Using the Laptop in my classroom

As a science teacher I find it easy, almost natural to use the computer in the classroom.  Virtually everyday students are using their computers in the classroom.  My classroom has become almost paperless since the school went one-to-one with computers.  Tests are one online Blackboard. Homework is done online with WebAssign.  Many labs are done using the Vernier software, LoggerPro and then the lab reports are written up using Google docs.   All handouts are posted on Blackboard.  Students can follow PowerPoint lessons or SmartBoard lessons by downloading them from BlackBoard.  As well, Dyknow is used  where the lesson appears on the students screens.   There is very little need for me to print something for the class.

As far as classroom management of the laptop goes, I have very few concerns.  Partly because I am teaching Honors and AP classes I have more motivated students than regular
classes.  So I have fewer and less serious misuse of laptop issues.  If I am teaching and I see a student looking at their screens too much, I usually say something smart like, “stop chatting with so and so”.  If the students are on task which they often are, they tell me what they were doing.  If not they usually just get back on task.   I am a little less worried about this near the end of class.  If students have worked hard all class (which they usually do), I usually cut them a little slack and not be overly vigilant near the end.  If they are working on problems or writing up a lab, I usually walk around periodically to see their screens.  As well, I also use Dyknow monitoring when I am giving a test or sometimes just as a random check if they are on task.  Just last Friday I did this by projecting the off task students screen onto the SmartBoard; www.NBA.com.

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