Let's explore the fun and frustrations of teaching with computers in the classroom.

How do you learn best? Don't drive yourself crazy trying to do everything. Life is messy and so is technology use. Do what works for you, but always think about the needs of learners first. As Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi would say, think of ways to get students into the "flow."

Examine the concept maps Classroom Computing: The Possibilities (PDF), Issues (PDF), Across the Curriculum (PDF).

The Possibilities
  • Assess. How are my students doing and what are their needs?
  • Present. What information, resources, and examples do my students need for their learning?
  • Practice. How can my students be actively involved in practicing new ideas and concepts?
  • Access Information. What fiction, nonfiction, and reference materials do my students need?
  • Apply Knowledge. What interactives and online tools will help students apply their new skills and knowledge?
  • Communicate. How can students communicate with their teacher, peers, and members of the community in meaningful ways?
  • Collaborate. How can students be involved in peer editing and collaborative work?
  • Create. How can students demonstrate their understandings and transfer learning to new situations?

Try It!

How do you spend your time on technology tasks? Compare the three approaches and consider your needs.

Administrative Tools. Google Docs is a great way to collaborate on word processing documents, data collection activities, and presentations. Use Openclipart for images.
Instructional Tools. Hands-only CPR
Professional Tools. The NCCEISTE LearningK12Online ConferencePBS Teachers, Thinkfinity, Calculation Nation

Try It!

How do students spend their time on technology tasks? Compare the three approaches and consider learner needs.

Learning Tools. EdHeads. Explore Brainpop and other practice interactives.
Information Tools. Green Hour. Explore other informational resources.
Creation Tools. Circle Plot. Explore ReadWriteThink for projects, Illuminations for math, and other interactives.

Final Thoughts on Cyber Success
1 - Student Centered Environment. Create a website that can be used as a virtual desk with tools, resources and assignments. Write pages from a learner's point of view. Make each student accountable for his/her own work.

2 - Engage Learners. Design engaging activities and assessments. Ask students to address big questions, think critically, and create meaningful products. 
Example: Ask students to use MakeBeliefsComix to create a four panel comic. The first three panels pose a problem and the last panel tells the answer. Use this as a unit review.

3 - Off-Computer Projects. Maintain long-term, off-computer projects. Access these when computers are down. 
Example: Design a special program, class murals, book-based ideas, or review games.

4 - Differentiate. Be flexible. Provide a variety of tools and resources. Work 1-to-1 to accommodate needs.
Example. Some children are distracted by the extra information and ads on some informational pages. Use the Readability tool.

5 - Be Realistic. Think of creative ways to evaluate students. Ask yourself: How will this help me understanding my child's understanding? Is it efficient, effective, and appealing?
Example. Use Glogster. Examine earthquake examples: Earthquake 1 and Earthquake 2.

6 - SCORE IT. How can students best convey their understandings? SCORE IT. Consider ideas in each of the following seven areas: storytelling, communication, organization, representation, evidence, inference, teaching. 

Developed by Annette Lamb and enhanced by the wonderful teachers at St. James Episcopal Day School.

If disaster strikes, backups of the original workshop sites are available at
1, 2, 3, 4