A teacher can effectively teach in a one room computer classroom by planning and utilizing different styles of creative teaching. Teachers use the computers for a learning station and administrative purposes. Both students and teachers can use the computer for accessing information, communication, production of work and publishing.
Be certain the computer has the appropriate computer applications for effective teaching. The applications should include an Internet browser such as Internet Explorer, a word processor like Microsoft Word, presentation software such as Power Point, and a draw and paint application.
Students can use the computer for a variety of things. Here are some examples of what a student can do: research, graph data, display digital photos, locate geographical locations, use the dictionary and thesaurus online to help with writing papers, etc. Students can also use a spreadsheet to keep track of books that they have read. Through the use of computer technology you are able to edit and polish writings. Teachers can benefit from the computer by creating charts, keeping records, creating follow up work for lessons, demonstrating math problems and concepts, creating templates for assignments, organizing student seating and so on. Many teachers project the computer screen onto a large screen where everyone can see at one time making it easy to review spelling words, view graphs, and manage other data as a group.
The location of the computer will depend on the layout of the classroom. Avoid placing the computer around dusty areas such as near a pencil sharpener or chalkboard. The dust could ruin the computers hard drive. When placing the computer try to keep the display facing the classroom in order to help keep the students on task. The goal is to promote students learning while easily monitoring the students performance. If you are using the computer for a presentation, it should be placed in the front of the classroom most likely hooked up to a projector of some sort to make it easy for all students in the room to see.
Always be sure to allow time to teach the students basic computer skills, troubleshooting, and use of each application before assigning a project. If you are using the computer as a learning center, allow room for students to gather around for viewing. By setting up a learning center, you will allow the students to rotate assignments. Assign one group to the center at a time and rotate use on different days of the week. A computer literate student should be paired with a less experienced student if possible, this encourages students to help each other. Make each student's role clear as to what there mission is in the group by designating roles such as researcher, organizer, grammarian, and computer engineer. It's also smart to keep a pair of headphones at the center to avoid distractions to the rest of the students. An easy way of keeping track of user time at the computer is providing a journal to log in. Always monitor what the student is looking at. Screen and bookmark websites the students visit. Establish with the students a way to save their files so that they can easily be reopened when necessary.
Organizing a lesson in a one computer classroom requires forethought and planning. Learning strategies and tips will help along the way to make the one computer classroom managable for all.