Tune into Technology Linky: Tech Management and Organization


I can’t believe it’s our second-to-last Tune into Technology linkup!  I’ve learned so much from all the amazing bloggers who have linked up with us this summer, so keep the great ideas coming!:)  This week we are sharing technology management and organization tips.  You can link up any tips you have at the bottom of this post or over at Learning to the Core.

Every teacher understands how crucial those first weeks of school are for teaching classroom expectations and routines.  It truly sets the tone for the entire school year.  Well, I believe the same goes for technology.  I have learned from my many mistakes and make it a huge priority to take my time at the beginning of the year setting the tone for technology use.  Here are some pieces of advice based off of what I’ve learned over the years.

1.) Have your classroom website or blog organized and ready to go that first week.  I use my classroom website to not only share practice links and videos, but also for students to download and turn assignments in.  Therefore, I try to keep everything consistent so that my students get comfortable navigating the site and turning work in.  If you’re looking for inspiration, check out last week’s linky, which has some great ideas for utilizing classroom websites. 

2.) Speaking of websites, keeping track of all those usernames and passwords for 25+ kids can be a daunting task.  This year, my students filed this Keeping Track of My Sites page in their binders and kept a running log of every username and password they signed up for throughout the year.  Since they took their binders home every night, they had access to this list when they would practice at home.  You can grab this file for free as well as another option for putting individual cards on a ring.  (Graphics From the Pond.)



3.) Post Mac or PC commands your students will frequently use, such as copy/paste and save, along with a keyboard so you can point out where to find certain keys.  Feel free to grab mine by clicking the image below.

4.) Since technical difficulties are inevitable, I teach my students ways to trouble-shoot in various situations (i.e. their computer freezes, the internet goes out, or the site they’re on isn’t responding).  With 28 students using laptops at the same time, there’s no way I can rush to their side every time something goes wrong, so this is a crucial skill for me to teach.  My kids know the steps they are to take in certain situations, and sometimes that may mean working with a partner or taking out a book until I’m done working with a small group and can help them.  I also have "Tech Support" as one of my classroom jobs, so there are always a couple of "go-to" students that can help out with tech issues.

5.) This one is probably my most important piece of advice.  Before students even touch a piece of technology, model appropriate use and care as well as consequences for any misuse.  Internet safety is a very important concept to teach at the beginning of the year.  Here's a link to to how I taught it last year.  It’s a good idea to post signs around your room about the expectations, like the ones below.  You may even want the students and their parents to sign an agreement stating that they will follow all of the technology expectations.  Click HERE or on the picture below to check them out.



7 comments:

  1. I like those username/url/password files...that might be the most frustrating ting of all.

    What kind of consequences do you have for students that don't follow the rules (besides losing the tech)?

    Your Tech Support idea is great, plus it empowers the kids.

    matt
    Digital: Divide & Conquer
    Follow me on Bloglovin'

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  2. Love that your students know how to trouble shoot! It is difficult to get students to do that before going straight to the teacher!! I need to consistently get my kids doing that instead of coming straight to me!!!

    Amanda
    Learning to the Core

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  3. I was thinking of creating something like those username/url/password files. Currently I'm debating if a system for each student or a system for myself would work best.....I'm kind of a control freak in that sense!

    Thanks again for hosting!
    Erin
    Short and Sassy Teacher

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  4. I have a student in my class that writes code, just for fun...so he is my Tech support. I too find that keeping track of all the log-ins can be very time consuming to get organized. I have my kids highlight websites in a different color and we tape a little form like yours in the front of their agendas, so they always have them at home, in class and in the Tech Lab. Like Erin, I am a control freak, so I type my forms. Not something that needs to be done in 5th grade!
    Alison
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

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  5. I love the command ideas, what a great way to have kids problem solve!

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

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  6. Thank you for all the great advice in this post! I printed out the username/password sheet. I will definitely use that this year. I also really liked the idea of teaching students trouble shooting before the trouble starts. I love the technology promises. They are practical and pretty.

    Mary

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  7. Thanks for organizing this! I get to teach 1:1 as well. Come check out my blog when you get the chance!

    Colleen Patton
    Mrs. Patton’s Patch

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