1 to 1 laptop tips

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Mr.history, Nov 22, 2021.

  1. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

    May 19, 2012
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    Nov 22, 2021

    Hello Everyone,
    I'm currently teaching an 8th grade social studies class. We just got told last week that after we come back from Christmas break that our students will be getting laptops. I'm excited because there are some really cool things that I can do, but I'm also nervous. Anyone here that is 1 to 1 on laptops/ipads and got any tips/info they wish they had before they were implemented?

    Any tips on when you do allow the laptop and when other things have to be on paper? How do you keep kids on task? Anything else.

  3. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Comrade

    Oct 25, 2016
    Likes Received:

    Nov 22, 2021

    Unless they've had a designated typing/computer class, expect that they won't be able to type very well and won't necessarily know how to do basic tasks on a computer. Plan time to show them, possibly including screenshot-type annotated handouts. You will likely need to teach them how to properly google something too (source-checking, boolean operators).

    Keep records of their login credentials- the kids will forget. Have a paper copy left in a safe place for subs to use if need be.

    Check with admins what the acceptable use policy (and consequences) will be. There will be kids who go on sites they're not supposed to be on; there will be kids who are willfully rough with the equipment. Have a set plan in advance and communicate it to students and parents.

    For me, proximity helps keep kids on-task. If you can, positioning yourself where you can see all/most kids' screens is a good idea. Also have a list of acceptable sites/activities for if they get done early.

    I was taught in my teacher training that there's three types of tech use. One is doing the same tasks but on the computer, another is using the computer to access resources (research projects, webquests), and the third is for learning/tasks that otherwise couldn't be done (virtual labs, museum tours, interactive learning). Try for the last one, the second is fine, avoid the first except for when your emphasis is on tech skills and not content.
    mrsf70 and creativemonster like this.
  4. MntnHiker

    MntnHiker Companion

    Feb 17, 2019
    Likes Received:

    Nov 24, 2021 at 5:00 PM

    We've had Chromebooks for about 6 years now. My #1 tip is to be really direct with the students about when it's acceptable to have computers out. You could even have different signs you put up on the front board - Computer out and open, computer totally put away, etc. I am very explicit: "Chromebooks should be totally closed and put under your desk right now." And I don't go on with instruction until they are.

    Will you have something like Go Guardian where you can monitor their screens? That has made such a huge difference for us. You can see all students' screens simultaneously on your end, you can close their tabs from your device, you can limit with websites they can be on, you can private message them or send a message to the whole class, etc. I utilize that a lot when students are working. After one warning of being on an off-task website and me having to close their tabs, if it happens again, they put the Chromebook away and I print the activity for them to do on paper or give them an alternate activity. If that happens too often, then I send a referral.

    I will say, I do LOVE having the Chromebooks instead of having to book computer labs like I used to. I teach English, and so much of what I teach has to be typed (no one hand writes a resume, for instance!) Research is now so much easier as they can access library databases right from their own device in my room, etc. They can be a distraction, but I would rather have them than not.
  5. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

    Oct 25, 2005
    Likes Received:

    Nov 27, 2021 at 11:06 PM

    I love Go Guardian. It was a lifesaver when we were remote. We could monitor the kids so easily. It also has good reports, so when parents complained that their child had an F when they were on the computer working all day long, we could show that they were on YouTube all day, not working.

    I put every assignment in Google Classroom, so even if I did something on paper, they could have access to another copy if they needed it, and the absent kids could have the work immediately.

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