In the past, classrooms often had a designated “computer area” because the technology needed to be placed in close proximity to outlets and cables. Now, classroom technology looks a lot different. Some classrooms still have traditional set-ups, while others have carts of laptops or tablets that travel between rooms or one-to-one programs. We are teaching in an ever-changing, technology-centered world! Whatever your teaching situation looks like, check out these organizing technology ideas for the classroom below!
5 Tips and Ideas for Organizing Classroom Technology
Below are tips and ideas for organizing the technology in your classroom.
1. Carefully Select the Location
While you may not need to set aside a large area, you will want to carefully select a space in your classroom for where students will be using technology. Here are some things to consider:
You should definitely take internet safety into consideration. Try to avoid having students working online in positions that prohibit you from viewing their screens. Although there are typically restrictions put in place by the district, there are times when students may still land on a site that is not appropriate. Every possible effort should be made to ensure students screens are never hidden from view.
Avoid having the screens facing student work areas in a way that will distract other students. You will want the screens in your view, but not necessarily in other students’ view.
Outlets and Connections
You’ll want to consider the location of electrical outlets and internet connections. You don’t want cords in walking paths. Nor do you want to place cords under rugs. This can be a fire hazard.
It’s important that students are able to access the technology with ease. They will need to access things like USB ports, keyboards, and monitors. Consider the accessibility of the height of the computers. Students should view the monitor at eye level. Additionally, think about the impact that lights and windows have on screens. You’ll want to reduce glare as much as possible.
Your students need to be able to use the technology with ease and comfort. A couple of things to consider is comfortable seating and having space around computers for paper and clipboards for students to be able to complete related activities.
2. Take Safety Precautions
The second on this list of technology ideas for the classroom is to take safety precautions. I briefly touched upon this idea in the last section when I mentioned keeping cords out of walking paths and not putting cords underneath rugs. You’ll also want to take care not to overload electrical outlets with too many devices. Avoid using power strips. These are both fire hazards. Be sure to check out your school districts policies in regards to technology.
3. Inventory All Your Tech
There are still many classrooms that are very limited on technology. Some teachers have 1 computer and others may need to take their class to a computer lab or tech center. In order to set up a technology center in your room, you’ll need to assess what is available to you.
One Computer Classroom
Decide how you would like to use it. Some options include using it as a teacher tool, allowing students to access it as a learning center or utilizing it as a small group presentation area. I’ve done this and have had the students view the monitor for lessons.
Several Computer Classroom
Consider if you want them to be clustered together or spread apart around the room. Initially, I always kept mine together because it seemed like the thing to do. However, it was hard to manage the noise level. Also, it was too crowded if I had more than one student working on a computer as I often do for interactive games. This year I spread them out around the room and was very happy with that decision.
4. Utilize Organization Strategies
The fourth on this list of technology ideas for the classroom is to utilize tech organization strategies and hacks. There are so many different organization hacks to help you organize your technology. One example is to use cable ties to keep cords neat. A second example is to color-code your keyboards to help little finders remember important keys. A third example is to use bread ties or washi/electrical tape to label the top and bottom of cords to keep them all organized.
5. Make Expectations Clear
Post expectations for technology use near the technology so you and the students can reference it throughout the school year. Also, post the expectations for how to put away and clean up technology when a student is done. This will help you maintain an organized space.
In closing, we hope you found these organizing technology ideas for the classroom helpful. If you did, then you may also be interested in our classroom organization course and these other posts: