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New Teachers Online: How-To Articles: Use New Technology to Reinforce Instruction
Setting Up Clear Expectations
Peggy Maslow

One of the basic ways to have success using computers in the classroom is to prepare students to behave responsibly. It is important that a teacher prepare students by telling them what is expected of them when they start to use computers in a classroom setting. This means going over rules and assignments before the students are in front of a computer. 

On the first day of class I give students two sheets to read:

Computer Lab Rules
http://web.archive.org/web/20030805190718/http://fklane.org/labrules.htm
This is what we use at my school, you can modify it to meet the needs of your classroom. I tell my students that they will be tested the next day on the rules. I instruct students to write an essay for students who are about to go into a computer explaining the rules for the lab. They also have to write why these rules are necessary and the consequences for not following the rules. After the test is handed back to students and graded I may retest students who do not show they know the rules and why they exist. 

Parent Permission
http://web.archive.org/web/20030627143729/http://fklane.org/permission.htm
The permission sheet is necessary when underage students publish their work on the Internet. 

Once rules have been established, it is important that the teacher is consistent. S/he may have to go over these rules until it is clear that everyone in the class understands them.

Also I am planning future columns on the topics listed below. 

  • What to do about filters and/or a firewall that obstructs student research. 
  • How can class web sites showcase student work 
  • How does using technology enhance curriculum 
  • How can students use the Internet to do research 
  • How to use a discussion forum 
  • How to use web quests 

 

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