several important classroom issues to consider with regard to computer
use. Below will be some brief discussion about a few key points.
The One Computer Classroom
the classrooms at the charter school have Internet access limited to one
computer. You can find some great articles that give practical ideas
to handle this situation at this site, The
One Computer Classroom.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Use a buddy system that pairs more computer saavy students with
- Have a management plan in place before starting a project (i.e.
cards indicating who is on the computer, when and for how long).
- Create two desktop folders, one for completed work and one for work
- Provide a checklist for students each time they spend time on the
computer so they can keep track of where they are in the project.
- Use templates whenever possible. Then students can rotate through an
activity without loosing or altering the original.
- Emphasize preplanning to time so actual time on the computer is put
to good use.
- When introducing a new computing skill, model frequently before
expecting students to do it on their own.
- Use the L-TV hook-up when demonstrating these new skills.
- Enlist the help of volunteers as much as possible
There are several good books focusing on
one computer classrooms. Of particular notice are those written by Tom Snyder . Also check out these searches from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Accomodating the needs and learning styles of today's
students is made easier with the integration of technology. By
encorporating a multimedia approach, teachers have the tools to allow
all students the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of exciting
Here are a few examples of how technology
- The use of a laptop computer and speech recognition
software enables the student with speech and motor impairments to work
towards independence in writing.
- Multimedia writing projects that pair learning
disabled students with non-disabled peers can tap unrealized potential
of both populations.
- Deaf students can learn to translate American Sign
Language to written English by integrating story telling, video taping
and word processing.
A portable braille devise with speech output
can allow a high school student academic success.
Center to Improve Practice in Special Education Through Technology, Media,
and Materials (NCIP) site is a wonderful place to learn about how and
why to use technology with your special needs students.
This is not
to say that accomodating learning disabled or physically challenged
students is easy. However, if you keep an open mind and a creative
spirit, accomodations can be made. There are many adaptive devices
created especially for a wide varierty of conditions and there are also
monies available to help defray associated costs (see the above mentioned
site for details).
Relevant Web Sites
Instruction and the Learning Disabled: Factors that must be Addressed for
a Successful Program
Technology: Adaptive Technology
The Internet: An Inclusive Magnet
for Teaching All Students
NCSA Mosaic Access Page
The Digital Divide, the
separation between the technology "haves" versus the technology "have
nots", is currently being hotly debated. Almost every classroom population
will have students that come from impovershed backgrounds. Our
responsibility is to minimize the affect this has on individual success in
a technology rich classroom. As such, it is imperative that we provide the
additional instruction, practice and hands-on computer time needed by
those students. It is likely that such opportunities will be motivating
for the children and rewarding for the teacher. That's a win/win
Relevant Web Sites
Instructional Strategies: Using Higher Order Computer Tasks with
Closing the Equity Gap in
Technology Access and Use: A Practical Guide for K-12
Issue: Ensuring Equitable Use of Education Technology
The bottom line..."Playing" on the computer is
(almost) a universally enjoyable experience for children. If we put the
time to sound educational use and keep in mind the particular needs of the
children in our care, the computer can open up the world to a child. It is
worth the effort!