Computers - Setting Up the Classroom Series

{Click to see more of my posts on how to set up a classroom.} 

There is so much variety in terms of technology in the classroom. Some rooms have 1 computer and others may have access to a class set of laptops. In order to set up a technology center in your room, you'll need to assess what is available to you.

If you have only one computer....

Decide how you would like to use it. Some options include using it as a teacher tool, allowing students to access it as a learning center or utilizing it as a small group presentation area. I've done this and have had the students view the monitor for lessons.

If you have more than one computer...

Consider if you want them to be clustered together or spread apart around the room. Initially, I always kept mine together because it seemed like the thing to do. However, it was hard to manage the noise level. Also, it was too crowded if I had more than one student working on a computer as I often do for interactive games. This year I spread them out around the room and was very happy with that decision.

Things to consider when setting them up:
  • location of electrical outlets
  • location of internet connections
  • ability for kids to access usb ports
  • height of the computers (eye level for the monitor, keyboard easy to access)
  • glare from lights and windows
  • space around the computer for paper/clipboards to complete activities
  • comfortable seating
  • avoid having the screens facing student work areas in a way that will distract other students
  • keep cords out of walking paths
  • do not place cords under rugs as the friction can be a fire hazard
  • use cable ties to keep cords neat

Helpful Links

Here's a great idea to keep cords organized...use bread ties to label the top and bottom of cords.

This display automatically gets 2 thumbs up from me for its use of 3D elements. I love when things pop. Plus, how happy would I be to eat takeout for a month to gather the containers.

What a cute little addition to a computer center. It's a CD flowerpot!

A display like this would look great hanging behind or above classroom computers.

I think these bulletin boards are a great visual reminder of the programs available. I obviously wouldn't fill an entire wall in my classroom (this is a computer lab), but I am now planning to make smaller versions of these on file folders that my kids can use in my classroom or take to our lab.

How adorable is this little project? If you click on the link, there is downloadable templates, but you need publisher to print them.

A color coded keyboard will help little fingers remember the important keys.

I love this little technology puppet that was made to help teach the little ones about the computer.

For more ideas and pictures to help organize and manage your classroom, please check out my book: The Clutter-Free Guide to Classroom Organization and Management by clicking here.
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