Looking for ideas? Middle School Computer Lessons

Posts tagged ‘computer lab vs. Laptop Carts’

Middle School Computer Lessons, Office tools in the classroom: What is the best choice?

Middle School Computer Lessons, Office tools in the classroom: What is the best choice?

Does your school use Office (probably the 2003 version) or Office 360, maybe Google Docs? What one is the best choice for the schools of today? More importantly, how will you adjust your instruction to whatever tools you have. The lessons at www.middleschoolcomputerlessons.com are presented in a way so that they can be used with any office or office type program PC, or Mac, Microsoft or Google.

Also, you will need to consider what devices will the students use. Do you have desktop pc’s? Netbooks? Tablets? or do they bring their own? Given the choice I feel that Google docs is the best option, it can easily be used on any device at school or at home. It makes collaboration easy and it is free.

If you are looking for middle school computer lessons or simple high school computer lessons visit www.middleschoolcomputerlessons.com and request 2 free sample lessons from the Complete Computer curriculum.

Twitter: @mprezios

 

Are Tablets the Future of Education? Middle School Computer Lessons

Are Tablets the Future of Education?

Not too long ago, I was convinced that Netbooks were the way to go for the future of education technology. I am not so sure any more. With the prices of tablets coming down significantly, tablets look better and better..

I feel that the Ipad is the Cadillac of all tablets, it is the best without question. However, with the soon to come tablet from Amazon, and dozens of competitors including all Android devices, tablets seem like a viable option to schools.

Some may say that BYOD “Bring Your Own Device” is the way to go. Maybe for high schools, but for middle schoolers a variety of devices is problematic for instruction.

Tablets are more and more attractive for several reasons: 1. Prices are falling; $200 per tablet could be the key for districts to move away from print books to a 1 to 1 tablet model. 2. Portability could make it easier for students to carry the device instead of a pile of books. 3. Tech savvy students would welcome tablets to replace bulky textbooks.

For materials/books/ebooks to use in your technology class visit www.middleschoolcomputerlessons.com

New to teaching a Computer Class?

Did your principal just inform you that you will be teaching a computer class in the fall? Are you looking for materials for this NEW class??? Do you feel short of breath?

Wouldn’t it ease your mind to find all the materials you need to teach computer classes grades 5 through 8?

Visit www.middleschoolcomputerlessons.com to get all the materials you need to teach the best computer class. The lessons are written by real middle school computer teachers and are PERFECT for someone just starting out.

Go to www.middleschoolcomputerlessons.com and request some free sample lessons to see what it is all about.

These books are being used around the country and are a great source for JR. Hith/Middle School aged students.

Middle School Computer Lessons; Bring your own device

Middle School Computer Lessons; Bring your own device. For more ideas visit www.middleschoolcomputerlessons.com or subscribe to this blog. I would like to hear your comments.

Texting Tuesday

I recently read an article about students bringing their own devices to the classroom. It sounds like a really good idea, but there are some roadblocks for the middle school classroom. Here are some issues that I have run into when I do my “Texting Tuesday” activity with my students.

Lets list the GOOD things first:

  • Students feel empowered when they bring their own device
  • They are more interested in the lesson initially; you have got their attention
  • In theory, every student has a device
  • You can get instant feedback
  • Students are engaged

Here are the issues that I have run into:

  • Not every student has a device
  • Device connectivity (no signal)
  • Battery life
  • Students do not know how to properly operate their device
  • all the devices are different
  • Students do not stay on task
  • Talking/noise

I am at a country school and our cell range is limited at best, so this is the biggest issue when I do a project like this. The problems outnumber the good things for my class. However, I feel that my class is the exception to the rule. I do see value in having students bring their own device. As technology improves I see this being used in the classroom. More so in the higher grades. As of now, I just do this project for one class in my 9 week course. But we do use cell phones in my NXT Robotics projects and some other activities in my class (photos/calculator…).

I would love to hear your experience with this! Please comment!

Middle School Computer Lessons; Bring your own device. For more ideas visit www.middleschoolcomputerlessons.com or subscribe to this blog.

Middle School Computer Lessons; Laptop carts vs. Labs vs. Netbooks

For the Best Middle School Computer Lessons on the web go to www.middleschoolcomputerlessons.com

I was reading a post on the International Society for Technology in Education over the weekend about going back to traditional computer labs rather than using computer carts and I wanted to share my thoughts.

At one time, about 10 years ago my school purchased 3 laptop carts complete with 12 laptops each and a printer for each cart. I was in charge of distributing them to the teachers as needed along with my regular teaching duties. At the time wireless technology in laptops was kind of new, the carts were challenging to use. Don’t get me wrong, when everything was working they served their purpose. But, give me a traditional computer lab any day.

Here were the most common issues I had with the carts.

  • Set up time- I had to set up the cart to work properly then tear it down
  • Wireless connectivity the cart had the wireless port; was unreliable
  • Laptops were unreliable slow loading
  • BATTERY LIFE- eventually I would plug them all in and circle them around the cart
  • Teachers would return the carts in a pile of wires I had one teacher where this would happen every time she used them; I would have to send it back to here every time to straighten it up. This is an actual picture from 2002.

All these things would discourage teachers to even try the carts.

However now we have Netbooks, and a cart of netbooks could have the same issues but is less likely. Here are some advantages of a cart of netbooks.

  • Increased reliability
  • 6-10 hours of battery life
  • Wireless connectivity is better
  • Small size

I do like using netbooks for classroom teachers 6-8 for a class of 25 students seems ideal. However, you do have the set up time issue but not as much as laptop carts. One really cool thing about the netbooks is the portability, you could take your class outside if you had the guts.

For me, I would choose the traditional computer lab. All the set up issues, connectivity and reliability and printing issues go away.

For more ideas please comment or subscribe to this blog. For the best Middle school computer lessons go to www.middleschoolcomputerlessons.com

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