Are you a computer or technology teacher? Have you been tasked with managing the computer lab? Or maybe you just enjoy bringing your class to the shared lab to work on all of the engaging activities you’ve come up with.
There are certain things you find yourself repeating over… and over… and over while you’re working with students in the lab. Some days I felt like my head was going to explode if I had to say “don’t forget to sign out!” or “no you can’t play Fortnite!” or hear “How do I print?” one more time.
I put together a collection of signs that I have decided my own lab absolutely CANNOT be without. What does your lab need from this list?
1. Rules & Expectations
For some reason, when students enter a technology lab, or the technology enters their classroom, they seem to think that is secret code for “total chaos mode starts NOW.” For most teachers, the rules and expectations remain exactly the same as the rest of the day, but having a visual to reinforce is definitely necessary.
I’ve done my share of re-writing the rules and expectations in my lab over the years, and I have several different Computer Lab Rules posters available in my TPT store:
- Tech Lab Rules Poster – Driftwood, Dots, & Washi
- Tech Lab Rules Poster – Black & White Stripes w/ Washi Tape
- Tech Lab Rules Poster – Black & White Dots
- Tech Lab Rules Poster – BRIGHTS!
- Computer Lab Rules Poster
- Middle/High School Computer Lab Rules Poster
2. Social Media Reminders
I have found in the last 5 years or so that these reminders need to be given to students every single day. Preferably in every class. It’s never too early to start promoting good digital citizenship… even elementary students are on social media these days. Even for the students that aren’t using social media just yet, getting them familiar with these reminders early is key to starting them off on the right foot.
- NEW Think Before You Post Poster Bundle (2) (description includes links to all of the individual posters in this bundle)
- Social Media: 22 Questions to Ask Before Making That Post – Digital Citizenship Posters
- THINK Before You Post Colored Poster BUNDLE (description includes links to all of the individual posters in this bundle)
3. Keyboard Shortcuts
These are for not only for your students, but also for yourself and your coworkers! Every year, at least one staff member tells me that they weren’t aware of some of the shortcuts I have posted in my lab. Success!
And they are called shortcuts for a reason. It’s good to get yourself and your students into the habit of using these commands to increase speed and efficiency.
I create a new set of Keyboard Shortcuts pretty much every year, for both Mac and Windows. Check out the ones I have available now!
- Mac Keyboard Shortcut Bundle (4 styles!) – (Description on page has links to each individual style)
- (Original) Mac Keyboard Shortcuts
- Windows Keyboard Shortcut Bundle (3 styles!) – (Description on page has links to each individual style)
4. Before You Leave Reminders
What are your procedures for ending a class period with technology? You better decide now, or find yourself cleaning up after your students, troubleshooting issues, and putting out fires (hopefully not literal fires but you never know) on a regular basis!
I’ve put together several different posters to help students remember their responsibilities before leaving the lab or returning the technology to a cart. I’ve found that these work best for me when they are taped to the back of the classroom door and/or the front of the tech cart.
- Before You Leave Reminder Posters for Tech Labs – Black & White Bundle (description includes links to all of the individual posters in this bundle)
- Before You Leave Reminder Posters for Tech Labs – BRIGHTS!
- Computer Lab Reminders Posters: Before You Leave
- ‘Before You Leave’ Elementary Computer/Technology Lab Reminder Posters
5. Tech-free Materials
I am a digital girl and I love my technology, but so do my students, sometimes to the point of obsession. Have a collection of activities students can do when they finish or need a break from technology. Paper, pencils, coloring materials, books, puzzles, Uno games… anything to remind them that life is not all about technology.
Plus – the wifi is inevitably going to be down at some point, and you’re going to need a backup!