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Effective use of labs


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Effective use of computer lab time in our school

Effective use of computer lab time in our school

Published in: Technology, News & Politics
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  • 1.  
  • 2.
    • Tragedy of the Commons? Pre-emptive “just-in-case” booking far in advance to ensure you won’t miss out
    • A few observations:
      • don’t always show up and then don’t cancel booking
      • unnecessary indiscriminate bookings made before detailed lesson planning took place
      • bookings where only a few of the students actually end up using the computers
      • inefficient use – students searching for images, just using Google or even waiting for inspiration…
  • 3.
    • Get more labs?
      • No more rooms for labs
    • Get movable labs (i.e. roaming laptop carts)
      • This will likely happen over time
      • Expensive, though, so not an immediate solution
    • Improve use of existing resources to cut out wasted time
    • … and while we’re at it, why not also improve effectiveness (=educational impact) of lab time?
  • 4.
    • No bulk booking! Only book when you know you’ll need it
    • Cancel booking if you know you won’t use it
    • Indicate in booking:
      • # of computers that will be used
      • description of activity
      • indicate exact time-span (e.g. 10:25 – 11:10)
    • Consider which parts need to take place in lab and which can be done in classroom or at home (e.g. brainstorming, drafting, finding images…)
  • 5.
    • For example: Videos - quality, not quantity!!!
      • We don’t set 20 page minimum length for essays – who wants to mark 400 pages of rushed drivel???
      • Likewise, don’t tell kids to make 10-minute videos
        • too long to make
        • poor end result
      • Instead, set max length and clear objectives
        • every second of video will have been carefully edited and considered in terms of relevance and quality
      • Much of the work to be done not in lab  prior planning to determine when lab is necessary
  • 6.
    • Field trip: teach map-reading skills before sending kids out to navigate unfamiliar town
      • All teachers sending kids on the web should know and teach students how to do proper web searching
    • Google is a popularity contest – SEOs (Search Engine Optimizers) ensure you usually won’t find the sites that are actually most relevant
    • Save time: give kids a list of pre-screened sites, or better yet: make a customized search engine for those sites: