Question Detail

is there a particular strategy or intervention that can address the need to maintain order in the technology lab while the teacher assists children with log-in computer malfunctions?

Mar 6, 2014 10:35am

I'm the technology coordinator and I service grades PreK-8 and I need a system for reaching out to all the students experiencing difficulties.
I tried issuing numbers to them but they had to get out of their seats to get the numbers and that in itself is problematic.
Naturally, I try to make sure all of the computers are either logged in on the site I want them working on and I only seat them on computers that are working properly.
I need a way to keep the students who are experiencing difficulties engaged or sitting patiently until I can get to them.

  • Technology
  • Pre K-8
  • Behavior


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    • Mar 8, 2014 8:46pm

      I taught in our school's reading lab for 8 years. I taught K- 5th graders. The number 1 rule in my lab was that students must stay in their seats and raise their hand and wait patiently until I could get to them. Every year before classes started I laminated as many note cards as I needed to have one per student for the Kinders and used regular cards for the other grades, then did the same to about 30-40 extra ones for new students who enrolled at later dates. One the notecards I wrote the students names, user names and password information. I used a Sharpie to do the writing. I kept all the cards in a card file box so the students could be divided up into their own home rooms. For the younger kids I would pass out their cards and everyone could be working on logging in, and I would go around the room helping those students who needed help. I would keep the cards ever year and move them up because I would still have some students needing them in 1st and 2nd grades. Eventually I would have laminated cards for all grades. It usually took 2 or 3 hard weeks but after that, most students didn't need their cards any more. I hope this helps.

      • Mar 27, 2014 7:58am

        Agree with Katie. Sites like or are really great in your situation.

        • Mar 29, 2014 6:56pm

          I usually have the students sit down and listen to instructions before they even touch the computers. I only teach up to 3rd grade so I already have the computers set up for most of the classes. With most of the students already starting the activity, I can focus on helping those that need it. I always try to acknowledge students once they raise their hands so they know that I will be getting to them soon! Our lab only seats 15 so it's not that difficult to keep track of everyone.

          I like the idea of having a back up website that they're familair with to go to for the older grades. All of my 3rd graders know I can tell them to go on and play a particular game or give them a category, such as multiplication and division games only, and they all know how to get to and use it. A lot of times the student next to them is able to help if they need it, but all my students know which problems they can solve on their own and which they MUST ask me about (i.e. pop ups). Sometimes, if there is a common question, I'll teach one or two students, then have them show the others.

          Hope this is helpful!

          • Apr 7, 2014 8:01pm

            You may use this as an activity in an of itself. Print out the directions so they have something to look at. Similar to teaching a math or english class, try to appeal to all learning styles. Print the directions for the visual learner, review the directions for the auditory learner, show how to do it, then ask them to repeat the directions. You could have the students write the directions on the board prior to lettin them go on their own. You can also have an assignment once students get logged in. Have them write you a letter, research something on the Internet, or create something using WordArt.
            This has been one of my biggest struggles as a first year technology teacher. There are so many variables when dealing with technology! You almost have to have two lesson plans everyday, one if the technology is working and one if it is not. Worksheets, readings, research, writing, defiinitions, and blogs are the things that I fall back on when it all goes wrong.

            • May 5, 2014 11:25am

              You have been given some great feedback. I plan to take the suggestions out for a spin.

              Whenever possible, assigning regular computers is helpful. I use a label machine and put a number on each computer. I also keep handy a "Computer Not Working Today" card with a string to hang over that one computer that is down. The kids know to come and stand by me if they see it on their computer so I can assign another spot.

              When I had the bulky monitors (still seen in many labs), I had a small red cup by each computer. When a student had a question or problem, they put the cup on top to let me know. It helped eliminate the barrage of hands and also let others know there was someone else waiting.

              When you need something to keep them busy for a short while, a puzzler on the board helps. I put a container near the door so that answers could be submitted on the way out. I just kept an Excel page to input the number of correct answers per group and printed out a graph to display for the next week. Now with the Smarter Balance and PARCC testing, a little extra practice with problem solving is a good idea. Your puzzler can also be adjusted for different grade levels by printing them on card stock in different colors to indicate the level. The kids don't need to know why but, the colors keep it easy to manage. I also use the same color on the graph for my own information. These are pretty low tech solutions for a tech lab however, simplicity has its own reward.

              Best wishes,