What solutions do you have?
Students being off-task.
There's network tools you can use to monitor what they are doing, ask your IT folks.
A fast, easy solution is to have all the screens facing you.
Students are always forgetting their passwords and they will just log each other in, causing a bunch of accountability/security issues.
See if you can get admin rights to reset passwords.
Some students like to steal things, like the balls out of the mice. So having a routine to make sure everything's there before they leave will help. Flip mice upside down, check keyboards and screens, etc.
You always need to have a back up plan, in case the network's down, etc.
See if your admins can put a print limit on kids' accounts.
To answer your second question about possible solutions...
Make sure you teach the procedures you want your students to follow...don't assume anything...if want them to do it...teach it to them. It doesn't matter if it is how to enter the room, how to line up for lunch, how to find your seat etc.
You must teach procedures!
And, don't just tell them...model the procedure and have the students practice the procedure as well.
Read this blog post for more info: http://teaching-tips-machine.com/blog/?p...
Students accessing inappropriate materials or entering chat/im/blogs. Never leave students alone in the lab. (The best filters do fail at times.) Make sure your students have activities that keep them moving forward and motivated. When you are talking, make sure they are listening by requiring them to face you and place there hands in their laps.
It depends on the age group. For younger students, trying to get them to press the right keys and follow multiple directions with just one adult in the room can be tricky. I've personally found it easiest to students in a routine for logging in and getting started, and using a projector connected to a computer to model what to do is really helpful.
For older students, keeping them on task and carefully monitoring their computer use is important.
My school used to have a computer lab teacher, and the woman spit hot fire. She was strict and treated the kids like they were idiots if they didn't listen, but they were always on task, and they learned a lot.
In my district, students have found a way to get around a lot of the blocks placed on school computers and have been able to access gaming sights, Facebook, MySpace, etc. It is a constant battle to keep this from happening. Typically when I catch my students on the wrong sight, they loose the privilege of using the computer and *gasp* have to complete the assignment by hand.
I have found that with younger students this is not such an issue as thy like to please. The older students typically do it because they like their peers to see them in restricted territory.
What I have found that works, is to pair students (my choice!) to work together on an assignment/project where each individual is responsible for certain parts of the task ~ anything NOT completed becomes homework. I walk the room frequently so that I can always see what is going on.
As a built in incentive, I allow the last 5 minutes of computer class to access "approved" websites that are bookmarked. They are by no means "educational" unfortunately, but it gives them a chance to explore within boundaries. Some that they have liked are the games on Yahooligans (very tame), sites for sports figures/the famous, and so on.
I have asked our maintenance department to install mirrors on the walls so I can see everything at all times, but alas that is considered frivolous.
1. visit web sites that are not appropriate
2. remove the balls that help the computer mouse function (they sometimes do this as a joke or prank)
3. cause the computer to crash by repeatedly clicking on icons to open programs (this happens when the systems run slowly)
4. Visit music video web sites and listen to music while you're teaching
You can avoid this with effective planning.
First, get permission from parents for each students to use the Internet.
Let the parents know (via a letter or phone call home) what your plans are for the lab use. Let the student and parent know what the possible consequences are for computer abuse (possible "F" on the assignment or possibly being banned from computer use for a period of a week or month etc.)
Prior to going into the lab (the day of your lesson) remind the students of your expectation. Explain your procedures step by step.
Take them to the lab. Follow your procedures just as you explained to them.
Circulate the room to visually assess your student's performance.
Use proximity control for students that are likely to misbehave by standing near them for the majority of your lesson or make sure that they are seated close to you most of the time.
Praise students that remain on task.
Firmly and respectfully redirect students that are off task.
Hope that helps.
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