Introducing laptops into the classroom can be a daunting task for teachers who are not prepared. Here are a few tips that will help the implementation process flow smoothly for you and your students. They are written in no specific order. If you have additional suggestions please email Heather.

Classroom Management Tips: Using Laptops

1. Start Small
Have all students complete the same task using one program only. For example: Students will write a paragraph in Word.

Slowly increase flexibility in choice and the number of programs used.

Focus Student Attention

Have students close the lid when a teacher is lecturing or giving directions.

Remember it’s Only a Tool!
If students are off task, remove laptop use for a few days or change the assignment to be completed in hand-written form.

Monitor Student Work

“On your feet, not your seat” – APL Terms. Walk around the room and view each student’s work. This will help you to redirect a student’s attention or correct students who have do not understand your direction.

Instruct from Behind

Have desks set up that you can see all laptop screens when you are standing behind students. Give instructions from this place so you can watch students follow your directions.

Detailed Instructions

Students know how to use computers for entertainment, but they need to be taught how to use computers as a learning tool. Give clear expectations before students open the laptop.

Time Management

Students can spend hours on a project if it includes pictures or the internet. Direct students’ time by giving specific deadlines to students. (ex. 20 minutes to research Topic A, 10 minutes to write a summary of the material read, 5 minutes to find a picture that supports the summary, 15 minutes to finalize the project with necessary changes (editing, design, etc.)

Timers will also help students develop an internal sense of time and the ability to prioritize required items over fun items.

Beginning Class

Have the agenda for the period clearly visible. If students will be using laptops during the period, then ask students to get a laptop and log on as part of step one. As students wait for the computer to load, they can work on the bellringer. This helps students get “on task” immediately after entering the room, and it will increase the amount of instructional time.

Saving Work

Have students save the document before they begin entering information. Remind students to save every 5 minutes.

Extension Activities

Have extension activities ready for students who finish early.