Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010 | Computer Usage
Technology is of the greatest value to teachers when it is available in the classroom.
Why do schools then have computer rooms (also called computer laboratories or computer suites)? Should we not dismantle them and distribute the technology to classrooms?
Before you demolish your computer room, just pause for a moment. Computer rooms hold huge value, if used properly. Think about the following great things you can do there:
The only way in which learners can attain digital literacy is by having hands-on experience with computer equipment. Not many children on the African continent have access to computer equipment at home and limited technology in the classroom may not give learners an opportunity to use it to the extent that they can build computer skills. A computer room allows learners to become comfortable in the use of computer equipment.
Drill-and-practice exercises can be given to learners, honing numeracy and mathematical abilities. Of course, this requires skillfulness on the part of the teacher who must ensure that computer room activities are integrated with what is happening in the home classroom.
On-line assessment is a great time saver for teachers. No more marking of scripts and calculation and collation of marks! It is all done for you by special software packages designed for this purpose.
Individual research is best carried out by learners when each one has access to the internet. A computer room lends itself to this type of research. Of course, cell phones can be used for this purpose too, but then teachers have no way of telling where on the web learners are roaming. In a computer room, a teacher can use monitoring software to supervise and guide the research process.
Individual project work is possible if learners have access to computers – this too can take place in the computer room.
Learners can visit the computer room after hours to engage in e-learning courses or do revision of notes which are available in digital format – each learner at his or her own pace.
Teachers are encouraged to bring technology into their classrooms. Computer rooms have a different purpose. Both are needed to develop twenty-first century skills.
For more technology tips for teachers click here.
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