There are some cool teachers on Tumblr, Twitter, and Pinterest. I suggest signing up for these sites. You never know what inspiration you will find there. I know I come across great ideas on them all the time.
Here are some great computer lab tips from Classroom Chaos.
Scout Out the Computer Lab Before Taking the Class There
By doing this I discovered that 3 out of 36 computers were not functioning or missing something. (1) A computer was missing a mouse, (2) another would not turn on at all, and (3) I could not reach the wiring on another computer tower because it was under the desk and against the wall but I knew the tower was not connected to the monitor. Upon discovering this, I removed the chairs from these computers and wrote down on sticky notes describing the malfunction.
This preparation served two purposes: to deviate from students wasting time trying to make something that does not operate to work and to inform the next teacher who arrives in the computer lab that the following computers do not work and that it occurred BEFORE my the class started.
Students are Responsible for their Workstation
Oh, and I did not assign seating arrangements like I used to. Instead, I had them sit where they wanted and held them responsible for their learning space by having them sign the paper that was taped at their station. This will also help if a student should accidentally (or purposely) damage the computer or save something inappropriate (teens like to change the desktop images) and I would know who it was, or you can look at this as a preventative measure.
We are here to Work and Learn
Some students expect computer lab time to be a respite from any work or responsibility. This is something that we can overcome.
. . . with a bit of learning experience from trial and error, I have learned to teach in the computer lab and my students understand that they are here to work.
Great ideas that will help your time in the computer lab run more smoothly.
Teaching Tip Archive – over 200 great ideas!