Computer Lab Rules for Elementary Schools
- Computers are complicated instruments. Teaching computer use to children early can help them maximize this precious resource in their coming school years. Without a foundation to lean on, a child can have a hard time getting used to the technology---hence the presence of computer labs in elementary schools. In order to preserve equipment as well as maximize the students' learning experience, it is wise to mandate specific computer lab rules for elementary schools.
Terminal Arrival and Assignments
- Because computers are primarily associated with entertainment these days, children might not have the correct orientation when using them for class. The best way to show that a teacher is serious at the start of every computer lab session is to create some rules for how students should conduct themselves in the computer lab. For example, working with computers often requires the user to sit down rather than stand up. Some teachers ask their students to stay in one area of the room first before engaging in computing. A computer lab class can also develop a level of organization by assigning one specific computer to each student. That way, each child grows used to a specific PC.
- Prolonging the life of existing units in the computer lab is a high-priority consideration for elementary computer teachers. Teachers should announce rules that will help protect both the hardware and the software of the computers. For example, there are often rules banning food and drinks from the lab in order to prevent spillage onto the CPU and other hardware components. For software, protecting the computer requires restricting the introduction of new programs that are potentially harmful in any way. Computer lab teachers should not allow the installation of games. Likewise, students should avoid clicking on any link or going to any website that can infect the unit with viruses or spyware.
- Maintaining an environment that is conducive to working with computers is important. For this reason, teachers should control the elementary students' movements during class work. Prohibit students from chatting with their seatmates unless the activity requires cooperative effort. In addition, teachers should start the term right by teaching their students computer class decorum and ethics. Post reminders of acceptable classroom behavior and computer lab rules in order to condition order.
- Since computers are important research tools, the school will most likely allow their use when there are no scheduled class hours. Designate lab assistants to help oversee the use of computers. Create a list of acceptable occasions for computer use and order them from the highest-priority activity to the lowest. The teacher should make sure that priority is given to users who have more urgent uses for the units.