Those who are familiar with technology labs know that they are much different than a normal classroom. Creating routines and procedures vary based on how the lab is set up; however, I will share a few tips and tricks that have helped me the past few years that I have taught technology.
Start with Procedures
For the first week or two of school, I introduce my students to the way the classroom should be run. We don’t even touch technology until we discuss all the procedures! They need to understand that this lab is a place where the tools must be treated with respect or else they will not be able to work efficiently for them! Just like most classrooms, I have rules posted on my bulletin board on generic rules (walking, hands to yourself, inside voices). Most students understand those basic concepts.
The first unit of my curriculum is digital citizenship. Students are using technology in every form in every class they have. Therefore, I take it upon myself in my class to discuss the do’s and don’ts of digital citizenship. I show my elementary students “The Cyber Five” which goes over the rules that should be used when using any form of technology. It is a short and simple way to cover digital citizenship for younger students. I also have posters around my room that teach students to be good digital citizens.
Next, we move into the technology rules and procedures. My classroom is 1:1 Chromebook lab. Each student is assigned a chromebook and that is the device they use all year! If there is any damage, you will know exactly whose Chromebook it is! They unplug their Chromebook, go to their assigned seats, and get started. When the period comes to a close, they are to sign out COMPLETELY, shut their Chromebooks, and plug them back into my cart which is numbered 1-30 to make sure they are all placed in the correct spots!
No matter how you decide to run your technology lab, students’ safety should be the most important rule. These tips I use have worked well for me in the past, but do you have different tricks you use in your tech lab? We’d love to hear from you!