In the past, classrooms often had a designated “computer area” because the technology needed to be placed in close proximity to outlets and cables. Now, technology takes on many different forms. Some classrooms have traditional set-ups, some have carts of laptops or tablets that travel between rooms, and others have one to one programs.

Do I need a dedicated technology area?
While you may not need to set aside a large area, you should take internet safety into consideration. Try to avoid having students working online in positions that prohibit you from viewing their screens. Although there are typically restrictions put in place by the district, there are times when students may still land on a site that is not appropriate. Every possible effort should be made to ensure students screens are never hidden from view.

What safety precautions should I be taking?
Take care not to overload electrical outlets with too many devices. Avoid using power strips. These are fire hazards. Be sure to know your school districts policies in regards to technology.

How should I organize my technology?

Technology changes at a rapid rate. In order to keep this resource timely, I have created a Pinterest board to showcase ways to organize tablets and other technology equipment. It can be accessed by visiting:
Clutter-Free Classroom's Technology Pinterest Board

There are still many classrooms that are very limited on technology. Some teachers have 1 computer and others may need to take their class to a computer lab or tech center. 

In order to set up a technology center in your room, you'll need to assess what is available to you. If the tech access in your school feels limited these tips may help:

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
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 you could make smaller versions of these on file folders that students can use in the classroom or take to our lab.

How adorable is this little project? What a great way to get kids practicing keyboarding.

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

Pick and click any or all of the options below.

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