Managing your class when they’re in the computer lab can definitely be a challenge. There is no shortage of stimuli that can cause students to become distracted and slack off from their work. Here are a few tips to help mitigate distractions and boost productivity:
Set Clear Classroom & Assignment Objectives
It’s a good idea to brief your students the day before computer lab day and make sure they understand lab rules, school workstation use regulations, classroom etiquette, and assignment objectives. You can spell it out on the whiteboard, overhead projector, and/or remind them it’s on the course syllabus for reference. In addition, notify your students which program(s) and website(s) they will be visiting that day and what exactly they will be doing for that assignment.
Look Ahead While Creating a Backup
Technical difficulties can and do happen so coordinate with your school’s I.T. department a day or two before and have them ensure the computer lab equipment is functioning properly and ready for classroom lessons. However, in the rare instance things go south and the problem is beyond I.T.’s control, have a backup plan that can be quickly deployed. You can also notify I.T. to have a laptop or tablet storage cart ready to deploy in case the desktop workstations are unavailable. The ultimate goal is to not allow downtime from technical difficulties to compromise classroom lesson time.
For those students who finish early, have another lesson plan ready or have them start working on the next big deliverable . This can be preliminary research for future assignments such as an upcoming semester project, exam, or term paper. Because the nature of these deliverables requires extensive research, studying, and preparation, students will have no trouble utilizing the extra classroom time to get started. Extra credit work is another assignment idea that can keep those students who finish early busy.
Whether you’re setting up or refreshing your existing computer lab, it’s important to have the right equipment. Contact us for assistance on helping you choose the right furniture for your computer learning environment!