroom, you might feel the need to hold back from letting the entire class get their hands on it. It’s important that you give your students some control, however. This will help them understand the technology better, and before you know it, they’ll be pros!
Allow your students to choose which digital tools they want to use for different lessons. Don’t hesitate to let your children teach you as well. Students will love having the opportunity to teach the class and you while using technology!
You’d be surprised by how much your students know about different apps, digital tools, and technology in general.
5. Stay Consistent
There are always new tools on the market. With so many new and cool tools available, you might feel tempted to introduce new digital tools to your students as you find them. It’s important, however, that you stay consistent.
Find the tools that work best for you and your students and stick to those tools on a daily basis. Let these tools be the ones your students learn all of the ins and outs of. When you do discover new tools, introduce them to your students here and there.
Learning how to use a new tool every day will take from your instruction time. Instead, only introduce new tools every now and then. Give your students time to learn these new tools.
See how well they work or don’t work and then decide if you want to keep them for daily use or not.
6. Share Your Screen
There will be times when you need to be the one in control of the computer. Maybe you’re showing your students how to navigate through a new tool or reading a lesson to them. Whatever your specific reason may be, there are plenty of uses for sharing your screen.
Screen sharing allows others to see what you’re doing on your computer. This also works well for distance learning. Learning how to use new tools can be difficult at times. If your students can see exactly what you’re doing, then they can follow on their own computers.
A screen sharing Mac or another device is the best way to teach your students right from your computer!
7. Always Have a Back-Up Plan
At the very least, always have a back-up plan. Using technology is beneficial and an amazing resource, but it’s unpredictable. There will come a time when your devices don’t work as intended.
When this happens, you’ll need to have a back-up plan off of the computer. Did you plan to have your students work in the computer lab on a specific day? Did the computers happen to be down on that exact day?
We’ve all been there before. To keep things running smoothly, always have a plan B.
Implement These Computer Tips and Tricks in Your Lessons!
As a teacher, you know just how essential it is to use technology in the classroom. Keep these computer tips and tricks in mind when using computers in the classroom. This is true whether it be your own computer or computers for your students!
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