By Jessica Sanders
More and more teachers are bringing technology tools into their classroom to enhance learning and engage students. However, regular use of the Internet and apps requires teachers to add a new set of rules to their classroom that dictate proper behavior and use of this technology.
Use the following rules to give students the freedom to use these new tools without abusing the privilege.
1. Only visit approved Internet sites.
Keep posters near classroom computers or tablets to remind students what they can and can’t do when browsing.
2. Never give out your personal information.
Students may not understand the importance of keeping their information private. Make this rule very clear to avoid issues with parents, while keeping your students safe.
3. Tell your teacher if you see something uncomfortable or inappropriate.
Cyber bullying or inappropriate graphics may confuse a student. Remind them that you are there if they feel uncomfortable, and that you should be the first person they turn to in this situation—rather than a fellow student.
4. Never download anything without teacher permission.
Whether it’s an app or a file, downloading something with a virus could put your equipment and networks at risk.
5. Leave your workspace as you found it.
This is likely already a classroom rule, and is even more important as students shuffle between activity stations with computers and tablets.
6. Print only if you have permission.
Students may see an image they love, get excited, and want to print it. You may not have a printer in your classroom, but if you do, this rule is a must.
7. Never change settings without permission.
This is especially important for safety settings that block certain websites and control anti-virus protection.
8. Place devices on chargers when not in use.
Remind your students: if you want to use the tablets tomorrow, they need to be charged. This is a must-have rule.
9. Touch the mouse and keyboard gently.
Kids may not yet know how to handle expensive technology. Remind them that slamming the keyboard and mouse or touching the screen are not acceptable uses of these tools, and will result in the loss of their technology privileges.
10. Do not eat or drink near devices.
This is another rule that may not come naturally to your students. Remind them that spilling a drink on their keyboard could break it, and therefore they will no longer be able to use it.